Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  85 minutes
Date:  2012
Genre:  Expository
Language:  German; English; French / English subtitles
Grade level: 8-12, college, adult
Color/BW:  Color
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Dreaming of a Tree House

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An exploration of the design and philosophy behind a 20 year-old experimental, ecological collective housing project in the center of Berlin.

Dreaming of a Tree House

DREAMING OF A TREE HOUSE is a film about the pioneering community-building project of the world-famous architect Frei Otto in Berlin, called the Okohaus-an experimental, ecological, customized housing project in the city center.

Including interviews with Frei Otto, Christine Kanstinger-Otto, Hermann Kendel, Yona Friedman, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, and other involved architects, planners, and inhabitants, the film shows the development and the philosophy of the project, which was built for the International Building Exhibition in Berlin 1987 (IBA).

The 'Ecohouse' project hosts a number of experimental solutions to adaptable home building and personalization. The film explores the ideas that motivated the project, its underlying sustainability themes, and asks how these ambitions were realized.

DREAMING OF A TREE HOUSE ultimately asks: What can we learn from the Okohaus? How can its design, building process, and the experience of its 20-plus year occupation inform ecological and design issues currently relevant to our society?

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** World Premiere, 2011 Architecture Film Festival (Rotterdam)


Main credits

Lendt, Beate (film director)
Lendt, Beate (film producer)
Lendt, Beate (cinematographer)
Lindner, Gerald (film producer)

Other credits

Music, Vladimir Rakic.

Distributor credits

A film by Beate Lendt

Docuseek2 subjects

Environmental Design
Sustainable Architecture
History of Architecture

Distributor subjects

Cultural Anthropology
Environmental Film Festivals
Urban Planning
Urban Studies


Frei Otto; architect; Berlin; architecture; treehouse; sustainability; planning; design; housing; Houses; building techniques; sustainable; Berlin; Germany; Okohaus; Christine Kanstinger-Otto; Hermann Kendel; Yona Friedman; International Building Exhibition in Berlin; urban centers; development; redevelopment; documentary; "Dreaming of a Tree House"; Icarus Films;

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