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Modern Architecture in Film

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Mar 03, 2012 07:52 AM
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by Build LLC last modified Mar 02, 2012

BUILD lists notable modern architecture at the movies.



[Image Credit: Trendir]

On the heels of Oscar Season, it’s only natural that movies are on people’s minds. As architects, watching films doesn’t pertain solely to following the plotline nor catching the work of a favorite actor or director. Just as in real life, we can’t help but pay attention to the built environment that surrounds us, nor can we when watching the latest flick. It’s nice to come across some modernism gracing the scenes of movies, and it’s worth bringing them to light. Here’s a quick hit at a handful that we could recall, both recent and classic.

We’re kicking off the list with Hollywood’s favorite architect, John Lautner. His projects have graced the silver screen for decades. And likely for decades to come:

A Single Man (2009)
Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore
George’s House
Architect: John Lautner

[Image Credit: Apartment Therapy]

The Big Lebowski (1998)
Starring Jeff Bridges and John Goodman
Treehorn Residence
Architect: John Lautner

[Image Credit:]

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Starring: Sean Connery and Jill St. John
Willard Whyte’s House
Architect: John Lautner

[Image Credit:]

It should come as no surprise that a Gosling film would feature some stellar architecture:

Crazy Stupid Love (2011)
Starring: Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell
Jacob’s House
Architect: Belzberg Architects

[Image Credit: Contemporist]

I Am Love (2009)
Starring Tilda Swinton and Flavio Parenti
Recchi House
Architect: Piero Portaluppi

[Image Credit:]

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Starring Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck
Cameron’s House
Architects: A. James Speyer and David Haid


Sometimes, the allure of fiction gets the better us, and the line between reality and make-believe gets blurry. Namely, in the “architecture” observed in the movies that are just a result of set design:

Ghost Writer (2010)
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, and Olivia Williams
Beach House
Architect: None. Set designed on location in Germany.

[Image Credit:]

North by Northwest (1959)
Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and James Mason
Vandamm House
Set design by: MGM, heavily inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright

[Image Credit:]

Then there’s the genre where the world of make-believe is made transparent: animated features. We had to add at least one, you know, for the kids:

The Incredibles (2004)
Created by: Brad Bird for Pixar, Starring: Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter
Incredibles House
Environmental design by: Scott Capler and heavily inspired by Joseph Eichler

[Image Credit:]

Last but not least, an actual FLW house that made it to the movies:

Bottle Rocket (1996)
Starring: Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, and Andrew Wilson
Bob and Future Man’s House
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright

[Image Credit:]

Share any favorite films featuring modern architecture in the comments below.

Cheers, Team BUILD




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