Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Here's Where Avenue 5 Is Really Filmed

Created by Armando Iannucci, the satirical mind behind "Veep" and "The Death of Stalin," HBO's "Avenue 5" uses a futuristic science fiction setting to tell an absurd story of human folly. When an interplanetary cruise ship — the titular Avenue 5 — is accidentally knocked a few degrees off course. This accident leads to panic amongst the crew, who realize that, rather than returning the ship's guests to Earth in a matter of weeks, the trip will last an additional three years. Captain Ryan Clark (Hugh Laurie) and the ship's owner, billionaire Herman Judd (Josh Gad), have to work together with the rest of the crew in order to get back home safely. The downside, naturally, is that the passengers are quickly losing their minds, the crew isn't that competent either, and there are not enough supplies to sustain everyone on board.

Set mostly on board the fictional Avenue 5, the dark HBO comedy (which is readying Season 2 at the time of writing) gleefully contrasts the shiny, gleaming surfaces of the vessel and high tech gadgets with the stupidity and greed of the passengers and workers. In fact, the strong production design rightfully won a British Film Guild Designer Award in 2020 (via IMDb). But the captivating look of the ship and the Control Room in the Judd HQ Building may make viewers curious about where the show is filmed. Here's more about the locations of "Avenue 5."

The Avenue 5 crew built 68 sets for the ship

Principal photography of the HBO comedy largely takes place in the Warner studio complex, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, in London (via Variety). According to Architectural Digest, the first season used 68 sets designed by Simon Bowles which emphasized the open feeling of the ship. "We [the designers] went out of our way to waste space," Bowles told the magazine.

Set design features on wondrous display in Season 1 include oversize windows, a working glass elevator, and a large two-story atrium. The result is an environment that really feels like audiences are transported decade into the future and are given a clear sense of how interior design will evolve in that time. In fact, Bowles told Architectural Digest that cast members would get lost because the sets were just so large, which proves how much he succeeded.

In 2019, a huge fire damaged one of the sets of "Avenue 5," causing the series to work out how to film the last two episodes without the interior, according to Variety. It's unclear how much was salvaged from the fire and what amount of the stunning Season 1 sets will be shown in the forthcoming second season.

The Herman Judd Control Room has been featured in a film, too

If you're a fan of Formula 1, you may have noticed that the Judd Control Room in the billionaire's headquarters back on Earth in "Avenue 5" looks very familiar. That's because it's actually the McLaren Formula 1 racing team's HQ and media briefing room — officially known as the McClaren Technology Center – located in Surrey, England, but repurposed with lots of "Judd" logos and a very different color scheme.

Redditor u/saksith pointed this out on the r/formula1 subreddit and even compared a scene from "Avenue 5" to what the room normally looks like. As one user wrote though, "[McLaren] was also used as the base for the bad guys in 'Hobbs and Shaw.'" Indeed, "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" did film at the Technology Center in 2018 (via Automotive News Europe). 

Only "Avenue 5" and the "Fast & Furious" spin-off have used the McLaren Technology Center as locations so far but McLaren is enthusiastic about working more with film and television producers. McLaren's global marketing director Jamie Corstorphine told Automotive News Europe in August 2019 that managing their involvement in entertainment requires "a reasonable amount of effort to manage but it's absolutely worth it ... It's the modern-day equivalent of the posters on the bedroom wall."