Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Portman Atriums

This weekend I'll be visiting San Francisco to photograph two Hyatt hotels, one designed by famed architect John Portman and one that reflects his influence, designed by Mark Hornberger. The goal of this shoot is to help complete a chapter on hotels I'm writing for the omnitopia book.

To me, atrium hotels demonstrate a key aspect of the omnitopian sensibility, the desire to enclose a synecdoche of the world within a glass enclave, one that appears to blur interior and exterior spaces while enacting a firm distinction between two distinct urban worlds.

One thing that I particularly find when thinking about these places is their construction of spectacle. Looking upward as row upon row of rooms climb toward the light one senses an almost spiritual reverence that could never be found in pre-Portman hotels.

When I return from that trip, I'll post plenty of photos to illustrate what I mean.

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