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Koolhaas Houselife


A subverting and inspiring story about a spectacular masterpiece of architecture.

In "Koolhaas Houselife" Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine let the audience enter the most intimate and unexpected spots of the famous and celebrated house by Rem Koolhaas and OMA in Bordeaux. The building is the real protagonist of the overall video, the rooms and the hidden spaces are narrated through the actions and the everyday work of the housekeeper. An icon of contemporary architecture is depicted in its most common and everyday settings, that may include dusty shelves and leaks in the walls.

The film makers subvert the traditional imagery that depicts famous architectures as something perfect and untouchable. They rather chose to focus on the fragility of those spaces and places by observing them from the point of view of the people who maintain, clean and inhabit them, thus looking at the architecture in a different way, beyond its aesthetic values. It's not about an objective, detached description, but a personal and oblique glance in the intimate dimension of architecture. The fragmentary structure of the films reproduces the idea of a "deconstruction of the point of view", in order to "make a film which could offer numerous angles and observations".

The film - that was produced in 2008 and presented in 2010 with great press resonance on an international basis, in preparation for the related DVD-book collection published in 2013 - opens "Living Architectures", a five films project by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine about some of the most celebrated masterpieces of contemporary architecture.


Architect: Rem Koolhaas, OMA
Mentioned project: Maison à Bordeaux (1998)
Project location: Bordeaux, France
Production: Bêkafilms (Ila Bêka, Francesco Pappalardo)

France 2007
Duration: 58'