10 Modern Homes That Made a Star Appearance in Films
View Photos

10 Modern Homes That Made a Star Appearance in Films

Add to
By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Architecture took a starring role when these 10 modernist homes appeared on the big screen. Can you guess where you recognize them from?

The Elrod House

John Lautner’s Elrod House is a modernist gem located in the desert of Palm Springs. Commissioned by interior designer Arthur Elrod in 1968, the cliffside residence appeared as Willard Whyte’s hideaway in the James Bond classic, Diamonds Are Forever. It's become one of the most recognizable homes of the era. 

Key features of the Elrod House include a circular concrete construction, retractable glass walls, and a swimming pool that sweeps into the living space.

The Overby House 

Designed by Swedish architect John Robert Nilsson, the Overby House is located on Varmdo, one of the small outlying islands near Stockholm. The sleek contemporary summer home, which features floor-to-ceiling glass, was featured in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The matte black exterior and floor-to-ceiling glass of Villa Överby sit flush on limestone slabs.

The Skyline Residence

The Skyline Residence, which was designed by Belzberg Architects and featured in Crazy Stupid Love, sits atop a ridgeline in the Hollywood Hills. The stunning 5,800-square-foot residence was snapped up by Pharell in 2015. 

For the Skyline Residence, Belzberg Architects made a conscious effort to build an environmentally sensitive structure, without sacrificing aesthetic and budget. Along with recycling wood framing and flooring from a nearby construction site, they sourced the low e-glazing, steel, and concrete mixes from California manufacturers.

Sheats-Goldstein Residence

Designed by John Lautner in 1963, the Sheats-Goldstein Residence in the Hollywood Hills was featured in the cult classic The Big Lebowski. The living room—which has become known as the "Big Lebowski Room"—boasts a curvy concrete-and-leather sofa that resulted from a collaboration between homeowner James Goldstein and Lautner. The ceiling is covered with sandblasted concrete that still features the original miniature circular skylights.

Throughout the house, there are a number of details that are clearly "Lautner." Working with Goldstein, the architect was given the opportunity to design custom furniture pieces, which is something he didn’t normally get the chance to do. His angular, minimalist style was carried throughout, including in the custom leather-and-concrete sofas spread throughout the living room.

Hoke House

Located on the border of Portland, Oregon’s Forest Park and designed by Skylab Architecture, the Hoke House was the residence of Edward Cullen and his family in Twilight

Skylab Architecture cantilevered the living volumes in order to minimize the building’s footprint and to create a tree house-like experience for the residents.

The Lovell House 

Designed and built by Richard Neutra in the late 1920s, the Lovell House was the first steel frame home in the United States and an early example of the use of gunite—a spray-on concrete. The International-style home was considered to be a turning point in Neutra's career. It appeared in the 1997 film L.A. Confidential and the 2011 film Beginners.

The owners of the 1929 Lovell Health house agreed to a rare tour of their home as part of the 85th anniversary celebration.

Casa Malaparte

Casa Malaparte is a villa that was built in 1938 for Cuzio Malaparte (an Italian magic realist writer) by the Italian architect Adalberto Libera. Perched atop cliffs above the island of Capri, the home was featured in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 drama, Contempt—which also starred the legendary Brigitte Bardot.

Casa Malaparte is perched on the cliffs of Capri and was designed by Adalberto Libera in 1938.

The Sculptured House

Built in 1965 outside Denver, the Sculptured House is a three-level, elliptically curved structure designed by Charles Deaton. Originally designed as a sculpture, the 7,500-square-foot home was featured in Woody Allen’s futuristic 1973 comedy, Sleeper

Designed by Charles Deaton and completed in 1965, the Sculptured House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and can be seen clearly from Interstate 70. 

The Schaffer Residence

Designed by architect John Lautner in 1949, the very elegant midcentury modern Schaffer Residence is located in Glendale, California. The covetable home was featured in Tom Ford’s acclaimed film A Single Man.

Built with redwood, glass, red brick, and concrete, the house was originally designed by John Lautner for the Schaffer family, who used to spend time enjoying picnics under the resident oak trees. Lautner built the house horizontally around the oaks.

The Ben Rose House

The Ben Rose House was designed by modernist architect A. James Speyer, a student of Mies van der Rohe. The glass-and-steel steel box was built in 1953 and is located in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. The iconic home was featured in the 1986 classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and was designated an official local landmark in 1987. 

The house designed by A. James Speyer and David Haid was used as a set in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Ennis House

Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright

Film: Bladerunner (1982)

Stahl House (AKA Case House 22)

Architect: Pierre Koenig

Film: Nurse Betty (2000)


Architect: John Lautner

Film: Body Double (1984)

Ridgetop House

Architect: David Fowler

Film: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Boulder Reign

Architect: Paolo Soleri 

Film: Zabriskie Point (1970)

Jaffe House (AKA Skybreak House)

Architects: Su Brumwell, Wendy Cheeseman, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers

Film: A Clockwork Orange (1972)

Did we miss one that's your favorite? Let us know in the comments and we'll add it to our list!

Get the Dwell Newsletter

Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design.

See a sample