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I would like to know something about hotel architecture. For several years, I've been trying to conceive and sketch out the lay-out of the Hotel Overlook from the movie, "The Shining. " If you know the lengthy discussions of the setting of the movie, it has windows where they shouldn't be, doors to non-existent rooms and other such impossibilities. I'd like to know about some of the required architectural requirements that are expected in hotels. What can you tell me about actual hotel lay-outs?

Lodge Floor Plan
Lodge Floor Plan  

If you have been working on this for several years, then you already know that the Timberline Lodge located near Portland Oregon has angular geometry on the outside that is reflected on the inside.  The interior of that hotel is very warm, inviting, comfortable, and cozy.  But the movie uses interior views of a very different space that is more institutional - similar to an insane asylum.  That is my opinion anyway.

I suppose you could copy the floor plan of the Timberline Lodge and tweak the interior to match scenes from the movie.

It is actually the Stanley Hotel in Colorado that provided the inspiration for Stephen King's novel.

As a building official, most of the hotels that I review are two stories with twenty rooms on each floor.  Sometimes three stories and very seldom four stories.  To meet the code requirements, there will always be at least two stairways located near the opposite ends of the hotel.  But most common is a grand stairway located in the middle that has the front reception and office located near the bottom of the stairway.  The central core is also where you will find the elevator, kitchen, laundry, breakfast room, swimming pool, hot tub, etc.  The stairways located on the extreme ends of the hotel must be enclosed (fire and smoke protection).  Rooms are then arranged on either side of a central corridor.  All hotels must be equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler system.  Other than the typical Porte Cochere, I can't think of anything else.

Good luck with your project.


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Richard Burton AIA


A combined total of 25 years experience with construction, architecture, and building code enforcement. Ask me about residential and commercial design. Ask me about design aesthetics, structural methods, and building something that will withstand severe weather conditions. Ask me my opinion about YOUR design ideas and I will tell you the merits of good design and challenge your thinking about practical issues. Ask me how to best find and work with your local architect and approach general contractors to get the most value for the least amount of headaches. You can ask me about improving your energy efficiency and things that are both green and practical. But don't ask me about solar panels and wind turbines unless you are currently paying your utility company 35 cents per Kilowatt. Otherwise the math does not justify the initial cost and return on investment. Ask me any building code question and how to get a building permit from the most difficult enforcement agencies.


Here in the midwest, we design and build "green" in ways that make sense. My construction methods prioritize weather resistance, ease of maintenance and durability. While a graduate student in San Diego, I taught drafting and history of architecture. After working ten years for other architecture firms, I have started my firm Arrow Architecture in 2008. More than half of my work involves commercial office buildings. But my portfolio of work also includes custom homes, residential additions, home remodels, and second story additions.

President-Elect of American Institute of Architects - Lincoln, NE

B.S. Architecture - (Interior Design) University of Nebraska Lincoln 1997 Master of Architecture - (Urban Design and Professional Practice) NewSchool of Architecture - San Diego 2004 Graduated Summa Cum Laude ICC Certified Building Plans Examiner

Awards and Honors
AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate

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