the world's most visited architecture website

Films & Architecture: “Gattaca”

Two weeks ago we started proposing films relevant to our field for you to primarily enjoy and also to encourage its discussion. First with “The Belly of an Architect”, and then “Blade Runner”, this week is the turn for a slightly more contemporary movie written and directed by Andrew Niccol, Gattaca. The film presents a future were the human condition is already defined in DNA, therefore human’s opportunities for life development are pre-established. Beyond the interesting ethical issue, the architecture where this story occurs is carefully selected in order to fit the director’s image of the future. Locations include the Marin County Civic Center by Frank Lloyd Wright and the CLA Building by Antoine Predock.


Original Title: Gattaca Year: 1997 Runtime: 106 min. Country: United States Director: Andrew Niccol Writer: Andrew Niccol Soundtrack: Django Reinhardt & Jacques Larue, Charlie Haden, Stan Getz Photography Director: Jordan Cronenweth Cast: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Gore Vidal, Xander Berkeley, Jayne Brook, Loren Dean, Maya Rudolph


In the near future, where corporations screen their employees based on their genetic makeup, a man with a congenital heart condition tries to assume the identity of a former athlete with perfect genes in order to fulfill his dream of traveling in space. Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) has always fantasized about traveling into outer space, but is grounded by his status as a genetically inferior “in-valid”.

He decides to fight his fate by purchasing the genes of Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), a laboratory-engineered “valid.” He assumes Jerome’s DNA identity and joins the Gattaca space program, where he falls in love with Irene (Uma Thurman). An investigation into the death of a Gattaca officer (Gore Vidal) complicates Vincent’s plans.


Cite:Daniel Portilla. "Films & Architecture: “Gattaca”" 22 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>