Five Buro Happold project sites in the movies
To celebrate this year’s award season, we present a shortlist of five Buro Happold project sites that have appeared in movies.
1. Children of Men (2006)
Location: Battersea Power Station, London
It is 2027 and UK society is melting down as a global fertility crisis reaches its eighteenth year. Disillusioned bureaucrat Theo Faron (Clive Owen) goes to ask a favour of his cousin, a government minister working in the Ark of the Arts. Battersea Power Station houses this foreboding state-sponsored gallery, which for cinematic purposes only is directly accessible via a handy bridge patrolled by gun-toting military personnel and attack dogs.
This 195 ha, iconic Grade II* listed site is currently being transformed into a thriving, high quality urban quarter. Our experts were closely involved in the management of the stakeholders during the design to planning, including English Heritage, the 20thCentury Society and Wandsworth Council.
2. I Am Legend (2007)
Location: The High Line, New York City
It is 2009 and attempts to turn the measles virus into a cure for cancer have sparked a devastating global pandemic that either kills people or turns them into man-eating nocturnal mutants. Whoops! Former military doctor Robert Neville (Will Smith) – possibly the last person alive – has formulated a vaccine. Underneath a section of The High Line, an elevated park in New York City, he traps an exceedingly uncooperative test subject from a nest of infected fiends.
3. The Dark Knight (2008)
Location: Navy Pier, Chicago
Fleeing the Joker (Heath Ledger) and his playful brand of homicidal mischief, the people of Gotham City are evacuated by ferry via this Illinois landmark. The Navy Pier also features in two quality 1986 releases: it is the venue for The Color of Money’s climactic pool tournament and hosts a tasty car chase featuring maverick lawman Mark Kaminski (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in Raw Deal.
4. Inception (2010)
Location: TAG Farnborough Airport, Hampshire
Though the action purports to be occurring in Japan, Farnborough airport’s striking terminal building is prominent in the background when corporate ne’er-do-well Saito (Ken Watanbe) pitches up in his helicopter with avant-garde thief Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). Here is proposed the mind-bending ‘impossible’ heist that occupies the rest of the movie.
5. Skyfall (2012)
Location: Royal Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire
The interior of Ascot’s redeveloped grandstand doubles for Shanghai airport in a sequence that shows James Bond (Daniel Craig) shadowing a doomed henchman. The racecourse previously appeared in 1985’s stodgy Bond effort A View to a Kill, wherein Roger Moore – then in his late 50s – prevents nutso plutocrat Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) from blowing up Silicon Valley.