Siobhán was delighted to be asked by The Lanesborough to create a photographic book about its forthcoming renovation. By the time she joined the project in March 2014, work had already begun. The auction that took place prior to the hotel’s closure the previous December had stripped the rooms of their contents. The services were switched off and what remained was the incredible silence that only a formerly occupied building can convey. That, along with the many hints of its former grandeur, would be the moment at which Siobhán commenced her photographic journey: the building’s past was still
very much intact, and its future was about to be revealed.
During this journey, Siobhán’s intention was to capture the vision and foresight of the designers through the layers of process and craftsmanship involved. As striking as the end result might be, the temporary and transitional state shown in many of the earlier photographs offers a ‘portrait’ of the many professionals that were involved in the hotel’s recreation. In the early stages, only the experienced trained eye of these people could imagine the finished state. For Siobhán, on her many repeat trips to the various rooms, the shape, colour and soul of the hotel gradually returned – each step revealing the uncompromising detail, with each layer building on the last to form the final visual feast.
One particular memory, on a late June Sunday afternoon, arose in the fourth-floor corridor, where she was momentarily stunned by the newly installed collection of artwork, which signified completion of the work there but also, more importantly, the fulfilment of the designers’ vision. Siobhán recalls, ‘Given my knowledge of the toil and effort that had gone before, it was a very special moment.’
The book, The Lanesborough Reimagined by Siobhán Doran, was published in November 2015 by Dewi Lewis Publishing on behalf of The Lanesborough. An artist’s edition of 50 is available – see shop for more detail.