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Model construction process (week 4 – week 5)

Week 4

I also wanted to document some of the model making process, which has been supportive in the way on which it has allowed me to look at the actual space that I have proposed, bringing me closer to the reality of what I have designed. As our process is evidently driven by the ‘guest’ experience, we began with a model of the door/wall entrance to the hotel room, as this almost acts as a first impression for the guest and provides them with a sneak peak with what to expect in the interior, creating a threshold between the lobby and private hotel room which we have designed. First impressions are imperative so I really wanted my door/wall design to embody the spirit of the film but also not give to much away to create an element of surprise/mystery for the guest upon their entrance to the room. I began by sketching a rough idea for my design, using the measurements from my 1:20 scaled plan. I then began with the 3D model. Through the help of scoring, i was able to create a model which can stand on its own as it has a thickness to it. The real challenge for me in this process, was being careful with the measurements and making sure I cut out the correct pieces. 


Week 5

Initially, conceptualizing a single door, upon reflection, I have decided to elevate the design through the creation of a double door. This deliberate choice was significant as it embodies the grandeur and opulence showcased within the film. Channeling the distinct Wes Anderson aesthetic, I went for the typical Wes Anderson colour palette, integrating pastels such as pink and blue, predominant colours within the film, which capture its iconic and whimsical nature.

To amplify the allure, I wanted to add some intricate detailing to the entrance to spark a sense of curiosity within the guests, setting the stage for the immersive experience within while still preserving an element of surprise until they step into the hotel room itself. For these details, I used gold as this was

Choosing gold for the detailing, was a nod to the film’s aesthetic, reinforcing the elegance and luxury which I aimed to channel in my design. I drew inspiration from the intricate pattern at the front entrance of the hotel, so I wanted to incorporate a similar pattern into my design, offering a subtle narrative that enhances the overall guest experience.

Overall, I am happy with the progression of my model and I think that this activity has really helped me bring my imagination to life and act as a visual aid to support my design and ideas.


Week 5 – Design review 3

After having a closer look at my design, I wanted to further capture the spirit of The Grand Budapest with the integration of furniture showcased within the film. To further reinforce the bespoke nature of my design, I decided to recreate an integral piece of furniture featured within the film and have documented the process below.


I began by sourcing an image of the arm chair to which I began constructing the shell, using the rectangle tool and the push and pull tool. Once I had the shape I desired, I used the colour picker to extract the original colours and then applied these to a leather texture which I sourced online. I then added the metal bars on the bottom which act as chair feet. In this way, I was able to replicate the arm chair successfully. I was struggling with furniture selection for the main space but I now feel as though this piece of furniture will really pull my design together and further reinforce the spirit of the film. I think that sometimes, although a useful tool, SketchUp sometimes limits me, as a designer by constricting me to the furniture selection available in the 3D warehouse. For this reason, I have found that designing some of my own furniture, I have been able to tailor the space and enhance its bespoke nature.

Since last review, I have made a couple of changes to the layout, one of which being switching the bedroom and bathroom to enhance the flow of the space and allow for the bedroom to have a view. I have tried to consider the user and their journey while making the space flexible. Additionally, I have changed some of the furniture and even the colour palette to suit the whimsical spirit of the film and embody its quirky nature. Although it has been a challenge, I think that I am finally beginning to find a balance between the integration of elements from the 30s and 60s to capture the spirit of the film.

After review, I was given some feedback, so I decided to annotate my current floor plan with all the comments I had received to be able to read my drawing more visually and get my thoughts onto paper as can be seen below.

I have now reached a stage where I have a clear direction for advancing my design, and my next step is to refine my ideas. The main point I took away from the review was that my concept is strong and I now need to narrow my focus towards enhancing the functionality within the design of the hotel room, considering the user and their needs/activities.

Week 4 – Design review 2

In my initial design, I overlooked the importance of capturing the essence of the time periods in which the movie is set. Recognizing this, I decided to do some more research into typical 1930s and 1960s interiors to truly understand how spaces were back then, seeking a deeper understanding of the design elements that characterized both of these eras, enhancing the sensitivity and authenticity of my work.

Through these significant changes, I think that my design is developing well and is beginning to become bespoke, however, there were some key pieces of feedback that i had received which I would like to take into consideration when continuing to progress my work in the weeks to come.

The first key point would be the guest experience within my design. I think that I need to look at the series of spaces that I have and look closely at the activities happening within each space and how everything works together to create the most optimal flow of movement. For example, the bathroom. I need to further consider how it feels to sit on the toilet, to stand at the sink, to be in the bath or to even be sat at the dressing table. Now that I have looked back at my work, perhaps the dressing table seems misplaced and potentially not needed. I also need to rescale the toilet as it seems to be quite small compared to the wash hand basin.

