Architecture has always played an important role in films, serving as a backdrop, a setting, and a character in its own right. From the iconic skyscrapers of New York City to the futuristic buildings of science fiction, architecture has helped to define the mood, tone, and style of countless films.
In this context, architecture serves not only as a functional element but as an artistic and creative expression that adds depth, meaning, and cultural significance to the films we watch.
Some of the movies for architecture enthusiasts are listed below:
The Grand Budapest
Ready Player One
The Great Gatsby
1. Black Panther: A celebration of Afrofuturism and futuristic architecture in Wakanda
Style: The architecture of Wakanda is a blend of traditional African design elements and futuristic, high-tech features. The buildings are characterized by sweeping curves, bold geometric shapes, and vibrant colors.
Features: The Wakandan buildings are equipped with advanced technologies, such as holographic interfaces, advanced medical facilities, and sophisticated security systems.
Influences: The architecture of Wakanda draws inspiration from various African cultures, including the Ndebele people of South Africa, the Dogon people of Mali, and the Maasai people of Kenya.
Cultural Importance: The architecture of Wakanda is an integral part of the film’s portrayal of African culture and identity. The buildings are designed to showcase the wealth and sophistication of Wakanda, while also celebrating the diversity and richness of African traditions.
2. The Grand Budapest hotel: A whimsical journey through Art Nouveau
Style: The architecture of the Grand Budapest Hotel is an eclectic mix of Art Nouveau and traditional Alpine design elements. The building is characterized by bold colors, intricate stonework, and ornate decorations.
Features: The hotel features a luxurious lobby, elegant guest rooms, and a rooftop garden with stunning views. The building also incorporates advanced technologies, such as pneumatic tubes for communication and transportation.
Influences: The building also incorporates elements of Eastern European architecture, reflecting the film’s setting in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka.
Cultural Importance: The Grand Budapest Hotel is a visual feast that celebrates the glamour and sophistication of European high society in the early 20th century. The architecture of the building is an integral part of this portrayal, evoking a sense of grandeur and elegance that is central to the film’s themes.
3. The Shining: A haunting masterpiece of modern Gothic architecture
Style: The Overlook Hotel in “The Shining” is a grand but eerie example of Gothic Revival architecture. The building is characterized by intricate stonework, pointed arches, and imposing towers.
Features: The hotel features a grand lobby, a maze-like hedge garden, and dozens of ornate guest rooms. The building also contains hidden rooms and secret passages, adding to its mysterious and foreboding atmosphere.
Influences: The design of the hotel draws inspiration from classic examples of Gothic Revival architecture, such as the Westminster Palace in London. The building also incorporates elements of American Colonial architecture, reflecting its location in the Rocky Mountains.
Cultural Importance: The architecture of the Overlook Hotel is a central part of the film’s haunting and claustrophobic atmosphere.
4. Marie Antoinette: A rococo wonderland fit for a queen
Style: The architecture of “Marie Antoinette” is a stunning example of Rococo design, characterized by ornate decorations, pastel colours, and playful motifs.
Features: The film features several stunning examples of Rococo architecture, including the Palace of Versailles and the Petit Trianon. The buildings are characterized by grand reception halls, lavish private rooms, and meticulously landscaped gardens.
Influences: The design of the buildings draws inspiration from the Rococo style that was popular in France during the 18th century. The architecture also reflects the opulence and excess of the French aristocracy during this period.
Cultural Importance: The scenery in “Marie Antoinette” is used as a setting to depict the luxurious and excessive lifestyle of the French monarchy during the French Revolution. The buildings portray a grand and opulent environment, which sharply contrasts the poverty and suffering of the French citizens.
5. Downton Abbey: Exploring the Edwardian Architecture
Style: The architecture of Downton Abbey is a stunning example of English country house design, characterized by grand reception halls, ornate stonework, and sprawling gardens.
Features: The building features dozens of lavishly decorated rooms, including a grand dining room, a library, and a drawing room. The property also includes a working farm and several outbuildings, such as a coach house and stables.
Influences: The design of Downton Abbey draws inspiration from a variety of architectural styles, including Jacobean and Georgian design. The building also reflects the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized traditional craftsmanship and natural materials.
