ARCHI: Peculiar and spectacular, famous houses from movies

Architecture and cinema are two art forms that coexist and complement each other. The following houses, architecture symbols, have also become iconic in films.

1/ Built on the hills of Genesee Mountain in 1963, Charles Deaton’s Sculptured House and its futuristic design met with the audience with Woody Allen. Since the visit of the director and Diane Keaton for the filming of Sleeper (1973), the house has even been renamed Sleeper House.

2/ The Vandamm House of Frank Lloyd Wright has become a cinema landmark thanks to Alfred Hitchcock’s film North by Northwest (1959).

3/ Frank Lloyd Wright is also the designer of the mysterious Ennis House. This Neo-Mayan house and its imposing appearance overlooks Hollywood. It has hosted the set of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner in 1982.

4/ The amazing stairs with a view of the Mediterranean Sea remain etched in people’s memories. Jean-Luc Godard has turned them into a key feature of his most beautiful shots in Le Mépris (1963). Sited on the edge of a cliff in Capri, the Casa Malaparte is a splendid contemporary work of architecture, designed in 1937 by Adalberto Libera.

5/ Its shapes are reminiscent of UFOs myths. Built in 1960 on Hollywood Hills, John Lautner’s Chemosphere appeared on the TV show The Outer Limits, in Brian De Palma’s Body Double and even on Charlie’s Angels in 2000. Some of his other creations have also been acclaimed by Hollywood films, such as The Elrod House hosted Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and the Schaffer House was at the centre of A Single Man by Tom Ford (2009).

6/ The Villa Leopolda has been built in 1902 in Villefranche-sur-Mer, upon request of Leopold II of Belgium. The sumptuous property, boasting a panoramic sea view and Cap Ferrat, was the prestigious set of Mickael Powell’s The Red Shoes (1948) and Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief (1955).

7/ Some have wished to get inside, other have wondered if it was real. El Fureidis is real, even though its façade has been used in the main outside location shots of Tony Montana’s mansion in Brian De Palma’s Scarface, the villa is nested in a green setting in the centre of Santa Barba, California.

8/ In Pasadena, California, the Gamble House by architects Charles and Henry Green (1908) has witnessed the creation of Doc Emmet Brown’s craziest inventions, in Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future (1985). 

Translated by Sylvain Muller -