In Ridley Scott’s masterful version of Philip Dick’s novel, J.F. Sebastian, a technological genius, lives in a building in the old part of town, because as he explains to Pris, the “basic pleasure model” Nexus 6 Replicant who surprises him in the entrance lobby “…. I live here pretty much alone right now, plenty of room for everybody, most of the others have emigrated already”.
The skill of Ridley Scott was to create a derelict and vacant building out of one of Los Angeles’s most respected landmarks.
Designed by George Wyman and built in 1893, from the outside The Bradbury Building looks like a typical red brick, sandstone and terracotta block, however it’s on the inside that the magic begins: an expansive and intricate glass ceiling, timber and ironwork walkways and a highly ornate feature lift which combine to create a rich and vibrant central atrium .
Compare this brightly lit and inviting space then with dark and brooding thing that forms the centre piece of the last half an hour or so of the film: leaking roofs, overhead lights piercing through the atrium roof, rubbish strewn everywhere, and more “atmosphere” than you could shake a stick at.. an amazing transformation.
Sadly I’ve not made it to LA yet, but when I do this place will be first on my list of things to see.