The Absent House

Directed by Ruben Abruna

55 minutes / Color
Spanish / English subtitles
Release: 2014
Copyright: 2013

When Puerto Rican architect Fernando Abruna Charneco began designing buildings in the 1970s, many called him as crazy for putting nature first... a practice which later would be heralded as "sustainable green architecture."

For more than 30 years, he confronted climate change with sustainable constructions: including a house without a roof that is completely independent of the power and water utilities, a micro-eco-house on wheels, a pre-designed sustainable house, a parachute-house and a solar-electric car.

film still

Abruna Charneco inherited the design mantra of "doing more with less" from R. Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the Geodesic Dome and the Dymaxion car, for whom he worked as an apprentice.

In times of climate change and the dramatic challenges it poses, THE ABSENT HOUSE delivers a much-needed, hopeful and proactive message that we can live sustainably while preserving the planet for future generations.

"A positive, exciting documentary that will make viewers optimistic about the possibilities of changing the way we create environments in which to live and work."—Video Librarian

"Architect Fernando Abruna Charneco prioritizes nature in his ingenious designs. In the 1970s, critics scoffed; now, however, his innovations exemplify the green architecture movement."—Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital

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Select Accolades

  • 2015 Latin American Studies Association Film Festival (LASA)
  • 2015 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
  • 2014 Visions du Reel, Nyon, Switzerland
  • 2014 Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival
  • 2014 CineTekton Film and Architecture Film Festival
  • 2014 Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival
  • 2014 Greenbuild Conference and Expo
  • 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
  • 2014 DOK Market Leipzig Documentary Film Festival


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