Another main piece of feedback would be the colour palette, material palette and furnishings used within my design. Having been inspired by the cinematography in the film, in particular the aspect ratios used to film both the scenes set in the 60s as well as 30s and how that changes. Although the variety of vertical space is creating interesting volumes, I am considering further emphasising this as a design choice. I could do this by over-emphasising other elements so that the whole of the interior becomes dramatic and thus echoing the whimsical nature of the film even further. In terms of the colour palette, I think that I need to reconsider certain spaces with regard to the colour choices to integrate more of the film’s personality and personify each space. I was also prompted to extract the colour palette out of my interior as this would enable me to assess if my ‘raw’ design is enough to be in the spirit of the film, thus prompting me to make bolder design choices in terms of the architecture of the space.

As my film is quite particular and whimsical, it can be difficult to design a space that is respectful of the spirit of the film while also not being cliche or tacky, making it challenging. With regards to the material palette and texture applied within my design, I think I have almost overloaded the space with an abundance of textures and materials because I did not want to miss anything and wanted to try and include everything that I thought would most successfully convey the whimsical spirit of the Grand Budapest hotel. Therefore, I think it may be worth reconsidering the range of colours, textures and patterns that I am showing to create a balance and make my design more autonomous. In this way, I believe that I will be able to create a really strong set of spaces which can all stand on their own, with each space owning its own specific set of materials.

Through the application of this feedback, I have been able to develop the bespoke nature of my design. I believe that the whimsical and quirky nature of the film is finally beginning to ‘read’ in my interior and I just need to continue to develop my design with these comments in mind to really embody the spirit of the film whilst resisting the urge to recreate it.

Week 3 – Design review 1

As the Grand Budapest is set within 2 separate timeframes (1930s and 1960s), I was trying to think of ways in which I could implement this within my work. As the majority of the movie is set in the 1930s time period, I decided that majority of the hotel room would be influenced by that era and the rest of it, would be inspired by the 1960s. I have only just started my design, so it is still a work in progress, as can be seen below.

Now that I have had time to discuss my work with tutors and peers, I fear as though I may have taken the brief too literally. Going forward, I would like to try and integrate aspects from the film but in a more subtle non-thematic way. Instead, I was thinking I could combine both time periods strategically, rather than having some form of partition separating each era.

Initially, when I first started working on my design, I think I made the mistake of restricting my design to a conventional ‘box’. Due to the constricting shape of my current floor plan, I was left with a monotonous design which lacked creativity and intrigue. I think that I had started to worry about how my design would work in the real world and all the limitations and regulations that come with that, so I lost some of my creativity worrying about the functionality of it.

After having seen some of my peers work and the variety of approaches to the task, I now feel inspired and feel as though I can be more elaborate, creative and ambitious with my design and not be scared to break away from conventional standards. For these reasons, I have decided to rework my design and integrate the constructive feedback that I have received.

Although this can feel frustrating, it is all part of the process and I am quite an early stage in my design where making changes is not a hindrance. I now feel confident in the development of my current design and believe that I will be in a stronger, more resolved position in the weeks to come.

Week 2 – Hotel design research

This week we were introduced to the key aspects to consider when designing hotel rooms. Different guests, have different needs and as a result, desire different hotel rooms. However, the key thing that all hotels have in common, whether that be a budget hotel or luxury one, is functionality.

Ergonomics need to be considered, and in order o understand this effectively, I decided to research a case study. In particular, the Jiahe Boutique Hotel in Shanghai.

After having done some research, I have learnt that hotel rooms need continuity. The main priority should be functionality but that does not mean that traditional standards cannot be challenged. Everything included within the design, must be integral to the room and must serve a purpose.

Week 1 – Film research

This week we were introduced to the course and the course brief. At first glance, there were multiple movies which caught my eye, but I knew I wanted to chose an iconic movie which I had a deep interest in as this would be the most conducive to my creative process and allow me to experiment. For this reason, I chose the Grand Budapest hotel as my film as it has very engaging space conditions and clever cinematography. Wes Anderson, the director, has a very distinct style in which he uses a combination of symmetry and colour as  storytelling devices, which I thought would be very interesting to mimic in an interior environment.

Through research (demonstrated below), I was able to dig deeper into the film narrative, cinematography, symbolism etc. and uncover the reasons behind Anderson’s creative choices, which in turn, has begun to influence my design thinking and choices.



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