Ivanhoe Cambridge chose the International Day of Peace to unveil the restored Fairmont Queen Elizabeth suite where John & Yoko’s Bed for Peace was held in Montreal, Canada, in 1969.
Preserving the historical character of Suite 1742, which John Lennon and Yoko Ono took over for their second bed-in in 1969, was a key goal of the hotel’s recent transformation by owner Ivanhoe Cambridge. The design was overseen by Sid Lee Architecture and Massivart.
The concept for the redesign hinged on rearranging the furniture in the same way Lennon and Ono had for the bed-in. The first step was to place the bed against the main window and free the central space. Rather than recreate the hotel’s period decor, the designer draws inspiration from places the couple had lived in or visited, such as London, New York, Tokyo and New Delhi.
Reproductions of the famous handwritten Hair Peace and Bed Peace cutouts adorn the window once again, while the words of the song Give Peace a Chance, recorded by John and Yoko in Suite 1742, are inscribed repeatedly on the walls, after the fashion of a war memorial – with, in this case, a wish for peace in lieu of the names of fallen soldiers.
An immersive art experience
One of the distinctive features of the John and Yoko Suite is the incorporation of artworks, interactive pieces and multimedia installations designed and produced by Massivart. They include an archival cabinet containing photos, videos and historical items, among them a Give Peace a Chance vinyl record.
Visitors will be able to don virtual-reality headsets placed on the nightstands on either side of the bed for an exclusive immersive experience – allowing them, among other things, to sense the unique energy of the bed-in from the point of view of John or Yoko.
At the same time as the unveiling, Sid Lee Collective and Massivart invited Montrealers to gather at the Place Ville Marie Esplanade for the largest outdoor bed-in ever held in North America as well as the exhibition Posters for Peace, featuring art created in tribute to the original bed-in.
The exhibition includes works by 40 artists from around the world, printed on sheets placed on the beds arranged along the Esplanade. The proceeds from the sale of reproductions of the works will go to Amnesty International.
Ivanhoe Cambridge, a global real estate industry leader, invests in high-quality properties and real estate companies in select cities around the world.
Other images from the suite….