Altered Carbon Architecture — finding inspiration in today’s radical concepts
There’s been a lot of buzz around Altered Carbon, many people comparing it to Blade Runner and with a good reason. The streets feel the same way they did in Blade Runner: crowded, wet, dirty, lit with colored neon commercials signs and a bit overwhelming. But Altered Carbon is a different animal, something more like a hybrid. After the initial feeling wears off and the parallels start to fade (mostly due to the twists and turns of this peculiar story) we get to look at this world with new eyes.
I initially started writing this with three reference movies in mind: Metropolis, Akira and Cloud Altas, especially the first one because of the clear segregation of the city — the extremely rich living high above the clouds in a world seamlessly without problems.
But on taking a second look at the show I started to make mental references to different architectural concept projects I saw in recent years and there are quite a few.
The production team did something quite special in this case and I thoroughly enjoyed it: they took inspiration from architectural competition entries — projects that not only were never built but that are so out there, so different and so radical in what they propose that they probably will never see the light of day (pretty much like Archigram back in the day).
The first and most obvious one is the parametric tower above the clouds.
In the same frame with this main tower there are a couple other skyscrapers, one of them caught my eye the second time around.
Last but not least is the Golden Gate Bridge (Hollywood has overused this bridge in sci-fi) parasitized by container like houses.
A similar concept of building houses on a bridge was developed by Ja Studio also for the eVolo competition, called Modern Ponte Vecchio. More on the project here.
And a small bonus:
This time influence was taken from the recently completed apartment building in NY city by Zaha Hadid Architects.
I’m pretty sure there are more references to be found there, but this is what struck me as obvious as soon as I saw them.