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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rest in Peace, Michael Graves

Michael Graves, designer of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels and the Team Disney Burbank building has passed away at the age of 80.

Mr. Graves was brought to Disney in the late eighties to jazz up the company's building portfolio. The Swan and Dolphin Hotels are the most visible of his Disney projects, as they are located right behind the Epcot theme park.

The hotels feature his signature design with giant sculptures and unusual shapes.

His elaborate designs extend to the interiors with fanciful sculptures and fountains.

Mr. Graves also designed the Team Disney building in Burbank, which features large statues of the Seven Dwarfs, seemingly holding the building in place. Profits from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were used to buy the property in Burbank, so his use of them in the design was apt. This building is not open to the public like the Swan and Dolphin.

Michael Graves was probably best known for his hugely successful line of housewares for Target, many of which had Disney characters incorporated into them. Mr. Graves recently oversaw an extensive internal refresh of the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, ensuring that his work will live on long after him.