Building Film

By Smriti Agrahari

Iconic American Architectures have been known to get the Hollywood treatment from time to time, these magnificent designs so often, used as sets to create a mood in a film. As we venture into a new coffee table book, The Iconic American House Architectural Masterworks since 1900 by Dominic Bradbury, we learn the profuse artists who have laid engineering brilliance that has inspired Hollywood films as well as modern-day architecture in their unique vision and style. Enjoy where architecture and cinema come together here, in Building film.

Main image on left Sculptured House 1965 Charles Deaton image Richard Powers

The book, the Iconic American House treasures the unconventional architectural works of art in American buildings since the 20th century. The book draws admirers inside to take a sneak peep into the lavish masterpieces from the greatest architects of the times.

Tower House 2012 Thomas Gluck/Gluck+ Picture Richard Powers

The list includes the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, Charles Deaton, Richard Neutra, Peter Eisenman, and Thomas Gluck whose building we have utilised in numerous iconic movies and pop videos.

Frank Lloyd Wright had contributed to calling the most attention to American architecture within his long working years. His work had been persuaded by the natural world, he used accessible technology to bring together buildings and nature. He was a visionary who created iconic structures like the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, which are now designated as historic landmarks and attract Hollywood filmmakers as well as general admirers from coast to coast.

One of the most famous locations ever used in a film of a striking house is the Hitchcock film North by Northwest. The baddie The Vandamm House is only modelled on the infamous home Fallingwater house by Frank Lloyd Wright and was entirely built as a set in Hollywood.

Fallingwater Frank Lloyd Wright 1939 Iimage Richard powers

However, the evident visual treat seen in the James Bond movie “Diamonds are forever” shot at Palm Springs by Frank Lloyd Wright. The film is also littered with sculptural concrete and steel marvels, and we couldn’t think of 007 without them,

Game of Thrones admirers, will know Mereen Palace the home of The Queen of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen. These buildings have a feeling of monolithic and prehistoric take which reflects the storyline of the famed series. This is inspired by the world-famous architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House and the Hollyhock House.

In Men in Black the chase sequence of Will Smith and his encountering an alien too witnessed the Manhattan’s Guggenheim Museum, buliding by Lloyd Wright.

Interestingly enough the museum shares screen location with the film fame “The International”.

John Lautner adopted Frank’s philosophy of “organic architecture,” which promotes harmony between man and nature. He in his fifty-five years active, he explored the reciprocity between mankind, space and nature.

Despite his excellence at work it was overlooked in his lifetime and was recognised later in documentries, films, commercials like in Iron Man, The Stark Residence sets for an example of conceptual architecture.

Glass house Philip Johnson 1949 Image Richard Powers

Philip Johnson was an awarded American architect recognised for his modern and postmodern architecture. Glass House in New Canaan and many more works to his name. Hollywood recognised his bold futuristic vision in Metropolis, perhaps the mother of all cinematic utopias.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe influenced an entire generation of architects during tenured of 60-years, Mies established a design vocabulary that helped define modern architecture. Farnsworth House is one of the most significant works, of course, some wonderful scenes can be visualised in the setting of this iconic building; it has never been actually shot in but has been replicated and used in movies like ‘Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’.

Peter Eisenman’s unique approach to design projects is to consider the layers of physical and cultural archaeologies at each site, not just the obvious contexts and programs of a building. His designs have been featured in numerous films, featuring University of Pheonix Stadium.

Oscar Niemeyer was considered as key inspiration to modern architecture, known for his design of civic buildings for Brasília, as well as his collaboration with other architects on the United Nations in NY. His exploration of the aesthetic possibilities has been highly influential in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Niemeyer was most famous for his use of abstract forms and curves.

The UN hall in “The Interpreter” by Wallace K. Harrison, Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier, New York, exhibits the aesthetic influence in the films.

Mabel and Charles Ennis’s own home, Arguably one of the most celebrated pieces of architecture in America, Ennis House was made famous by its starring role in Blade Runner, among other Hollywood hits.

Exhibited Richard Power’s photography. The book curates the lineup of floor plans by the unrivalled designers as well as their biographies expressed by journalist Dominic Bradbury.

The 50 houses featured in this edition mention conscientious detail of the same. It satisfies the hunt for architectural brilliance. The book talks about homes which in many ways reflect the socio-economic scenarios of the present world and the celebrated architects from time to time.


Check out the book here.

Image on left Richard Powers

If you enjoyed reading Dwell in Luxury then why not try Redefining Architecture here

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