Rory Fraser

Rory Fraser

"Follies, the subject of my new series, are portals to the past, but the themes on which they riff are timeless: architectural innovation, self-expression, escapism, and politics. Here, I’ve selected eight films from Shelter’s exceptional range that explore some of these topics, from buildings as biography and the artistry behind them, to the revolutions they incur, and the awe they inspire. Like the panes of some ancient window illuminating a hidden room, each of these films give a different insight into the essence of architecture. They leave you buzzing for more."

About Rory Fraser:
Rory studied English at Oxford University. On graduating, he wrote ‘Follies: An Architectural Journey’ which was described as a ‘compendium of joy’ by The Times, ‘blithely enjoyable’ with ‘charm, amusement and light touch erudition’ by The Spectator, and compared to Evelyn Waugh's travel writing by the Wall Street Journal. Last year, Rory completed an MPhil in Architectural History at Cambridge University on the English Baroque. He lives in London where he divides his time between writing, lecturing and painting architectural commissions.

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Rory Fraser
  • Architecture of Infinity

    Beyond the seeing and explaining of buildings, this architecture documentary deals with a very specific aspect of the effects of space: transcendence.

  • The Mount in Miniature

    Architect and artist James Wade shows us the process involved for a special commission, a Georgian House (1800) that was the birthplace of renown naturalist Charles Darwin.

  • A Simpler Way

    The film follows a community in Australia who came together to explore and demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to global crises. Throughout the year the group build tiny houses, plant veggie gardens, practice simple living, and discover the challenges of living in community. The film fe...

  • Luc Durand: Leaving Delhi

    Canadian architect Luc Durand studied in Switzerland with Montparnasse Tower's Eugene Beaudoin, built numerous structures in Nehru's India, designed both the Quebec Pavilion for the iconic Expo ’67 and the monumental Athletes’ Housing complex for the 1976 Olympic Games. Now at 84, he's back in Ne...

  • Where Architects Live

    8 architects, 8 houses, 8 stories, 8 paradigms of contemporary living. The diary of an exploration into the houses and private spaces of 8 protagonists of world architecture: Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskin...

  • Oikos

    The multi-award-winning Oikos (pronounced eekos) is a sculptural creation that compliments the rugged precipice on which it perches. Extraordinary external angles enhance a dramatic, open-plan interior. Inside, smartly designed spaces with staggering outlooks are, from every angle, framed by brea...

  • Eco Containers

    Nestled within the stunning and peaceful bush of South Gippsland and built by sustainable building company Modhouse, the construction took on a family shared approach in the collaboration of the design and build. Father, daughter and son-in-law all came together to repurpose 3 shipping containers...

  • Larnook

    Tucked into a private corner of a 160-acre flower farm in the Dandenong Ranges, this shipping container retreat has been designed with consideration for its inhabitants and the surrounding environment.

    Designer: Kate Walker, Kate Walker Designs

  • Cortes Kiln

    Nestled amongst the trees in the Victorian High Country on a 94-year-old walnut farm, the project is an Architecturally designed renovation on a 100-year-old existing Tobacco Kiln. Using the existing shack’s timber frame while repairing its awkward join to the kiln, a new separation brings in nor...

  • Mies on Scene: Barcelona in Two Acts

    The Barcelona Pavilion, the masterpiece with which Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich staged their revolutionary ideas in 1929, changed the history of architecture forever. It only existed for eight months but paradoxically its image was always alive in the minds of generations of architects aroun...

  • Christianity

    Across the world, there’s an astonishing variety of buildings, ancient and modern, humble and grand, that are sacred to Christianity.

    More than mosques and synagogues, Christian places for praise and devotion have been created in every conceivable size and shape. And often their form is a functi...

  • Judaism

    Judaism visits one of the earliest synagogues on the mountain fort of Masada, the Gothic Old-New Synagogue in Prague and nineteenth-century houses of worship in Budapest, Liverpool and New York, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Beth Sholom, near Philadelphia.

  • Islam

    How do very different mosques across the world express the fundamentals of Islam? And what are the stories of other buildings of the faith, like madrassas – the religious schools – and mausoleums?

    Islam travels to a diverse range of Islamic places of worship in Agra, Córdoba, Istanbul, Jerusalem...