Lessons in the inappropriate use of architecture

I just found a couple of rather splendid film/architecture links down the back of my browser, between the cushions. They're old and covered in bits of fluff, but definitely worth a look.

First, James Bond: the enemy of architecture, by Steve Rose:

Be dazzled by the rhythmic concrete facades! Thrill to the earth-toned interiors! Swoon over the long internal perspectives. Salivate over the minimal detailing! Then watch it all get blown to smithereens! … Villains tend to put a great deal of effort into their bachelor pads, recruiting tasteful but evil architects, contractors, interior designers – it can’t be easy. Then along comes Bond. The villains are the creators; Bond is the destroyer.

The Sisyphean career of the evil architect – there's definitely a story in that. One lair Bond has yet to destroy: his own. Acording to the utterly forgettable Quantum of Solace, MI6 is based in The Barbican. Who knew?

Second, Nakatomi Space, from BLDGBLOG:

Die Hard is one of the best architectural films of the past 25 years … it could perhaps have been subtitled ‘lessons in the inappropriate use of architecture,’ were that not deliberately pretentious.

The article discusses the "walking through walls" approach to urban conflict – the idea of deliberately subverting the accepted use of architecture in combat (such as evading terrorists by travelling through ventilation ducts and elevator shafts), ignoring the "syntax of the city". This has appeared on screen a lot this year, most notably in tower-stormers The Raid and Dredd.

It's a fascinating piece, well worth ten minutes of your time. Read it, then watch Die Hard again. As if you need an excuse.