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The whimsical cinematic worlds of Wes Anderson are instantly recognisable on the silver screen thanks to candy colours, exacting symmetry and faded grandeur – and now we’ve tracked them down IRL. From The Royal Tenenbaums to The Grand Budapest Hotel, these cult films’ aesthetics are yours for the taking if you know where to look. If life imitates art then it’s a Wes Anderson world we want to live in.
Eastern Colombia House
Los Angeles, US
The concept of time, or forgotten time, is a founding characteristic of Wes Anderson films. His obsession with nostalgia and bygone eras feature across his film catalogue, suggesting that he too is a man born in the wrong time period. Rumoured to house Jonny Depp and John Stamos, the Art Deco beacon in downtown LA with its statement clock and rooftop pool is a glorious testimony to the roaring twenties from afar, but get up close and you’ll find a neglected landmark.
A distinct lack of technology is apparent in many Anderson masterpieces. Blume’s office in Rushmore is all things analogue, there are switchboard telephones in Moonrise Kingdom and Mr Fox has a trusty dictaphone. We’re not sure about giving up our MacBooks, but the retro phone and kitsch décor at this home office in Portland might stop us from screening so many calls.
Many of Anderson’s sets are 2D optical illusions which have been expertly (and symmetrically) shot, but Bar Luce in Milan is the real deal. Housed within the fashion house concept building Fondazione Prada, the vintage Formica tables, central clock and retro pinball machines create Anderson’s distinctive storybook touch.
This quaint 19th-century shop in the small German town of Dresden was the chosen location for Mendls bakery in The Grand Budapest Hotel, thanks to elaborate tiles and pretty Meissen porcelain. Unfortunately, you can’t get your hands on those delectable courtesan au chocolat pastries though – the shop is actually a creamery.
Those who long to check into The Grand Budapest Hotel need look no further than this boutique bolthole in Mississippi. Filled with eclectic local artwork, deliberately a clashing colour palette and floral prints and palette of pink, navy, teal and blush, all that’s missing is the lingering smell of L’Air de Panache.
Little Chalet Motel
If it wasn’t the wistful clouds gathering above the peaks that prompted you to scream Wes Anderson through a mint-green high-school megaphone then the retro colour palette and futuristic typeface at this Canadian motel will. Race you to the check-in.
Iceland’s dramatic glaciers have featured in many Hollywood film sets but nothing compares to this hallmark fuse with Wes Anderson art. Photographed by Reddit user Milonade, many have asked if this enviably symmetrical snap came from the man himself.
New Jersey, US
European modernist exterior? Check. Bold, retro colour palette? Check. Kitsch, ornamentation? Check. Unchanged since it’s genesis in 1950s? This one is what Instagram dreams are made of.
II LO High School
Soft pastels dominate Wes Anderson colour wheels and this swathe of candy floss colours strongly resembles the shoot out scene in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Safe to say our school definitely did not look like this.
Featured on endless Instagrammable London pages for their retro egg-shaped toilets (even Kylie Jenner couldn’t resist a snap), Sketch gives us yet another reason to sit down and sip tea out of quintessential china. Their bubblegum-pink tearoom, multicoloured tiled flooring and square-set seating ticks all the necessary Anderson aesthetics.
Remember the zebra-patterned wallpaper in The Royal Tenebaums? The dining room of this baroque castle dating back to the 15th century holds Europe’s most valuable hunting collection and was no doubt the inspiration for the iconic wallpaper.
Stay in a time-warp museum where you’re encouraged to touch everything you come across. This Berlin hostel overflows with faux plotted plants and lava lamps that appear to have been lifted straight out 1970s Germany… or the prop cupboard of Rushmore.
The amber grandeur of the City Palace Jaipur resembles a manicured dollhouse with its miniature windows and ornate facade. The well-heeled guests who once held court here are reminiscent of those looked after by Zero.
Constructed from a window frame mounted on a plywood platform, Gustave H took to the Zubrowka mountains to escape his impending imprisonment. Slightly better designed, but offering equally as dramatic view, is the Norwegian passenger train that weaves through waterfalls and along the Flam fjord.
Closed due to the rapid melting of the adjacent Rhone Glacier, the pitstop Hotel Bélvedère windy roads and symmetrical windows (obviously) offer a fanciful glimpse into the mind of an Anderson location scout. We’re available anytime Wes, anytime.
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