In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Introduction
  • Diane Lewis (bio)

It can be observed that both the architect and the filmmaker create work with the conception, design, or formulation of one frame at a time.

The potential of this fact as it exists within two diverse disciplines can be seen as a shared vision, a resource, a similar aptitude, interest, or conceptual ability. The frame as an idea and a singular image is a definitive element of the discipline of both film and architecture.

This project is devoted to the relationship between the cinematic frame and the architectural cut. I hope that we can share ideas on this subject.

This excavation of the literary, structural and spatial aspects of the projective ability of formulating one frame in a sequence either spatial or cinematic is the challenge.

The selection (or memory) of a particular cinematic frame, described or read by a selection of architects who in my view have expressed great inspiration from cinema and its structure, is the inspiration for this article in Framework.

The invitation to these particular architects is predicated on my theory that there is an extraordinary and memorable aspect to the frame in architecture.

I posit that in any of the unique masterworks of architecture, there is one plan or section cut, which is a groundbreaking and unique architectural conception. And that the same principle holds true in cinema, that it can be recognized that each of the masterworks of cinema has one frame that is a unique and memorable benchmark in the structure of film.

This extraordinary aspect is embodied in the fact that, in one singular section [End Page 79] of a building, the structural and spatial sequence that follows or precedes that section cut is implicit.

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Figure 1.

The Palazzo dei Congressi by Adalberto Libera in the dreamlike precinct of EUR Rome provokes an architectural epiphany. The architect can easily imagine that the balcony designed for Mussolini can be cut in a section view that suspends the figure against the sky. This building has aptly appeared in several films such as The Conformist by Bernardo Bertolucci.

The singular frame or cut through space is a compelling image of a condition within a passage in space, and defines the inner character of an architectural work as an image which is suspended in time and space. These sections are the facts of the architecture; each is a climax, threshold, turning point, or finale in a passage.

The definitive breakthrough in architectural structure and space can be read from such identifying architectural section drawings of the great works. And it is a critical ability to be able to isolate this identifying section or frame.

The drawing of a section cut through a structure is one unique cut through the great building showing how it floats in time; the time of ambulating through it, and through space, creates a point of inhabitation within a field of elements. Whether the built work elicits the image of the definitive or conclusive section as the architect experiences the structure, or whether the drawing elicits the imagery of a new spatial architecture, the section is the key. A great spatial overview from a balcony, a dead end with an oculus that selects a view across a city—such definitive points of inhabiting the spatial sequence are the embodiments of definitive sectional concepts, and can be understood as akin to the singular frame in a film that embodies the auteur's vision of the storyline, spatial setting, camera action concepts, or temporal positioning.

It can be argued that the section reveals both the implicit and explicit aspects of the entire corpus of the building—as crystallized as one cut.

Often, this section is memorable and unique.

A memorable singularity, such a section can reveal the dynamic of the entire space and the ambulation through the project, the site conditions beyond the building itself, and, most importantly, imply the position of the inhabitant and what he or she will view when standing within this particular cut.

Some examples of this powerful imagery are sections I have selected from great architectural works such as the Palazzo dei Congressi by Adalberto Libera [End Page...


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pp. 79-81
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