Lair: Radical Homes and Hideouts of Movie Villains


by Chad Oppenheim / Andrea Gollin


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From Atlantis in The Spy Who Loved Me to Nathan Bateman's ultra-modern abode in Ex Machina, big-screen villains tend to live in architectural splendor. The villain’s lair, as popularized in many of our favorite movies, is much more than where the megalomaniac goes to get some rest. Instead, the homes of the villains are places where evil is plotted and where, often, the hero is tested and must prove him/herself. Like evil itself, the abodes of movie villains are frequently compelling and seductive. From a design standpoint, they tend to be stunning, sophisticated, envy-inducing expressions of the warped drives and desires of their occupants. Lair, the first title in Tra Publishing's Design + Film series, celebrates and considers several iconic villain’s lairs from recent film history. The book, strikingly designed in silver ink on black paper, explores the architectural design of these structures through architectural illustrations and renderings, photographs, essays, film analyses, interviews, and more. Editorial contributors include Chad Oppenheim, Michael Mann, Sir Christopher Frayling, Joseph Rosa, Amy Murphy, Andrea Gollin, and Phillip Valys. Architectural illustrations and renderings are by Carlos Fueyo. Highlights include interviews with  production designers, directors, and other industry professionals such as Ralph Eggleston, Mark Digby, Richard Donner, Roger Christian, David Scheunemann, and Gregg Henry, along with excerpts from an oral history with the late architect John Lautner. From futuristic fantasies to deathtrap-laden hives, from dwellings in space to those under the sea, pop culture and architecture join forces in these outlandish homes and in Lair, which appreciates and celebrates all things villain. Lair features villains’ homes from fifteen films, including  Dr. Strangelove, The Incredibles, Blade Runner 2049, and You Only Live Twice.

Awards received:
50 Books | 50 Covers AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), Winner, Book Category

Official Selection Award of the 10th Edition of the Festival International du Livre D’Art et du Film


“It’s both an architecture and movie fan’s dream.”—Los Angeles Times

“A fascinating gift for that highbrow nerd in your life.”—Syfy Wire

“Strikingly designed.”—Publishers Weekly

“A long overdue interrogation of the architecture of movie villainy.”—Metropolis 

“Explores the cinematic tradition of antiheroes with architecturally significant private spaces. —Architectural Digest

“An intellectual look at the genre of architectural villainy.”—Curbed

“A critically and visually compelling work.”—designboom

“World domination never looked so good.”—Dwell

“This handsome tome…takes the architectural high road in looking at some of cinema’s grandest lairs.”—The Hollywood Reporter

“For the movie buff and design aficionado, Lair offers an unforgettable tour of top-secret retreats of exceptional taste.”—Shelf Awareness

“The volume explores the beauty in the bad and asks a simple question: who wouldn’t want to live—or even spend a night—in places like these?”—Elle Décor Switzerland

“Perfect for collectors and both pop culture and architecture enthusiasts.”—

“An awesome addition to your coffee table library.”—StupidDope

“Movie villains…they’re just like us.”—Urban Daddy


Like evil itself, the abodes of movie villains are frequently compelling and seductive. Explore the architecture of villainry in Lair.

Chad Oppenheim is a Miami-based architect whose work has been praised for its ability to transform the prosaic into the poetic. A graduate of Cornell University and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Oppenheim has lectured widely and has taught at several architecture schools, including Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In 1999, he founded Oppenheim Architecture (Miami, Basel, New York), which has garnered global recognition for largescale urban architecture, hotels and resorts, private residences, interiors, and furnishings. Oppenheim Architecture has received more than seventy industry awards and distinctions, including the Silver Medal for Design, the highest distinction bestowed by the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and the Cooper Hewitt 2018 National Design Award. The firm’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times and Architectural RecordAndrea Gollin is an editor, publishing consultant, and writer. She has edited dozens of books and exhibitions catalogues, including Robert Winthrop Chanler: Discovering the Fantastic (The Monacelli Press). She is a graduate of Princeton University and received an MFA from the writing program at University of Virginia. Her journalism, book reviews, and fiction have been widely published in outlets including the Washington Post, Newsday, Salon, Miami Herald, and Entertainment Weekly


Publication Date | November 5, 2019 | Trade edition

Hardcover » Smyth Sewn Binding

296 Pages

Silver Foil Stamping

200+ Photographs, Architectural Illustrations, & Renderings

9.2 x 13 in.

$75.00 ($102.00 CAN)