The Architecture of High Rise

A first look at the architecture of Ben Wheatley's upcoming dystopian thriller

The first trailer for Ben Wheatley's upcoming film adaptation of J G Ballard's 'High Rise' has been released. Presented as a fake real estate advert for the eponymous tower, it contains a smattering of architectural insights into characters' world - a Brutalist(ish), Corbusian(ish) tower marooned in an ocean of car parking. The story was in part inspired by the wave of ambitious post-war housing developments across the UK and Europe. A central character, Anthony Royal, the fictional architect of the tower dwells in its penthouse - a thinly veiled reference to Hungarian-born architect Ernő Goldfinger who famously took a flat at the top of Balfron Tower in Poplar which he designed.

High Rise is set in Outer London far removed from the city proper. Roughly where the Excel Centre now is. Events unfold in the first tower to be completed of a new masterplan by Royals' firm. We think these towers are jointly inspired by Abalos & Herreros' Torre Woremann in Gran Canaria mixed with Neave Brown's Alexandra Road Estate in Camden.

The cast in-situ concrete seen in this reception lobby is surely worthy of an award from the Concrete Society.

Apparently Royal struggled with efficient apartment planning. 

A bold fusion of a suspended polystyrene ceiling and a concrete megastructure.

Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons) hard at work in a room constructed entirely from architectural cliches.

Nothing says 'luxurious penthouse pad' like exposed ducts and shag carpeting. 

 There's something of Charlotte Perriand's Modernist approach to furniture design in this deck chair. 

Seriously, how did they pull off that shuttering?

Wholesome farmhouse chic happily sits alongside Brutalist protrusions. Note the obligatory Eames DSS chair at the kitchen table.

At least 2512 flats!? Assuming a density similar to what Goldfinger achieved at Balfron and Trellick that would make the High Rise's eponymous tower over a kilometer tall.

Was this shot taken a sunrise or sunset? If sunset then those are some lovely roof gardens, if sunrise then they're facing the wrong way.