Salon 01: This is an adaptation
February 9, 2013 § Leave a comment
In Merchant Ivory’s film, an illustrated series of grotesques openly addresses the fact that the film is a literary adaptation. These grotesques are used to list the cast of characters, as well as to divide the film into “chapters.” (Read more about them in Filming Forster: The Challenges in Adapting E. M. Forster’s Novels for the Screen, available here.)
Taking inspiration from the film’s approach, I sketched an idea for an interior “title page” that would embrace the fact that the space is a translation. The main point of entry to the fourth floor (on which the pensione is located) is an elevator tucked away in its own abbreviated corridor. So a guest’s first look at the pensione will be framed by the opening doors of the elevator…
After exiting the elevator, the guest will enter the “title page” before crossing a defined threshold into the translated space.
How stark the contrast between the two spaces will be is yet to be determined, but here is a look at creating stark contrast through color:
But what about reception?
Typically, reception is immediately visible when a guest enters a hotel. The above scenario clearly bucks this tradition. How much of a problem is that? Is it a problem at all?
First things first: the location of the main (only) elevator simply precludes placing reception at the point of entry. Relocating the point of entry would require intruding on the spaces below, including the historic event spaces of the Palazzo Gianfigliazzi Bonaparte-something I am loath to do, despite the fictional nature of the project!
Secondly: The flow of the novel is that of a traditional comedy… confusion, even greater confusion, revelation. (Or muddle, if you will.) Now, confusion is not exactly what you want your guests to experience when they are trying to check in. Is it possible, though, to achieve an acceptable hesitancy by delaying access to reception, while also guiding visitors to reception via a path that does not allow for deviation?