WTTW is pleased to announce the premiere of a new half-hour documentary hosted by popular Chicago history and architecture expert Geoffrey Baer, profiling the life and work of acclaimed Paris-based architects Marc and Nada Breitman, 2018 winners of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame. ARCHITECTS MARC & NADA BREITMAN: TALK OF THE TOWN premieres on WTTW11 and on wttw.com/breitman on Thursday, March 22 at 8:00 pm, repeating Friday, March 30 at 8:30 pm and Friday, March 23 at 2:00 pm on WTTW Prime 11.2.
Parisian architects Marc and Nada Breitman believe in the town. They live and work on a charming block in Paris. They love the beauty and complexity of traditional French architecture. And they design social housing. The Breitmans’ designs have played a role in the development of towns and communities all over France, adding town squares and attractive social housing to otherwise bland Parisian suburbs, and creating diverse neighborhoods where there were none. Throughout the economically-depressed northern mining towns of France, the Breitmans have restructured entire blocks of what were once rows of worker-housing to create walkable neighborhoods, transforming these forgotten areas into livable communities. And in Amsterdam, they designed a mosque and apartment complex for the immigrant Turkish community that sits comfortably in the surrounding streetscape. This new special takes us inside the charming and thoughtful world of these two architects, as they lead Geoffrey Baer through the streets of Paris, northern France and Amsterdam.
ARCHITECTS MARC & NADA BREITMAN: TALK OF THE TOWN is hosted by Geoffrey Baer, produced by Daniel Andries, written by Baer, Andries and Elizabeth Reeves, photographed by Tim Boyd, edited by Paul Thornton with an original score composed and performed by Nicholas Tremulis. Website Producer is Daniel Hautzinger. Executive Producer is Dan Soles.
ARCHITECTS MARC & NADA BREITMAN: TALK OF THE TOWN and its immersive website, wttw.com/breitman, will give audiences the opportunity to explore the works of the architects in images, video, and text. Visitors can view a photo slideshow, watch web-exclusive video and the program in its entirety plus outtakes from the production, and learn more about the Breitmans’ lives. Also included will be more information about the Breitmans’ innovative and unusual approach to social housing, and travel diaries by producer Daniel Andries and host Geoffrey Baer, in which they share behind-the-scenes photos and stories about the experience of producing the documentary.
Major funding for ARCHITECTS MARC AND NADA BREITMAN: TALK OF THE TOWN is provided by the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture through the generous support from The Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust.
Geoffrey Baer is an Emmy-winning producer, writer, and host known for his masterful storytelling, conversational style, and contagious enthusiasm. Nationally, Geoffrey hosted the acclaimed 2013 production 10 Buildings that Changed America, and, in 2016, the three-part series 10 that Changed America, as well as documentaries on architects Michael Graves and Robert A. M. Stern, along with Saved from the Wrecking Ball, about Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. Geoffrey is also familiar to Chicago viewers as the host and writer of numerous extraordinarily popular feature-length WTTW tours of the Chicago area’s architecture and history, which he has conducted by boat, by ‘L’ train, by bicycle, by car, through a magical “time machine,” and on foot. His special The Foods of Chicago: A Delicious History was nominated for a James Beard Award. Geoffrey appears regularly on WTTW’s flagship nightly newsmagazine program Chicago Tonight, answering viewers’ questions about Chicago architecture and history in a segment called “Ask Geoffrey.” He has been a docent tour guide for the Chicago Architecture Foundation since 1987.
Daniel Andries is a Senior Producer at WTTW in Chicago. Andries has produced a number of documentaries on architects, including nationally distributed programs such as 10 Towns that Changed America and documentaries on Robert A.M. Stern and Michael Graves, and shows about Chicago architect Thomas Beeby, Washington D.C.-based architect David M. Schwarz, Italian architect Pier Carlo Bontempi, and Florida-based architect Scott Merrill. His work at WTTW includes Emmy-award winning programming on artists, from the weekly arts magazine series Artbeat Chicago and Arts Across Illinois to Beauty Rises: Four Lives in the Arts, which weaves together the story of four Illinois artists building to a premiere of a new work, and Cannot Live Without: Illinois Artists At Work highlighting the insights of five Illinois Arts Council Fellows. Three feature-length documentaries explored the history of Chicago’s Irish, African-American, and LGBT population. He has six Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards and nominations for dozens more, as well as honors from festivals and the Society of Professional Journalists.
The Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame is an award given annually since 2003 to a living architect whose work “embodies the highest ideals of traditional and classical architecture in contemporary society, and creates a positive cultural, environmental and artistic impact.” WTTW has created half-hour documentaries focused on the winners of the prize since 2011.
WTTW is the PBS member station in Chicago, committed to creating and presenting unique media content across distinct television and digital channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW World, WTTW PBS Kids 24/7, wttw.com and the PBS/WTTW video app. Recognized for award-winning journalism and local productions such as Chicago Tonight, Chicago River Tour, Check, Please!, digital-first series Urban Nature and Foodphiles and national productions 10 That Changed America, Soundstage, and Nature Cat, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s public media content. Connect with WTTW on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.