21. House in The Landscape | Conversation pit

Date: 2019
Architect: Niko Architects
Location: Moscow, Russia

House in the landscape_© archello.com

“The fundamental concept base was the integration of the building into an artificially-created landscape…” 3 The living space follows the shape of the hill above, transforming into an interior cave, perforated by large skylights that allow the penetration of morning sunlight. 

One of them opens directly above a conversation pit surrounding a mounted fireplace. While the zenith hollows the roof, the seating area creates a crater on the floor in the act of spatial counterbalance. 

22. Canto House

Date: 2019
Architect: Studio 91
Location: Naucalpan, Mexico

Canto House_© archdaily.com

The garden includes a round conversation pit buried four steps below ground level. A curved vertical surface of brick latticework surrounds the floor space as it follows the terrain’s natural slope. This built object adds a new texture amid the ground’s emergent vegetation. 

Turning back in time, it brings a touch of nostalgia for the original conversation pit now transferred to the outdoor scene. 

23. Warp Studio

Date: 2019
Architect: I IN
Location: Chiyoda City, Japan 

Warp Studio_©archdaily.com

Through a mixture of shared workspace, domestic atmosphere and a sense of newness by applying technology, this hybrid office opposes the standard office layout of remote work. 

The entire program develops in a large open space where different areas distribute around the central core, a large sunken sofa area similar to a king-sized conversation pit. Eventually, providing workers with the feeling of being at home and free to use the space as they please. 

In Fiction

24. Help! 1965

Help! Film set_©pinterest.com

The film directed by Richard Lester follows the Beatles in a comedic adventure. Their first appearance is in the widely known residence scene. They enter through four separate doors to reveal an unlimited open space inside, zoned by colours for each band member. 

John Lennon’s brown themed area includes the famous sunken bed, a niche for seating, reading, playing, and sleeping. Rather a caricature of the conversation pit as a compact space for an abundance of activities.

25. Diamonds Are Forever, 1971 | Conversation pit

Diamonds are forever scene_ (movie screenshot)

The spy film Directed by Guy Hamilton has Bond infiltrate a smuggling ring, soon uncovering the plot by his old enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Here, billionaire Willard Whyte’s penthouse was one of Ken Adams most contemporary sets. 

A sunken living room alters the large open floor plan, where the curved leather furniture forms a circular disposition around the glazing floor. Above, a sloping wooden ceiling and a chrome chandelier hanging right above its centre add to the scene’s dramatic effect. 

26. Down with Love, 2003

Down with love scene_ (movie screenshot)

Directed by Peyton Reed, the film is a pastiche of the early 1960’s American sexual comedies. Like many of these movies, the storyline reveals an unforgiving battle of the sexes in which the set design becomes the ultimate depiction of opposing characters. 

For instance, Barbara Novak’s candy-coloured, immaculate penthouse accurately resembles her style. The main element that defines this space is a sunken living space with bright pink furniture surrounding a fire pit.  

27. The Incredibles, 2004

The Increibles scene_©pixar.com

Bob decides to return to his superhero activities in undercover missions. With a torn suit, he visits eccentric fashion designer Edna Mode to mend it. Like the character, the house is a majestical design. While it stands at the top of a hill, the house could be a modernist version of the Parthenon. In this scene, the colossal space even echoes the voice of the designer. 

Like a Greek theatre, circumferent steps take to a lowered platform, a conversation pit of confronting De Stijl furniture, placed before a truly monumental water fountain. 

28. Mad Men, 2007-2015

Mad Men apartment set_©interiordesign.net

The American period drama is set in New York‘s advertising world of the 1960s. “It was a time of big ideas, three-martini lunches and larger-than-life personalities…” 4 Don Draper was one of them, a charming creative director hiding a cynical and egotistical man. When he marries his secretary, they move into a stylish upper east side apartment. 

The oversized conversation pit for a living room becomes the main area where the unfulfilled character remains, the perfect spot for leisure, drinking, sex and parties, except for its stain prone white carpet. 

29. The Incredibles 2, 2018

The Increibles 2 scene_©atomic-ranch.com

When businessman Winston Deavor proposes secret missions for superheroes, Elastigirl accepts the leading role. In the wake of this new job, the family relocates to a new residence. The mid-century mansion inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater is the combination of modernist and futuristic style. 

The enormous open living space comprises moderately-sized furniture adding to an even larger scale effect. Alongside the remotely operable fireplace lies a red outfitted conversation pit, a warm and fuzzy hint in the immeasurable space. 

In Dreams

Artificial architecture has become one of the primary sources of invention by allowing the artist’s imagination to become visual realisation without being adapted to reality. As it operates between the grounds of fact and fiction, the dream-like architecture becomes in every way possible.  

30. Villa Ortizet | Conversation pit

Date: 2020
Architect: Anthony Authié and Charlotte Taylor
Location: Lozère, France

Villa Ortizet_©fahrenheitmagazine.com

This particular work narrates a process of reminiscence drawing inspiration from Authié childhood memories of legends and landscapes. The whimsical monochrome green space creates a blend of modernist and organic architecture to deliver newly sensorial architecture in permanent interaction with its environment. 


  1.  “The Round House.” LIFE, March 19, 1951. 
  2. Squier, Anna. “The Iconic, Midcentury Home That PETER Womersley Designed for Bernat Klein ASKS $1.02M,” August 25, 2017. https://www.dwell.com/article/the-iconic-midcentury-home-that-peter-womersley-designed-for-bernat-klein-asks-dollar1.02m-e385c1b7. 
  3. Ibrahim, Naser N. “Amazing Organic House in Moscow Designed by Niko Architect.” AmazingArchitecture, December 3, 2019. https://www.amazingarchitecture.com/organic-house/amazing-organic-house-in-moscow-designed-by-niko-architect. 
  4. “The Golden Age of Advertising.” 4A’s, April 3, 2017. https://www.aaaa.org/timeline-event/golden-age-advertising/. 
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Manuela is an architect from Bogotá, Colombia. She has a special interest in architectural theory believing architecture results from the human understanding of the world and its place in the universe. In films, books, and finding unique spaces in cities, she recognizes society's memory and essence.