My picture threads consist of images I have taken that focus on the architecture, landscape architecture, planning, design, and theming of the facilities highlighted. They may also contain short descriptions and commentary, but will not focus on construction progress or special events or memorabilia or food selections or my traveling companions. Hopefully these threads are a good introduction for those who have not seen these places yet. All killer, no filler!
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort photographed in February 2008:
These two hotels on Disney property are operated by Westin and arranged on an axis on opposite sides of a small formal lake. Both were designed by famous architect Michael Graves and his prolific office as a complimentary pair. Both are typical of the Postmodern forms of his work, featuring bright abstractions of iconic architecture and in this case highly stylized tropical themes. His other work for Disney includes the Team Disney Building at the Disney Studios in Burbank, CA. Although it is a striking and sophisticated complex, its close proximity to the three Robert Stern-designed resorts (all of which are lower buildings with more traditional themes) makes it a rather imposing attention-grabbing neighbor.
The smaller of the two, the major elements of this building are the large arched midrise and lower wings decorated with wave patterns and topped by two swan sculptures and two scallop shell fountains. Smaller swan sculpture fountains are located at the porte cochere, courtyards between the wings, and inside the lobby. The lobby entrance from the lake features a brightly striped pavilion inspired by beach cabanas while a large rotunda inspired by a tropical lath house serves as a restaurant and leads to the pool. Another, called the Grotto Pool, extends around the lake on one side to connect to the Dolphin's own pool and forms an extensice recreation area.
The larger of the two, the major elements of this building are the triangular highrise, sloping midrises flanking each side decorated with banana leaf patterns and topped by 2 dolphin statues, and lower wings topped with 4 lotus fountains. The lobby entrance from the lake features more of the brightly striped pavilion details inspired by beach cabanas, as well as a giant stepping scallop shell cascade. The massive porte cochere on the other side is decorated with more dolphin details and fronted by a dolphin statue fountain.