Architecture is the realization of utopic dreams, having as much to do with aesthetics as a sense of purpose—a desire and vision for people in space. The modern high-rise is this idea concentrated. It is its own world with all elements of life conveniently stacked and readily available. One could, in fact, never leave. And, increasingly, we rarely do. This idea lies at the center of dir. Ben Weatley’s new film, High-Rise, starring Tom Hiddleston and based on J.G. Ballard’s novel of the same name. Privatization and the obliteration of public space forces tenants—no longer people, but tenants—indoors. Then it seems there is no world outside. All that seems to exist is the obelisk: the high-rise. And one is forced to ask: Is comfort a prison?
“A house is a machine for living in.”