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While we all enjoyed Netflix’s latest mystery drama, and we can all appreciate the cast’s brilliant performances, there is one star that isn’t getting enough credit. Step inside the architectural marvel, The Open Corner House from Leave the World Behind – a harmonious symphony of beautiful interior design, meticulous architecture, thoughtful lighting and, of course, mystery.
Leave The World Behind, a Netflix thriller directed by Sam Esmail and produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, is a gripping tale set against the backdrop of a stunning home. The movie, based on Rumaan Alam’s 2020 novel, follows a New York couple, portrayed by Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke, whose family vacation on Long Island is disrupted by an unexpected catastrophe. They are joined by uninvited guests (Mahershala Ali, Myha’la) at their vacation home, creating a tense, claustrophobic atmosphere.
The real star of the film, however, is the house itself.
The Open Corner House
Known as “The Open Corner House,” this architectural marvel, designed by Long Island City’s The Up Studio (by architect John Patrick Winberry), brilliantly blurs the lines between the indoors and the outdoors. The rear corner of the house is encased in Marvin Signature Ultimate French doors and windows, creating a seamless transition from the home’s interior to the natural world outside. This design choice not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also plays a significant role in the film’s narrative.
One of the most striking features of the house is the dramatic staircase in the foyer, framed by a two-story backdrop of narrow-frame windows. This feature sets the stage for the film’s dramatic tension, beginning the moment the characters step inside. The interior architecture of the home was largely preserved during the filming, though slight modifications were made for visual effect. The kitchen, a pivotal space in the film, showcases these subtle changes with its modified upper cabinets and lighting fixtures.
The house’s design is a masterful blend of traditional and modern elements. The farmhouse-inspired front facade nods to the region’s local vernacular, while the more modern rear of the home contrasts this with a contemporary design. This juxtaposition is unified through the consistent use of Marvin Signature Ultimate windows throughout.
Set in a secluded, wooded area of Old Westbury, New York, the house is a symphony of light and nature. The sprawling 5,200-square-foot residence is designed to maximize natural light and provide unobstructed views of the lush surrounding landscape. The home’s front facade, with its undulating gables and winding entry, is cinematic, while the rear embraces modern design sensibilities. The L-shaped configuration of the house ensures that every corner opens up to views of mature trees, reinforcing the connection to nature.
In essence, “The Open Corner House” is more than just a set or house for Leave The World Behind; it’s a character in its own right. Its design elements, from the light-filled dining room to the family room positioned to overlook mature oak and maple trees, contribute to the film’s narrative and set the tone for the unfolding drama. The primary bedroom, dramatically cantilevered over the rear yard, offers a dynamic view of the ever-changing landscape, described by the homeowner as an “ever-changing piece of art.”
Netflix’s Leave The World Behind is a testament to the power of architecture in storytelling, where a house and a home (the real-life Long Island residence) is not just a backdrop but a living, breathing entity that adds depth and complexity to the narrative.
Tell us, what are your thoughts on the house used in Netflix’s Leave The World Behind?