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By MARK FAVERMAN  |  January 19, 2006

Iranian-born, English resident Zaha Hadid is considered the major woman architect in the world today, and she’s on every list of major architects. A Day with Zaha Hadid (January 19 at 3:10 pm; January 22 at 10:30 am) finds her at an exhibition in Vienna discussing her work of the last decade: art museums in Rome and Cincinnati, a BMW plant in Leipzig, a ski jump in Innsbruck, a science center in Wolfsburg.

Richard Meier in Rome: Building a Church in the City of Churches (January 19 at 2 pm; January 28 at 10:30 am) is about his white modernist Jubilee Church in a working-class suburb of Rome. Looking oddly like a brother of Frank Gehry, Meier does a walking tour of his favorite churches and squares in Rome’s neighborhoods that’s interspersed with a detailed visual description of his sail-inspired church. Álvaro Siza Transforming Reality (January 26 at 6 pm) is about Portugal’s most renowned modernist architect. After the fall of Portugal’s dictatorship, the melding of indigenous architectural forms with international ideas resulted in the Oporto School; Siza is its leading figure.

Mark Kidel’s Norman Foster (January 25 at 8 pm; February 2 at 4 pm) explores the life and work of the British master modernist up to the mid ’90s. Foster’s firm has completed a wide range of projects including the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank in Hong Kong, Stansted Airport in Essex, England, and the dome of the new Reichstag in Berlin. Besides Foster himself, the movie includes interviews with his partners and colleagues. The film demonstrates how Sir Norman’s firm is involved in technological innovations and forms dedicated to architectural detailing and craftsmanship.

Watching films about great architects gives us all the opportunity to evaluate the creative process. This MFA film series affords us a detailed picture of some of those who have been and will be shaping the Boston skyline.
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