What It Takes to Make a Home

John Hill
30. November 2020
Star Apartments by Michael Maltzan (Photo: Iwan Baan)

Produced by the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), What It Takes to Make a Home is the first documentary in a three-part series that examines how people live in changing societies. First released in October 2019, CCA has made the half-hour film available online.

What It Takes to Make a Home focuses on homelessness through the work of two architects on two continents: Michael Maltzan in Los Angeles and Alexander Hagner in Vienna. Before "visiting" two projects completed in 2013 — Maltzan's Star Apartments and VinziRast by Hagner's firm, gaupenraub — viewers see how homeless individuals live and are treated in their respective cities. Conceived by the CCA's Giovanna Borasi and directed by Daniel Schwartz, the film does an excellent job in describing the nuanced reality of homelessness, a condition often described in broad strokes, as well as capturing how the two architects address the problem.


In addition to uploading the documentary film to YouTube, the CCA held an online screening on the platform on November 27. It was followed by a live panel with Cristina Cielo, Juha Kaakinen, and María Inés Plaza Lazo, and moderated by Giovanna Borasi, and it also included a preview of the next film in the three-part series, which looks at the increasing number of people living alone. Watch an archive of that event here.

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