Architecture & design documentaries

Get inspired by some must-see documentaries on architectural, product and graphic design. From the hidden architecture of Roman Italy to the design used for some of the world's best-known brands, BBC Select looks at the influence of design and architecture throughout history. If you live in the US or Canada, you can watch the best design and architecture documentaries.

Grand Designs

Watch Grand Designs S16 on BBC Select

Building your own dream home is the ultimate fantasy for many. But what happens when that dream turns into a nightmare?

In series 16 of Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud introduces some of Britain’s most ambitious self-building projects, as intrepid individuals attempt to design and construct their own homes. Along the way, these budding builders encounter countless issues that threaten to derail their vision.

Rome's Invisible City

Stream Rome's Invisible City on BBC Select

Rome’s skyline is as breathtaking now as when it was first built. But that iconic cityscape is only half the story; there’s another Rome that few people have ever seen – underground.

With exclusive access beneath Rome’s streets, classicist Dr Michael Scott and his team of experts explore the wonders that can be found there, including underground quarries, ornate temples and vast water cisterns, revealing for the first time the full story of the ancient world’s most awe-inspiring city and the people who lived in it.

Italy's Invisible Cities

Watch Italy's Invisible Cities on BBC Select

Using cutting-edge technology and 3D scanners, the hidden treasures that lie beneath Naples, Venice and Florence are exposed and explored.

Dr Michael Scott and Alexander Armstrong discover hidden tunnels, historic passageways and even long-forgotten torture chambers.

By delving into the unseen architecture of these famous places, a lost history is unearthed.

World's Weirdest Homes

Watch World's Weirdest Homes on BBC Select

Get ready to drop in and pay a visit to some of the most bizarre, baffling, confusing and frankly ridiculous homes on the planet.

This unique documentary gives you privileged access to some of the most fascinating and unique properties in the world, including a brief stay at Mr Toilet’s toilet house (you can probably guess the theme of that one) and a cargo ship that’s been cut in half and stuck on a cliff.

The Art of Architecture

Stream The Art of Architecture on BBC Select

They are the most impressive and, on occasion, controversial structures on the planet. Buildings that need to seamlessly meld the artistic vision and creativity of the architect with the practical necessities that a functioning construction requires.

BBC Select travels the globe in this astonishing art documentary that unearths the secrets that went into the creation of these amazing buildings.