Wes Anderson's 2014 film The Grand Budapest Hotel had a great awards season. Last night, production designer Adam Stockhausenset won an Academy Award for his work. As an interior designer, I highly appreciate the worlds that Wes Anderson has created across all of his films. Anderson's work is always brilliantly studied and fully realized through color, architecture, props and costuming. He creates visually astounding universes that exude personality. The genius in Anderson’s work is that he elevates color and form to same level as the story line.
When we first see the Grand Budapest Hotel, the building appears a withered beauty past its prime. The 1960's garish green and orange lobby sticks out like a dye job crying for attention. But then, as the film’s narrator, Mr. Moustafa, recalls his lobby boy days in the 1930's, the camera races across a luxe red carpets and transports us into the fictional world of the hotel in it's full glory.
Anderson and Stockhausenset didn't have it easy when it came to constructing the hotel. See the clip below on how the hotel came to life -
The saturated red elevator, the layered textures of Agatha's room and the unexpected pops of pastels made a huge impression on me. In celebration of the wonderfully-crafted world that Anderson created, here are a few stills from the film.
Anderson is known for having full control over each shot, which often makes the scenes look like a series of individual design tableaux rather than a motion picture. One example of a technique that Anderson uses to get his aesthetic across is symmetry. Below is an amazing video showing symmetry in Anderson's films.