Modern luxury resort blends into the lush coffee hills of India

July 18, 2019 by  
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The misty coffee hills of southwest India recently gained a new luxury resort designed by Bangalore-based architectural firm Cadence Architects . Named Java Rain, the 18-villa resort is set in the middle of an active, 40-acre coffee estate and offers not only spectacular views of the landscape but is also thoughtfully nestled into nature to blur the boundaries between indoors and out. Natural, locally sourced materials were carefully selected to blend the buildings into the landscape and to reduce environmental impact. Located at the foothills of the Mullahangiri Hills in Chikkamagalur, the Java Rain resort spans an area of 60,000 square feet and comprises a clubhouse, villas, a spa, a restaurant and a treehouse that houses an elevated cafe in addition to other service buildings. The 18 contemporary, butterfly roof-topped villas range from single, twin and presidential suites, and each is named after terms associated with coffee. Glazing wraps around the villas to immerse guests in nature. Related: Escape to the Azores at this charming eco resort by the sea “The project deals with the idea of blurring the boundaries between inside and outside, such that the building becomes one with nature,” Cadence Architects said. “The challenge in this project was to insert built forms into the existing landscape and blurring the edge seamlessly like a graft. The landscape is treated as a visual and tactile element. The built form responds to both the immediate site context as well as to that of the hill station. The surfaces of the buildings are rendered with earthy and rustic materials to accentuate their contemporary forms. Local materials available on site are extensively used to not only help the architecture blend with the context but also make the project sustainable.” The mix of contemporary architecture with natural materials and organic forms helps the resort achieve its branding as a luxurious escape from the city that offers immersion in nature without sacrificing creature comforts.  + Cadence Architects Via ArchDaily Photography by Patricia Parinejad via Cadence Architects

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Modern luxury resort blends into the lush coffee hills of India

Tiks cuffs aim to break the plastic waste circle

July 18, 2019 by  
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Companies around the globe looking for ways to battle plastic waste are coming up with innovative ways to tackle the issue. Cape Clasp, based out of Falmouth, Massachusetts, is an example of a business putting the health of the ocean front and center with the release of Tikós— a line of bracelets made from recycled plastic . While each bracelet, or cuff, represents 100 plastic bottles removed from the ocean, the message goes well beyond simply recycling plastic. The leaders at Cape Clasp believe that education is a more powerful tool than recycling. After all, the only way we will ever solve the massive single-use plastic problem is to change the habits of those causing the issue in the first place. Related: Surfing trip leads to 4Ocean cleaning coastlines around the world “Creating a new market for ocean plastic will drive its removal, but that won’t be enough to protect marine life ,” says Patrick Clarke, founder of Cape Clasp. “No matter how much plastic we remove from the water, there will always be more flowing in unless we change our habits.” So while the company turns post-consumer plastic into products, diverting that waste from landfills , their mission is to change the behaviors that produce the plastic waste currently endangering marine animals. With that in mind, each cuff stands as a reminder to the wearer. Color coded to represent different challenges, consumers can choose one or collect them all. Blue : “Bring a Bag” reminds consumers to tote your own reusable shopping bag to help conserve natural resources like petroleum (plastic) and trees (paper), plus eliminate the plastic bags tumbling down the coastline. Black : “Skip the Straw” by either asking your server to hold it when you order or by bringing your own reusable straw. Plastic straws are one of the top waste materials clogging beaches and endangering ocean wildlife . Teal : “Keep the Cup” your morning coffee comes in and find a way to reuse it. Better yet, bring your own cup in for refills and skip the single use altogether. Tan : “Clean the Coast” with every trip to the beach . Bring along a garbage bag and pick up debris as you stroll, or think big and organize a beach clean up event. With a purpose-driven mission to clean up the ocean and protect the animals, Cape Clasp has joined forces with myriad similar-minded organizations to further their goal. Donating 15 percent of their profits, the company has raised over $35,000 in the past two years, which has helped fund partners working to protect the dolphins, whales, sea turtles, sharks and the Cape Cod coastline. + Cape Clasp Images via Cape Clasp

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Tiks cuffs aim to break the plastic waste circle

