Adam Stockhausen’s brilliant Production Design for Wes Anderson’s film.

The Grand Budapest Hotel comes wrapped like a Fabergé egg inside a jewelry box inside a puzzle box inside an elaborate gift box. Wes Anderson folds the widescreen format down to a symmetrical pocket square, keeping the flashbacks neatly packed in classic Academy ratio.

To complete the effect, Production Designer Adam Stockhausen remodeled an abandoned German department store, transforming the store’s 4-floor atrium into the lobby of the Grand Budapest Hotel — redecorating the space with at least 3 different makeovers to reflect the various eras of the hotel’s changing fortunes across 7 decades. Adam Stockhausen is a versatile as the hotel itself, receiving an Oscar nomination last year for his work on 12 Years a Slave. (4-time Oscar winner Catherine Martin took last year’s prize for designing The Great Gatsby). Stockhausen’s previous work includes two other Wes Anderson films, The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom. He also created a surreal microcosm of New York City inside a vast Manhattan warehouse for Synecdoche, New York.

As seen in the featurette above, the decor of the hotel practically has its own character arc, and Adam Stockhausen’s production design leaves an indelible impression. With a worldwide gross of $168 million, The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s biggest earner to date. Shots like these are key to its charm and an essential part of the film’s success.

“Creating a Hotel”

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