Architecture and Design behind Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner's Architecture

I’ve finally had the pleasure to watch the long-awaited sequel to 1982′ Blade Runner. Personally, I deeply enjoyed the movie as a whole and highly suggest you go and watch it yourself.

Now, I don’t write movie reviews. But there is something about this particular film, that stung out and fascinated me. The design in this masterpiece was beyond amazing. You can tell that a lot of effort was put into detail. And I bet, the more I watch it, the more details would pop up.


Quoting one of the Producers of Blade Runner 2049, Broderick Johnson, “The world in the Blade Runner mythology from the first movie to our movie has really evolved in the sense that the climate is much harsher and more brutal, the architecture is to some extent reflected in that.” And I personally couldn’t agree more. The future, how the producers imagined it looks dire.

“The climate is much harsher and more brutal, the architecture is to some extent reflected in that.”

Due to overpopulation, cities needed to craft more space for people to live in. Skyscrapers – giant ones, I am not kidding you! – were built with rather tiny apartments. Still, there are people seen in the movie which presumably cannot afford these apartments.

The color palette of Blade Runner

The chosen color palette was something I struggled with, especially with Wallace’s office. An orange color was elected to go almost through the whole movie. Of course, it was meant to represent the change of climate in the future, especially towards the end of the movie, the color is incredibly persistent.


Now, the creators had some inspiration. There was a real architect involved. Sadly, the mentioned artist died more than 100 years ago.

architect blade runner

Antonio Sant’Elia was the creator of those amazing masterpieces. He died on October 10, 1916, at just 28 years of age. But his art is remembered within both, the first movie of Blade Runner, and the long-awaited sequel.


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Now let’s get a bit further into the whole architecture thing, shall we? Take a look at Jared’s office in the new Blade Runner movie. Stunningly beautiful, with incorporate minimalism and geometrical design.

Wallace office Blade Runner

My partner and I have been debating over the material which has been used. Personally, I was pretty sure that the whole inside structure was made out of wood. The other material my partner mentioned was marble. But in all honesty, marble and water don’t mix well. Ever been on a wet polished natural stone floor? Trust me, you’d rather not be. Slippy to the Gods and back!

Another point why marble and water don’t mix well is the cleaning aspect. If you were to clean the natural stone, you wouldn’t be able to use any kind of soap. The stone is very sensitive towards any kind of cleaning material. Now, the producers’ thought-process of including details is truly stunning!

“Blade Runner 2049 took architectural details to a whole new level!”

The office of Wallace is meant to show off power and wealth. In the future of Blade Runner 2049, wood is a rare and notably expensive material. To show off his fortune, the whole building used wooden construction and design. In the image above, you can also see a body of water, surrounding the wooden plateau.

“The concept for this office was taken from traditional Japanese architecture.”

Now, the designer actually thought of something while creating this office. The concept was taken from traditional Japanese architecture. Water is necessary for all life. Oceans and rivers have always been a major source of sustenance. In Japan, having access to a body of water for pleasure purposes is a luxury of wealth and prosperity.

luv Blade runner 2049

What personally annoyed me though, was the constant reflection of the water in the background. It made me extremely nervous. I honestly couldn’t work in such an environment. But again, the individual taste makes a design unique.


As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, the apartments weren’t that pretty. K’s apartment is a small living space and looks rather miserable. I don’t want to disappoint you, it is a sci-fi movie after all, there are some hidden easter eggs for any architecture nerd.

k's apartment

I assume, due to the costs, the apartment’s walls are made out of lightweight walls. Easy to build up and relatively cheap. But what was quite surprising was something my partner noticed.

“Saving energy is an important aspect in the future of the movie.”

Yes, you heard me. Although the apartments aren’t particularly pretty, they are meant to save energy. As a result, you never see a light switch being used throughout the whole movie. The light basically follows you through the room. What makes it even more exciting is the fact, that we already have scientists working on it!

But I doubt that the people decided to save energy themselves. I do think the energy saving aspect came with the overpopulation of cities heavily portrayed within the movie.


Energy had most likely to be maintained differently. Since there were more people who needed it, engineers and other scientists needed to come up with a solution.

Why do I doubt that the people decided to do this themselves? If you’ve seen the movie, you might have noticed the poor conditions San Diego displays.


Blade Runner has also been an eye-opening experience on how poorly we treat our environment. I am always super excited to hear about new technologies which take nature and our planet into consideration.

Finally, it is important that we take responsibility to regard our surroundings. And I do hope, future generations will put an effort in those important matters as well.


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