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.

Inside Balmoral

Stream Inside Balmoral with BBC Select

Since Queen Victoria first acquired it in 1852, the British royal family have found solace at Balmoral. This enormous private estate in the Scottish Highlands is where monarchs have holidayed, hidden, plotted, and played.

The inside view of this secretive sanctuary reveals some of the extraordinary features found at Balmoral and the tales of intrigue involve the figures who have resided there.

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.

The Queen's Palaces

Stream the Queen's Palaces on BBC Select

Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. From Henry VIII to Harry and Meghan, these buildings have been part of British royal history for hundreds of years.

Fiona Bruce tells the story of these amazing places in this majestic BBC royal documentary.

What secrets lurk in the long history of the Queen’s Palaces and what treasures can be discovered within their walls?

George Clarke's Remarkable Renovations

George Clarke's Remarkable Renovations

Across Britain, over 600,000 buildings lie unused and unloved. Nearly a third of them are commercial. Shops, post offices, bars and banks are closing down as towns and cities enter a new era. Architect George Clarke meets the brave people trying to breathe new life into these overlooked properties, transforming local landmarks into unique and extraordinary family homes.

This show is not currently available on BBC Select but browse through the previous titles for more Architecture & design documentaries available to stream on BBC Select.