From farm to table, sustainability shines at the Belle Mont Farm eco resort

January 16, 2019 by  
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Anyone who has savored the beauty of the Caribbean can attest to its splendor. Not only are there captivating coastlines, but the islands in the area are accustomed to managing limited resources and are naturally focused toward sustainable development. One eco resort, Belle Mont Farm, has taken steps to lead the way in creating an earth-friendly luxury option in the region. The Belle Mont Farm on the island of St. Kitts, West Indies is a sanctuary that encompasses a lush golf course lined with crops and fruit-laden trees that you can enjoy as you play. The resort encourages physical activity in the surrounding natural environment, allowing you to skip typical paved walkways in exchange for miles of fertile farmland , tropical forest, cane fields, fruit groves and pastures. Related: Green-roofed eco resort on Easter Island designed to blend into the landscape In fact, an opportunity to immerse yourself in the physical environment is one of the main goals of the farm. From there, designers believe there are four pillars to sustainable development. The first is art and culture. Belle Mont Farm is dedicated to exposing visitors to the fine arts by hosting several festivals each year, ranging in theme from film to photography to music to culinary, and it hosts a film institute and resident art program. The second goal is to financially contribute to the local economy. The eco resort does this by hiring local vendors; the entire campus was built using local contractors. This has driven millions of dollars back into the community rather than exporting it elsewhere. Related: Stunning sustainable resort in Colombia built out of compressed-earth blocks and bamboo Social responsibility is the third element of sustainable development, which simply means that the Belle Mont Farm aims to maintain the culture and history of the island through consistent, heritage-based architecture that remains true to the fabric of St. Kitts. Finally, Belle Mont focuses on ecology by focusing on stewardship of the natural environment through sustainable practices and net-positive food production. Some of the steps toward sustainability include transitioning to complete renewable energy and making electric cars available to guests. Plus, the farm-to-table program creates a sustainable model for resort dining with fresh, organic vegetables and catches from the surrounding ocean. “My vision is to bring together community and culture, mindful conservation of natural resources, along with rewarding activities and learning opportunities,” said founder Val Kempadoo. “This means we can offer an unforgettable experience while bringing lasting, life-changing benefits to the local people and economy.” + Belle Mont Farm Images via Belle Mont Farm

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From farm to table, sustainability shines at the Belle Mont Farm eco resort

A treehouse made from sustainable wood hides a luxurious interior

November 1, 2018 by  
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The sustainable builders at ArtisTree are known for creating some seriously beautiful and green structures. The company has just unveiled a charming treehouse located in a remote eco-retreat in Texas. Perched 25 feet in the air between two cypress trees, the Yoki Treehouse is an exceptional example of the company’s artistry and deep respect for nature. Located in central Texas, the Yoki Treehouse is Austin’s first treehouse resort at Cypress Valley. Designed to be a luxury retreat, the  treehouse sits 25 feet above a creek, which served as the inspiration for the design and name (Yoki is the Hopi Native American word for rain). According to Will Beilharz, founder of ArtisTree, “Water is life — one of our most precious resources, and ArtisTree treehouses are designed to let people experience nature’s resources more intimately.” Related: World’s most active volcano harbors a tiny off-grid home — and you can stay overnight Built with sustainable woods such as elm, cypress and spruce, the treehouse holds court high up within the tree canopy.  The retreat is comprised of a 500-square-foot suspended treehouse and a separate bathhouse, which sits on solid ground. The two buildings are connected by a 60-foot-long suspension bridge with various platforms to provide plenty of open spaces for enjoying the surrounding nature. In the main house, this strong emphasis on nature is apparent at every angle. The entrance is located on the roof, which doubles as an observation platform perfect for enjoying the lush green forest views and the babbling brook. There is also an open-air porch where the branches grow through the floor, further connecting the structure into its environment. Inside, the walls of the treehouse are clad in a warm birch wood, creating a cabin-like aesthetic. Again, an abundance of windows, including an all-glass front wall, allows guests to reconnect with nature. The interior design and furnishings were inspired by Japanese minimalism, while touches of Turkish decor add a sense of whimsy. The separate bathhouse was built with solitude in mind. It features a spa-like atmosphere, complete with a large Onsen-style soaking bathtub. Ample floor-to-ceiling windows offer guests a serene spot to enjoy a bit of bird watching or stargazing. + ArtisTree Via Dezeen Photography by Smiling Forest via ArtisTree

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A treehouse made from sustainable wood hides a luxurious interior

