The Miniature Model Behind ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’


While “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is busy with smaller design elements, one of its most striking designs is the hotel itself. Outfitted in shades of pink and purple and situated atop a hill, the hotel is grandiose and picturesque. It also happens to be nine feet tall. For wide shots of the hotel, the director Wes Anderson and his team decided to use a handmade miniature model.

“I’ve always loved miniatures in general,” Mr. Anderson said, speaking by phone from Paris. “I just like the charm of them.” He used miniatures in “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” and more extensively in “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” He said he feels that audiences tend to recognize what is artificial, whether in computer-generated effects or otherwise, and that gave him liberty to use models. “The particular brand of artificiality that I like to use is an old-fashioned one,” he added.

He collaborated again with the production designer Adam Stockhausen (“Moonrise Kingdom”) to come up with the look of the hotel, then had it built by a crew. Here is a closer look at the hotel, including commentary and ideas from Mr. Stockhausen.