Following our interview with the set designer behind the house featured in The Girl Before, Dezeen takes a look at films and TV series in which residential architecture plays a starring role.

Photo is by CJ ENM Corporation, Barunson E&A


The multi-award-winning movie Parasite takes place in the modernist home of a wealthy family in South Korea. Though it evokes a real dwelling, it was actually designed as a series of sets modelled on a sketch by director Bong Joon–Ho.

Brought to life by production director Lee Ha Jun, the residence features minimal furnishings and large expanses of glass, such as in the living room, where the window was specifically designed to the proportions of the ratio for shooting a widescreen picture.

Find out more about the house in Parasite ›

The Favourite

Production designer Fiona Crombie transformed a 17th-century country manor in England to create the set of The Favourite, a film set during the reign of Queen Anne.

While “taking advantage of the bones of the building” such as its natural light and ​​existing maximalist decor, Crombie said, the crew added secret passageways and a giant fake facade to help the house better resemble a royal palace.

Find out more about the house in The Favourite ›

Photo is courtesy of Jon Henson and HBO

The Girl Before

Minimalist Japanese architecture informed the design of the fictional one-bedroom house in The Girl Before. Production designer Jon Henson’s goal was for the house to act as “a fourth character”, shifting from a sanctuary to a prison-like space depending on the scene.

While the home’s exterior was constructed specially for the BBC television series, the majority of the interior scenes were recorded in a purpose-built set.

Find out more about the house in The Girl Before ›

Ex Machina

A fictional tech billionaire’s hideaway in Alaska is the main location featured in the science-fiction movie Ex Machina – though it was actually filmed in three different places.

One of the three sets was a wood-clad clifftop house in Norway designed by studio Jensen & Skodvin Architects. Furnished in a Scandinavian-retro style, the house was chosen for the film as it rejected “the literature of films and popular culture, which says that for the future it has to be shiny and bright,” according to production designer Mark Digby.

Find out more about the house Ex Machina ›

Photo is by Lin Ho

Crazy Rich Asians

A contemporary house in the jungle outside Kuala Lumpur was used as the home of wealthy matriarch Eleanor Young in the blockbuster movie Crazy Rich Asians.

Designed by local architecture firm 29Design, the dwelling comprises three volumes with an open-plan layout and an infinity swimming pool. According to 29Design founder Stephanie Maignan, it was used for the film as it accurately depicts the lifestyle of the movie characters’ real-life counterparts who are “very interested in modern architecture”.

Find out more about the house in Crazy Rich Asians ›