skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

John Portman: A Life Of Building

Airs Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Architect John Portman among the buildings of his signature project, Peachtree Center in Atlanta.

Yintai Centre in Beijing.
Enlarge this image

Above: Yintai Centre in Beijing.

The atrium of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis is one of John Portman’s most dramatic.
Enlarge this image

Above: The atrium of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis is one of John Portman’s most dramatic.

"John Portman: A Life Of Building" examines the work and legacy of one of the world's most daring and influential architects. Over the last 45 years, John Portman's iconic urban structures and eye-popping interiors steadily rose in 60 cities across four continents, helping redefine cityscapes in the United States and skylines in Asia.

Once considered a maverick because he eschewed long-accepted industry standards, critics and leading architecture schools now fully embrace Portman's design approach, which emphasizes function, purpose and sensory experience.

"John Portman: A Life Of Building" showcases Portman's buildings using dramatic time-lapse footage. The film also features interviews with Portman, architecture critic Paul Goldberger (The New Yorker), Harvard professors Mack Scogin and Michael Hays, business associates Mickey Steinberg and A.J. Robinson, architect Jacque Robertson, art critic Robert Craig and Portman's children.

"John Portman: A Life Of Building" is on Facebook. John Portman & Associates is on Facebook, and you can follow @JPortmanAssoc on Twitter.

Video

Trailer: John Portman: A Life Of Building

Above: This film examines the work and legacy of one of the world's most daring and influential architects. Over the last 45 years, John Portman's iconic urban structures and eye-popping interiors steadily rose in 60 cities across four continents, helping redefine cityscapes in the United States and skylines in Asia.

Video

Watch construction of Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Above: This 1,200-room convention headquarters hotel is positioned to maximize views of the San Diego Bay. With a significant use of glass on the exterior to reflect the sky and surrounding skyline, this hotel serves to complement the activities along the bay and fulfill the hotel needs of the convention center. The podium contains 106,050 sf (9,850 sm) of meeting space, including a grand ballroom, a junior ballroom, and 22 meeting rooms. Other amenities include a business center, retail, health club, lounge, café, as well as the Vela restaurant and Spa Aquazul. Courtesy of John Portman & Associates

Video

The Evolution of Peachtree Center: 5 Decades of Design

Above: The evolution of Peachtree Center, a multi-block mixed-use project in Atlanta, Georgia. Master planned and designed by John Portman & Associates. This video first aired publicly as part of the High Museum Atlanta's exhibit, "John Portman: Art & Architecture." The exhibit has gone on tour worldwide. To learn more, please visit portmanusa.com.

Video

Concept for Jinan Financial Plaza

Above: Charged with creating an architectural landmark which would become the leading player in Jinan-Shandong Province Capital City, John Portman & Associates designed a small mixed-use village where the different program components each have a distinctive identity, while the functions are conveniently integrated, complementing and working well together without impinging on each other. An interesting combination of curvilinear and rectilinear forms, our design acknowledges and harmonizes well with the axial governmental buildings on the East side of the project site, with the soft landscape elements through out the East Jinan CBD core, as well as with the rounded forms of the nearby athletic center and mountain topography. Courtesy of John Portman & Associates

Video

National Expo Exposition Complex

Above: In designing the National Expo Exhibition Complex, our task was not to simply design the world's largest exhibition center, but to create a new standard of what trade means in the 21st century. From the footprint and form of the building, to the programming of the different functions, everything is focused on continuous circulation. The result is an enhanced, efficient experience for exhibition planners and exhibitors, and easy navigation for the attendees. The space flows visually as well as functionally, thanks to glazing, skylights and open areas between interior floors. Natural light and ventilation streams throughout as the delineation between indoor and outdoor space is blurred. The roof is a mosaic of solar panels, creating the iconic exterior while also becoming a major sustainability feature of the project. At night, the glass curtain wall is lit from within, turning the entire building into a brilliant lantern that draws people to its glow. The concept of the four-leaf plan configuration recalling the legend of a four-leaf clover was designed as part of a first stage design competition; this concept was adopted by the Client as the basis of a second stage design competition. While we did not win the second stage competition, our design concept remains an integral part of the project to be completed in 2015. Courtesy of John Portman & Associates