These Are the Real Places Behind ‘Westworld’ Season 3's Futuristic Cities

Lauren Puckett
Photo credit: HBO / Getty

From Harper's BAZAAR

Westworld Season 3 has finally arrived, and already we know its futuristic megacities aren’t quite the sleek-steel utopias they purport to be. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun to visit—from the safety (and reality) of our couches.

To create the gleaming fortress where host-gone-rogue Dolores plans her revenge, Westworld creators used the insight of Bjarke Ingels, a Danish architect known for his inventive designs. Using his yet-unbuilt concepts to infuse cityscapes with the glitter of digital futurism, the showrunners weaved a seamless web between reality and fiction. Part of their success is owed to the very real buildings the show tapped for filming, in locations including Singapore, Spain, and Los Angeles.

Now’s not a good time to hop on a plane, but we can take a page from Ingels if we want an escape from reality: All you need is a screen. Below, we explore a few stunning film locations that brought season 3 to life—and share where you can see them from afar.

Singapore

Helix Bridge

Inspired by the Spike Jonze movie Her, Westworld’s showrunners traveled to Singapore to film amongst its breathtaking architecture, according to an interview with Variety. One of the obvious spots was the Helix Bridge, a 280-meter-long overpass on the Marina Bay. Designed to look like a DNA strand, the bridge is a perfect fit for Westworld’s genetics- and data-obsessed universe.

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Photo credit: Somsak Patchamongkolrut - Getty Images

Orchard Road

With an origin dating back to the 1830s, when it was simply a road to farmland, Orchard Road is now a glittering, multicolored retail experience. Flush with glass, flashing colors, and soaring structures, the ION Orchard mall, in particular, exhibits a Westworld “real world” dripping with wealth.

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Photo credit: John S Lander - Getty Images

Parkroyal on Pickering

When Jeffrey Right, who plays Bernard, posted a photo of this lush hotel while filming in the summer of 2019, we knew it had to make an appearance in Westworld. Built as an eco-friendly monument exploding with vegetation, the hotel is meant to illustrate how nature and technology have fused in Westworld’s future reality.

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LASALLE College of the Arts

Given this college is the self-proclaimed “leading contemporary arts and design institution” of Asia, you know you’re in for an architect’s dream. Within the gorgeous indoor glass campus, students pursue everything from animation to musical theater. The glossy setting also makes a delightfully modern spot for Dolores to unveil her plan.

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Photo credit: Sirfuji - Getty Images

Esplanade Park

One of the oldest parks in Singapore, Esplanade Park was built in 1943. Now a sprawling, verdant epicenter, the park features some of the country's most historic monuments but is nestled close to the Esplanade Forecourt Garden, where dramatic architecture beckons the future.

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Marina One

Remember those mesmerizing ribbon-like structures curling around the outside of Incite, the company responsible for Rehoboam? They're real, and they belong to the ultra-futuristic residential tower Marina One, as part of the building's 'City in a Garden' concept where greenery and concrete mesh.

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Photo credit: HBO

Spain

City of Arts and Sciences

One of Spain’s most famous arts and sciences complexes—and, in fact, the largest such complex in all of Europe—is a shoo-in for a Westworld starring role. Built in Valencia and designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava, the structure features Europe’s largest aquarium, as well as a science museum, cinema, planetarium, an Instagrammable open-air garden, and more. Of course, this massive institution serves as the home of Delos, the corporate behemoth behind Westworld and its sister parks.

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Photo credit: Raquel Maria Carbonell Pagola - Getty Images

“The Factory”

A converted cement factory now alive with greenery, Ricardo Bofill’s “La Fábrica” (or “The Factory”) houses his architectural firm. Nestled near Barcelona in a town called Sant Just Desvern, The Factory is formed from eight enormous silos and is still considered an “unfinished work,” according to Atlas Obscura. The site serves as the home of a “brain” that connects Westworld’s data-driven universe, Vulture reports.

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Photo credit: julio donoso - Getty Images

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