Alex Garland’s 2015 psychological thriller was famous for quite a few things: stand-out performances from Oscar Isaac, Alicia Wikander and Domhnall Gleeson, the blurred lines lines between humanity and machinery, and the phenomenal secluded house that served as the main backdrop for the movie.
And while we can’t help answer some of the deeper questions the movie brought forward and left unanswered (like “what is consciousness?”) what we can do is address some more mundane questions you might have, like “where was Ex Machina filmed?”. I know, I know, not nearly as exciting.
So is the house in Ex Machina real? Fitting for this movie, the answer to that question is no, the house isn’t real; but yes, you can still stay there if you’d like. And that’s because most of what you see in the movie is filmed in a remote, real-life hotel in Norway, and it will cost you a little under $300/night to stay there.
The role of the house in Ex Machina
The 2014 sci-fi psychological thriller explored the ethics of AI in a compelling manner and offered us a rather discomforting take on humans and the robots they create.
In the movie, a neurotic tech billionaire (Nathan Bateman, played by Oscar Isaac) creates an artificially intelligent humanoid robot inside his secluded mansion in the woods. Nathan, the founder of search engine giant Bluebook, is somewhat of a hipster gym rat Dr. Moreau. He’s isolated himself in this dream home, nestled in a private estate the size of a small country, to create artificial intelligence undisturbed by peering eyes.
The home is where he welcomes Caleb (played by Domhnall Gleeson), who had just won a company-wide contest to spend a week with the reclusive billionaire on his remote estate — where the entire movie takes place.
Finding the perfect home for a rather unusual villain
A near-future plot, coupled with an eccentric billionaire protagonist, is not the type of combo that can easily be accommodated by just any filming location (remember Tony Stark’s house?).
According to Ex Machina’s production designer Mark Digby, it took a full-on global hunt to find the right setting for Nathan’s home.
“We wanted it to be among nature, we wanted it to be stunning, and we wanted it to be exclusive,” says Digby, who was given a script that originally placed Nathan’s estate in Colorado.
After considering several locations all across Europe, from the Alps to Finland, the team finally saw a house under construction on the side of a mountain in northern Norway — and, half an hour away, the Juvet Landscape Hotel. Nathan’s mansion had been found, in the form of two separate, modernist buildings.
In the end, the Juvet Landscape Hotel stood in for much of the modernist, remote hideout of tech billionaire Nathan (Oscar Isaac).
The hotel consists of nine detached rooms that are sited separately, each with a unique perspective on the rugged landscape. In addition, there is the opportunity to stay in the old buildings on the farm – the mill house, the barn and the authentically restored farmhouse – while meals are served communally in the old barn.
According to Twisted Swifter, the architects envisioned a landscape hotel that would blend in with the natural environment. The result is seven small “cubes” on stilts, with glass walls that offer each space a striking view of the valley, the river, the courtyard or the dramatic gorge below. All the rooms have a dark interior to avoid stealing focus from the scenery.
If you want to spend a night (or more) where Ex Machina was filmed, it will cost you a little under $300 and you can book your stay here.
More homes from movies:
Bilbo Baggins’ Precious Hobbit House — Straight Out of the Shire
The Real-Life Home Alone House: Then and Now
Richie Rich’s House is Actually the Biltmore Estate, America’s Largest Home
Is it Real? The Story Behind Tony Stark’s Insane Malibu Mansion in the Iron Man Movies