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Here Are All the Places Where ‘Altered Carbon’ Was Filmed

February 27, 2020
4 min read

Netflix’s ‘Altered Carbon’ is the adaptation of the cyberpunk sci-fi book series of the same name by Richard Morgan. It follows the story of a man named Takeshi Kovacs who lives in a world where consciousness can be transferred into a thing called a cortical stack. This means that even if the body ages away and dies, or that it is destroyed in an accident or killed by someone, the person would not really die. As long as their stack survives, they remain alive. The stacks can be transferred from one body to another, which is why the term “sleeves” is used for them.

The series takes the audience on a journey to different planets where we witness wondrous new worlds. While CGI definitely plays a role in its construction, there are some places that feel too real. Here are all the places where ‘Altered Carbon’ has been filmed.

Altered Carbon Filming Locations

Altered Carbon’ tells the story of a futuristic world. Because it is a couple of centuries ahead in the future, the world does not look like the one we live in now. There is tech all around, such as flying cars and buildings washed with neon lights. The background mostly requires the use of special effects, which generally means that the cast has to spend a lot of time in green rooms. But the beautiful homes and the breath-taking scenery that the show offers are not just the results of good VFX. The makers of the series turned towards real-life locations and brushed them up a bit to look like they belonged to Kovacs’ time. For this, the crew turned towards Vancouver, where most of the filming took place.

Vancouver, Canada

A number of places in and around Vancouver have subbed in for the futuristic worlds portrayed in ‘Altered Carbon’. The Alcatraz Prison, where Takeshi Kovacs spends hundreds of years on ice, is filmed at the Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam. The scenes regarding Laurens Bancroft’s home above the clouds have also been filmed at real locations.

University of British Columbia Rose Garden is turned into the Bancroft garden, and the lobby of the Art Deco Marine Building at Burrard and West Hastings was turned into the interior of his home. Other parts of his mansion were filmed at the Skydance Studio in Surrey. The shooting for Bay Street, the Raven Hotel and Kovac’s penthouse also took place there.

Joel Kinnaman, who plays Kovacs in the first season, remarked that the budget of the series was more than the first three seasons of ‘Game of Thrones’, which means that ‘Altered Carbon’ had a lot of scope for experimenting with the world they were building. One of the sets was so large that with 400-500 extras walking around and the shops and other structures in place, it looked like a city in itself.

The old Canada Post building served as The Wei Clinic, where Kovacs is tortured in virtual. The various interiors of the place also fill in for Ortega’s home and the police station, among other things. The exterior of the hospital where Ortega is treated was filmed at the Waterfall Building at 1540 West 2nd Avenue. The scene for the strip club that she visits with Kovacs was filmed at a real strip club at 205 Main Street.

Additional scenes for Bay City were also filmed at VanDusen Botanical Garden, the UBC Museum of Anthropology, The Qube, the Aerospace Technology Campus, BC Place Stadium (for Head in the Clouds), the Britannia Mine Museum in Britannia Beach, Vancouver Convention Centre, the Quarry Garden and the Biodel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park. Several scenes were also shot at the Telus Studio Theatre and the Telus Garden Office Tower.

Another important place in the series is Harlan’s World. This is where Tak and Rei grow up. The beautiful scene of them as kids, playing by the lake, was filmed at Minaty Bay. The Widgeon Slough North Dock also features in the series. The filming for the scene at the bridge, where Tak agrees to join the rebellion under Quell’s leadership, took place at the Sea to Sky Gondola suspension bridge in Squamish. The Harlan Plaza, where Danika Harlan’s hologram makes announcements for the public, was filmed at the new Surrey Civic Plaza.

Read More: Altered Carbon Season 2 Ending, Explained

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