Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

George Vernon Russell,
The Flamingo Hotel,
Las Vegas, c.1950s,
Courtesy of UNLV Libraries,
Special Collections

JournalDesign

Enjoy Your Stay

Room for discussion at hotel exhibition...

As any tourist knows, the choice of hotel can make the difference between a dismal holiday and a doozy, and if you travel a lot for work, hotels can become a defining feature of your life. A new exhibition, Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life, at the Vancouver Art Gallery goes further, describing such places as the “defining structure of the modern age”. We’ll let you chew on that one for yourselves, but they certainly play a big part.

The hotel is certainly an interesting junction of architecture and sociology, and both these aspects have been examined by exhibition curator and author Jennifer M. Volland. Inspired by the 1932 Hollywood film Grand Hotel, which like the less favoured Four Rooms from the 1990s tells the interlocking stories of guests, this exhibition spans three centuries, two floors, and was itself six years in the making. Drop in without a reservation until 15th September.

Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

Peter Simon,
Harry Smith in front of the Chelsea Hotel,
New York, 1973.
© Peter Angelo Simon

Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

Raffles Hotel, Singapore,
Luggage Label, 1940.
Courtesy of Raffles Hotel Singapore

Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

Ace Hotel Portland Lobby, 2007.
Photo: Jeremy Pelley.
© Ace Hotel Group

Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

The Beat Hotel Café, c.1957,
silver gelatin print,
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery,
Gift of Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft.

Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

49er Spartan Mansion,
El Cosmico, Marfa, 2012.
Photo: Nick Simonite

Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

Bruce Price,
Banff Springs Hotel, 1888
Photo by Canada, Dept. of Interior /
Library and Archives Canada, c.1909 /
PA-040647

Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

Imperial Hotel, Japan,
Luggage Label, c. 1935.
Photo: Rachel Topham,
Vancouver Art Gallery

Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

Advertisement for Hilton Hotels
published in LIFE, December 23, 1957.
Courtesy of the Hospitality Industry Archives,
Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management,
University of Houston.
Photo: Rachel Topham,
Vancouver Art Gallery

Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

Bruce Jones,
Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji,
forthcoming.

Instagram

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