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San Francisco Federal Building: creating an extraordinary place

Thomas Grooms

A conversation with Thom Mayne.

The video "San Francisco Federal Building: Creating an Extraordinary Place" appears to be a means with which to explain the singular architecture of Thom Mayne's project in a simple and direct manner. With its explicit intent to convey information, it becomes a tool to bring the architect and the audience closer together.

In the video, an informal conversation between the writer Andrea Blum and the architect of Morphosis is overlapped with a series of images of the building late in its construction. During their on-site chat, the two come across all kinds of themes connected to contemporary architectural practices, from aesthetics to political significance. The directors of the video, Thomas Grooms and Taylor Lednum, highlight the work of the Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning Thom Mayne who designed this extraordinary building. Most of all, the overlap exposes the cultural and personal background of Mayne's architectural research, which clearly demonstrates how "Architecture is a confluence of cultural, political, and ethical decisions".

This video is produced in conjunction with "STREET CRED San Francisco: Architecture and the Pedestrian Experience", an exhibition sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects.


Author: Taylor Lednum
Architect: Morphosis Architects
Mentioned project: San Francisco Federal Building
Project location: San Francisco, USA

USA 2006
Duration: 7'53''

Selected for VISIONS, the 2009 edition of BEYOND MEDIA Festival organized by Image.