Cultural Importance: Downton Abbey is a celebration of English heritage and aristocratic culture, and the architecture of the building is an integral part of this portrayal. The building serves as a symbol of the power and prestige, and the lavish interiors are a testament to the wealth and social status.
6. Inception: A mind-bending exploration of futuristic architecture
Style: The architecture of “Inception” is a stunning example of contemporary design, characterized by sleek lines, minimalist interiors, and futuristic technology.
Features: The film features several examples of cutting-edge architecture, including a massive fortress in the form of an abandoned military hospital, and a high-tech research facility built into a remote mountain.
Influences: The architecture of “Inception” draws inspiration from the work of contemporary architects such as Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry, who are known for their innovative designs and use of advanced materials.
Cultural Importance: “Inception” serves as a representation of the film’s examination of the human mind and the nature of reality. The buildings showcased are a reflection of the complex and opposing aspects of the human psyche, and the technology employed represents the advanced state of scientific knowledge.
7. Ready Player One: A virtual reality wonderland with retro-futuristic design
Style: The architecture of “Ready Player One” is a stunning example of futuristic design, characterized by sleek lines, innovative materials, and advanced technology.
Features: The film features several examples of cutting-edge architecture, including the towering OASIS headquarters, which is built in the form of a massive crystal tower, and the vast and sprawling metropolis of Columbus, Ohio, which is home to the majority of the film’s action.
Influences: The architecture of “Ready Player One” draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including contemporary architecture, science fiction, and video game design.
Cultural Importance: The architecture in “Ready Player One” depicts the film’s examination of technology’s role in modern society and virtual reality. The buildings portray human desires and aspirations, while the advanced technology featured in the movie shows a potential future for humanity.
8. Bahubali: Epic Architecture of Indian Forts and Palaces
Style: The architecture in “Bahubali” is a stunning example of Indian design, characterized by intricate stonework, vibrant colours, and ornate decorations.
Features: The film features several examples of Indian architecture, including the massive and imposing Mahishmati fortress, the intricately decorated royal palace, and the sprawling kingdom of Mahishmati itself.
Influences: The movie draws inspiration from a variety of historical and cultural sources, including the ancient Indian kingdoms of the Maurya and Gupta empires, as well as the architecture of medieval Rajput kingdoms.
Cultural Importance: The buildings reflect the complex and diverse nature of Indian architecture and design, and the intricate stonework and vibrant colours are a testament to the craftsmanship and artistic skill of Indian artisans.
9. The Great Gatsby: The Roaring Twenties Art Deco Architecture
Style: The architecture of “The Great Gatsby” is a stunning example of Art Deco design, characterised by geometric shapes, bold colours, and lavish decorations.
Features: The film features several examples of Art Deco architecture, including the sprawling mansion of Jay Gatsby, the grand and ornate Buchanan residence, and the iconic Plaza Hotel.
Influences: Heavily influenced by the Art Deco movement, which was popular in the 1920s and 30s the movie emphasises on luxury, glamour, and modernity.
Cultural Importance: “The Great Gatsby” conveys the film’s investigation of the extravagance and opulence of the Jazz Age. The buildings reflect the opulence and extravagance of the era, and the Art Deco style is a testament to the technological and cultural innovations of the time.
10. Her: A Futuristic Love Story, Where Architecture Meets Technology!
Style: The architecture of “Her” is characterized by its sleek and minimalist design. The buildings are often monolithic and feature smooth curves and clean lines. The interiors are sparse and uncluttered, with simple furnishings and neutral colours.
Features: The buildings in “Her” often incorporate advanced technologies, such as holographic interfaces, voice-activated controls, and automated systems. The city is also filled with moving walkways and other forms of efficient transportation.
Influences: The architecture of “Her” draws inspiration from various modernist and futuristic design movements, such as the International Style and the Metabolist Movement.
Cultural Importance: The elements in “Her” signify the film’s contemplation of the human connection with technology and the impact of its advancements on our society. The sparse design and advanced features emphasize our growing dependence on digital devices and the manner in which they are revolutionizing our physical surroundings.