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Brute & Brutalist: A Clockwork Orange Architecture and Interior Design Analysis

Mihaela Mfarej | Writer 

“A Clockwork Orange” is a cult classic movie depicting delinquent teenagers Alex DeLarge and his “droogs”, surrounded by a dystopian England, drugged and running rampant through the streets committing ‘a bit of the ultra-violence. While the film or book doesn’t establish a specific year, the set design and filming locations display an apocalyptic ambiance defined by brutalist architecture on the outside. At the same time, the interiors ooze a colorful and ultramodern future. 

Alex spends his time in four main locations throughout the film: the Korova Milk Bar, the Jaffe House, his parent’s home, and the Ludovico Medical Center. 

The film opens with Alex and his droogs in the psychedelic Korova Milk Bar; the types of milk offered lining the walls, with female mannequins used as furniture. Sculpture artist Liz Moore used the inspiration of Allen Jones's erotic sculptures and shifted to pure white female mannequins instead. 

The film's structure labeled ‘HOME’ is the Jaffe or Skybreak house. Mr. Alexander, one of the first victims of Alex’s mischief, is shown sitting in a 1957 cream Saarinen Executive Armchair with a 1961 red IBM Selectric typewriter. Mrs. Alexander rests in a 1970s white space age pod with an open lid known as the Personal Retreat Pod designed by brothers Roger & Martyn Dean. 

We move to Alex’s bedroom, rebelliously pure white although hints of color shine through, 1963 Braun L46 speakers line the wall blasting Beethoven: Symphony 9 while a 1956 Eero Saarinen Tulip Chair hides in the corner. The lamp above his bed is a 1960s Honsel Discus Lamp wall lamp designed by Charlotte Perriand. The prison and Ludovico Medical Center are arguably the most important places Alex spends time in. The outside depicts the brutalist architecture of Brunel University’s Lecture Center, which still stands today. 

As a collector of mid-century furniture, this film is a beautiful embodiment of what the time period truly portrayed and the climax of the movie, transformation. For Alex, this represents maturity and free will. For Americans, it represents the Atomic age, and the advancement in science and mathematics, hence the iconic futuristic and psychedelic designs.


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