A hedge maze for the historic Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King was inspired to write “The Shining”, while staying in the now famous Room 217. 

Strawn + Sierralta selected as one of seven finalists in an international design competition that received 329 entries from designers in 34 countries and 40 states. The competition went viral and was featured in Fast Company, CNET, Curbed, Thrillist, Gizmodo, Slate and the UK’s Daily Mail, among others. 


Founded as a luxury getaway, the remote lodge is reportedly haunted and hosts multiple daily Ghost Tours. 

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Stanley Hotel is located in Estes Park, Colorado. Positioned just outside Rocky Mountain National Park, the grand hotel opened in 1909 at an elevation of 7,500 feet.

Key spaces in the hotel were used for shooting the television version of "The Shining" and infamously, Jim Carrey stood proudly on its front steps in white fur snow boots in "Dumb and Dumber .


A manufactured landscape can reflect the story line and cinematography of the classic novel and movie, while extending the experience beyond the historic Colorado setting.

The physical maze is designed with as many “decision points” as possible to maximize the time visitors will spend in the maze. A clearing at the mid-point of the maze allows guests to take a brief break before heading out for the second half of the journey.


The maze reflects the continuous shots of Stanley Kubrick’s classic film, mirroring movie moments in the physical maze. 

Key moments from the movie were used as inspiration for the layout of the hedge maze. The Colorado Lounge, where Jack Nicholson's character pens his novel, was the prompt for including a large central gathering space, the "Room". Danny's clever escape in the final scene in the maze led to the inclusion of two "Backtracks", while seven "Dead Ends" are included as a nod to Jack Torrance's untimely demise. The famous Big Wheels' shots, where Danny pedals through the hotel, are embodied in six "Loops".

ROOM Running into others

ROOM Running into others

BACKTRACKS Going the wrong direction to go the right way

BACKTRACKS Going the wrong direction to go the right way

DEAD ENDS An opportunity to find something else

DEAD ENDS An opportunity to find something else

LOOPS Ending up right where you started

LOOPS Ending up right where you started


Experiencing the maze at different scales and through different mediums.

The physical maze is a naturally, immersive experience that becomes truly interactive with the addition of digital components, including a GPS-enabled smartphone app and a wi-fi connected, scale model.



Environments and Service Design: Strawn+Sierralta

Competition Jury: 

John Cullen, Owner, The Stanley Hotel
Midge Knerr, Lodge Inn Keeper, The Stanley Hotel
Wendy Koenig, Mayor Pro Tem, Town of Estes Park
Tom Botelho, Executive Director, Denver Film Society
Merlyn Paulson, Prof. Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University
Harriette Woodard, Community Member, Estes Park
Cydney Springer, Artist, Estes Park


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