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The Architecture of the Batcave Through the Years | Architectural Digest


Twenty-three years later, the second film appeared in the form of Tim Burton’s much darker take. Naturally for the surrealistic, high-design director, the Batcave of Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) was much more imaginative than the literal version of the 1966 film. With its exposed steel beams and platforms, and hefty Batsuit vault, the space is undeniably industrial. Despite the additional furnishings in this iteration of the Batcave, Burton still emphasized its original function with the addition of swarms of bats, dark lighting, and rocky walls. For the next few movies, the cave’s design changes only mildly, sticking roughly to Burton’s dark vision of the space, though, in Batman Forever (1995), an impressive ornamental arch is added to give it a little flair.

Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth and Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Dark Night Rises.

Photo: Ron Phillips/©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

After Wayne Manor is damaged in Batman Begins (2005), the Batcave is out of commission and under construction during The Dark Knight (2008), but by the last film in the Christopher Nolan-directed trilogy (2012’s The Dark Knight Rises), it’s been completely modernized with an all-glass Batsuit vault and sleek black marble platforms that are submerged under water when not in use. Here, technology is rightfully integrated into the space’s design, not solely available in the form of clunky machines. The Batcave of 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ups the stylistic ante even further, with a simple cement and glass multilevel platform embedded in its rocky cave surroundings that leans toward brutalism.

2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Photo: Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo


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