Visit the project
“I imagined a highrise on the web where every window is a different place in the world.”
Katerina Cizek, Director, to VervePhoto
The residential highrise is the most commonly built housing unit of the past 50 years. The National Film Board of Canada’s multi-year Highrise initiative explores highrise living in all its dimensions—social, cultural, and environmental. In the inaugural Highrise project Out My Window, director Katerina Cizek documents the lives of apartment dwellers in cities as diverse as Toronto, Havana, Istanbul, and Phnom Penh. Cizek and her Toronto-based team collaborated with highrise residents, professional filmmakers, and photojournalists in the featured cities—over 100 people in all. While Cizek occasionally shot on location, she most often directed the project remotely from Toronto, using the phone, Skype, email, and social media to communicate with local collaborators.
The interface of Out My Window evokes a residential apartment building. Each window in this virtual highrise leads to an apartment in a different city—13 in all, spread across five continents. Cizek and interactive design company Imaginarius used over 1,000 photographs to create immersive 360° panoramas of each apartment. Website visitors are free to explore these images. Each is filled with clickable hotspots that unlock stories and multimedia related to life in the highrise, including several panoramic videos shot with the 360° Yellowbird video camera.