Truly get away from it all at this gorgeous eco-resort and yoga retreat

August 1, 2018 by  
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A lot of people consider “getting away from it all” going to Las Vegas, New York City , Tokyo or Dubai, but that’s really just getting away from where you are to immerse yourself in chaos, where the “all” is larger than ever. For the ultimate getaway, including no phones, TV, Wi-Fi, Starbucks, or air conditioning, head to Xinalani , a stunning yoga retreat near Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico that will help you truly relax and unwind. Nestled between a flourishing jungle and the incredibly translucent Banderas Bay on the mighty Pacific Ocean, and just 12 miles down the beach from Puerto Vallarta, Xinalani is an isolated eco-resort. Here, you can enjoy having nothing to do except listen to the sound of crashing waves, relax on endless beaches with sand as fine as sugar and bask in so much sunshine you’ll think you can walk on it. Related: Thai eco-resort delights guests with woven pods and other sublime dwellings Although Xinalani is a serene hideaway aimed toward yoga aficionados, you don’t even have to own a pair of yoga pants to enjoy it to its fullest. It’s a foray into nature that offers sleeping and living quarters inside three-sided, palm-thatched cabins with nothing but a curtain separating you from the great outdoors. If you do love yoga, experience classes held in ideal settings in the Greenhouse, the Jungle Studio treehouse, the Sand Terrace or the Meditation Cabin. Typical rooms have amenities including al fresco showers, handcrafted writing desks and personal balconies with breathtaking vistas of Banderas Bay and the jungle. You can upgrade to a freestanding suite for privacy and luxuries like cozy pillow-top hammocks and beds as well as extravagant silk mosquito netting. Of course, no paradise would be complete without spa massages, pools and outstanding bars and restaurants — including a scrumptious breakfast buffet — scattered up and down the beach. Whether you visit Xinalani for the yoga or just for an unforgettable tropical excursion, you’ll leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and renewed. + Xinalani Via Dwell Images via Xinalani

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Truly get away from it all at this gorgeous eco-resort and yoga retreat

Massive eco-resort with a theme park to rise on Vietnams beaches

February 12, 2018 by  
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The Vietnamese government has given the green light to Mui Dinh Ecopark, a massive eco-resort expected to become one of Asia’s largest hospitality and leisure developments. Designed by architecture firm Chapman Taylor’s Bangkok studio, the mega-project will span 1,800 acres and comprise seven hotels for a total of 7,000 rooms in addition to a theme park, 500 villas, casino, beach club, and mountain clubhouse. The project is envisioned as a “sustainable destination.” Set on southern Vietnam’s beautiful white sandy shores in Mui Dinh, the enormous eco-resort will take inspiration from the local area’s rich history while paying careful attention to the environment. Little has been revealed on how the massive development plans to reduce its environmental footprint, but the renderings provide some clues: the buildings appear to take cues from the local vernacular with thatched roofs and natural materials rather that concrete construction. The visuals also show an idyllic verdant setting thick with trees while the larger buildings take the form of rounded mountains. Related: Outstanding eco-friendly resort in China is made with recycled and locally-sourced materials “Set on a beautiful site on the east coast of Vietnam, Mui Dinh Ecopark is designed to reflect the key elements of the surrounding environment – sand, sea, salt and sun,” wrote the architects. “Intended as an unrivalled hospitality-led mixed-use development in Asia , the development is inspired by the rich local history of Mui Dinh, particularly that of the Cham tribal culture and architecture as well as the lost world of the last dynasty.” + Chapman Taylor Via ArchDaily Images via Chapman Taylor

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Massive eco-resort with a theme park to rise on Vietnams beaches

David Chipperfield Architects reveal designs for Hamburgs tallest tower

February 12, 2018 by  
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Hot on the heels of Herzog & de Meuron’s recently completed Elbphilharmonie , David Chipperfield Architects has revealed designs for the German city’s next big architecture project: Elbtower. Towering above the skyline at 230 meters (755 feet), the sculptural mixed-use building will be the tallest building in the city and serve as a counterpoint to Elbphilharmonie to the west. David Chipperfield Architects’ designs for Elbtower won an international design competition that sought a building that was modern yet also captured the historic and unique character of the riverfront location. Its sculptural form features a long multi-level podium that then curves upwards to form a 230-meter-tall tower with tapered edges. The podium will comprise a bar, hotel, restaurant, retail, and exhibition areas. The building will also enjoy easy access to the train and underground station as well as a bicycle bridge. Related: Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie Plaza is the highest public square in northern Germany “We are delighted to have won the competition for the Elbtower project together with SIGNA and are happy to be invited to work in Hamburg again, especially on such an important site,” said David Chipperfield. “As architects we are increasingly aware that the city depends on the quality of projects from the private sector to create a strong civic dimension that engages with the complexities of the city. We look forward to positively embracing this responsibility with the Elbtower project.” The Elbtower will be sheathed in a specially designed glass facade equipped with lighting technology—designed by by Studio Other Spaces in collaboration with Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann—that will transform the building into a “kinetic sculpture” at night. + David Chipperfield Architects Via ArchDaily Images via David Chipperfield Architects

