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“Green Over Gray – Emilio Ambasz”: The Documentary on The Prophet of Green Architecture Goes Global

on June 28, 2024 at 6:40 pm under , , , , , , , , , ,

After its world premiere at the Milan Design Film Festival (IT), here is the extensive screening schedule for the film on master Emilio Ambasz: an auteur reflection on the need to recalibrate the relationship between the built environment and Nature.

Milan (IT), June 2024 – “Green Over Gray-Emilio Ambasz“, a film produced by Muse Factory and directed by Francesca Molteni and Mattia Colombo (Italy), concept by Fulvio Irace (Italy), narrates the revolution of Green narrates the revolution of Green Architecture through four projects by its pioneer: the Casa de Retiro Espiritual in Seville (1975, Spain), the Lucille Halsell Conservatory at the San Antonio Botanical Garden (1982, Texas, USA), the ACROS Building in Fukuoka (1990, Japan), and the Ospedale dell’Angelo (Angel’s Hospital) in Mestre-Venice (2008, Italy).

From July to December 2024, the film will be featured in the official lineups of:

  • ICFF Festival (July, Toronto, CA)
  • Architexture 2024 (July, Bologna, IT)
  • Symposium international d’art contemporain de Baie Saint-Paul (August, Quebec, CA)
  • ADFF (September, NYC, US)
  • Film and Architecture (September, Prague, CZ)
  • Film My Design (October, Cairo, EG)
  • AFFR Architecture Film Festival (October, Rotterdam, NL)
  • ADFF (October, Toronto, CA)
  • ADFF (November, Vancouver, CA)
  • BAFF-Beirut Art Film Festival (November, Beirut, LB)
  • Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (Nov.-Dec., Quebec, CA)

Emilio Ambasz, Argentine by birth and cosmopolitan in life, is one of the most extraordinary design figures in the history of architecture and design at various scales.

Recognized and celebrated worldwide as the ‘father, poet, and prophet of green architecture‘ (James Wines has called him ‘the Messiah‘ of this vision), Ambasz has become a superb interpreter of a message of reconciliation between the natural realm and the artificial world.

Pioneer of the much-touted (today) green architecture, his ideas, solutions, and award-winning achievements remain at the forefront of the debate in international design and poetic disciplines, as evidenced by the four works selected for the film.

Inspired by his very personal philosophy summarized in the formula ‘Green over the grey’ (from which the film takes its title), his visions and creations have influenced and fascinated many of the most renowned names in contemporary architecture.

Anticipator of the debate on the relationship between man and the environment by decades, Ambasz recently featured in Emerging Ecologies at the MOMA in New York: the first museum exhibition of works (150) examining the relationship between architecture and the environmental movement in the United States.

Emilio Ambasz states: “Every building is an intrusion into the plant kingdom and is a challenge to nature: we must devise an architecture that stands as the embodiment of a covenant of reconciliation between nature and construction, designing buildings so intrinsically connected to the surrounding environment that they cannot be separated from each other.”

His vision of architecture and its responsibility towards nature, humanity, landscape, and the environment are also addressed in the documentary through exclusive interviews with architects Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, Toyo Ito, James Wines, Tase Michio, botanist Stefano Mancuso, Columbia University professor Barry Bergdoll, and Fulvio Irace, architecture historian and emeritus professor at the Polytechnic University of Milan.

Original models, archival images, unpublished footage of the designs, shots of current life unfolding within the buildings and gardens, testimonies from gardeners and citizens, sequences of plants, trees, and animals populating his projects, along with quotes from the architect and excerpts from fables written by Emilio Ambasz and read by himself, shape an unconventional documentary: a testimony to how architecture can influence habits, affect behaviours, deepen the relationship with the natural world, and foster awareness of human impact on the planet.

Also with strong poetic accents: “An architect can be the guardian of the desert of cities created by man or be the wizard who creates eternal forms. The context in which the architect is called to operate can change, but the task remains the same: to give poetic form to the pragmatic,” says Emilio Ambasz.

His voice, his thoughts, his figure often in backlight accompany Green Over Gray like a karst river, an author’s tale that is a magical potion of images, words, and visions.

Emilio Ambasz
Honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, the Royal Institute of British Architects, Honorary Member of the National Institute of Architecture, boasts an impressive list of tributes collected worldwide: Honorary Degrees at the Polytechnic of Turin and the Alma Mater University of Bologna, 4 Golden Compasses, the National Career Award IN/Architecture, dozens of awards and recognitions at the global level, including the President’s Award from the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization. Important retrospectives have been dedicated to him worldwide, from the MoMA in New York (twice) to the Triennale in Milan (twice), to the Reina Sofia in Madrid, passing through Tokyo, Geneva, Bordeaux, Zurich, Chicago, Philadelphia, Mexico City, San Diego, and Saint Louis.

A summary of the long list of international awards is available on Emilio Ambasz’ Wikipedia page.

Emilio Ambasz new website:

Credits for “Green Over Gray-Emilio Ambasz”:

  • Directed by Francesca Molteni e Mattia Colombo
  • Concept by Fulvio Irace
  • Editing Silvia Biagioni
  • Cinematography Mattia Colombo, Timon De Graaf Boelè
  • Original Score Luca Maria Baldini
  • Producer Claudia Adragna, Gaia Maritano

Emilio Ambasz: press office
Ferdinando Crespi,

Emilio Ambasz: info and general inquiries
Giulia Pellegrino,


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