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David Chipperfield Architects reveal designs for Hamburgs tallest tower

Outstanding eco-friendly resort in China is made with recycled and locally-sourced materials

January 22, 2018 by  
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The four pavilions of the Naked Gallery resort in China were built using a combination of locally available natural and recycled waste materials. Xiaohui Designer Studio designed the complex as an eco-friendly space that “includes 75% of sustainable and renewable materials , 75% recyclable materials, and 75% of work by local craftsmen.” The designers utilized locally available stones, the soil excavated from the other sites in the resort, and bamboos abundant at the foot of Mount Mogan where the resort is located. The materials of the formwork and the joists of Naked Gallery are collected from the waste materials from other structures, which helped reduce the generation of waste and alleviate the influence of the architecture on the natural environment. Related: Luscious eco-resort design in China inspired by the Silk Road The resort consists of four pavilions. Local craftsmen built the complex using traditional building techniques which helped cut construction costs and increase construction efficiency. In fact, the transportation fees and construction waste were both cut by 90% during the building process. + Xiaohui Designer Studio Via Archdaily Photos by Youkun Chen    

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Outstanding eco-friendly resort in China is made with recycled and locally-sourced materials

Acoustic tractor beams could allow humans to levitate in the near future

January 22, 2018 by  
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Researchers from the University of Bristol are taking us into the future with a new discovery that could pave the way for human levitation. The powerful new technology uses tractor beams of sound to levitate liquids or even large objects – like a human beings – in mid-air. It’s like something straight out of a science fiction movie. Up until now, acoustic tractor beams could only lift tiny objects – anything larger than the wavelength would become rapidly unstable. But this new technology utilizes acoustic vortices that shift rapidly to hold and move objects. It’s kind of like trapping an object in a powerful tornado of sound, with a silent eye and loud sound on the exterior. By quickly changing the rate of rotation, scientists can stabilize the tractor beam and even manipulate it to hold larger objects. Related: $70 DIY acoustic tractor beam moves objects with sound Besides being exciting in terms of sci-fi fun, the technology could also have some immediate useful applications like moving surgical instruments or drug capsules in the body. “In the future, with more acoustic power it will be possible to hold even larger objects. This was only thought to be possible using lower pitches making the experiment audible and dangerous for humans,” said Senior Research Associate Dr. Mihai Caleap. + Physical Review Letters Via Phys.org Images via Physical Review Letters

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Acoustic tractor beams could allow humans to levitate in the near future

Visionary eco-resort design for the Philippines features rotating seashell towers

September 19, 2017 by  
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Visionary eco-architect Vincent Callebaut has just unveiled images of his latest ecological masterpiece and it’s jaw-droppingly stunning. Nautilus is a futuristic 27,000-square-meter eco-resort designed for Palawan, Philippines. The beautiful self-sustaining complex, which would include various research centers, shell-shaped hotels and rotating apartment towers, is designed to be a shining example of how resilient tourism can allow travelers to discover the world without destroying it. Callebaut designed Nautilus to be a resilient, self-sustaining community that includes a series of rotating apartments and luxury hotels, along with a elementary school and sports center. Also on site would be a scientific research and learning center for travelers who’d like to collaborate with engineers, scientists, and ecologists in actively taking part in improving the local environment. It’s a pioneering collaborative concept focused on using real-world education to foster and spread the idea of responsible ecotourism –  or as the architect describes it – “a voluntary approach to reimburse ecological debt”. Related: Vincent Callebaut’s Twisting Citytree Towers Generate More Energy Than They Consume Using the principles of biomimicry , the design is inspired by the “shapes, structures, intelligence of materials and feedback loops that exist in living beings and endemic ecosystems.” The construction and operation of the complex would work under a “zero-emission, zero-waste, zero-poverty” ethos, using 100 percent reused and/or recycled materials from the surrounding area. All of the materials used in the construction would be bio-sourced products derived from vegetable biomass. Microalgae and linseed oil would be used to manufacture organic tiles, while any wood used would be locally-sourced from eco-responsible forests. Even the luxury lodgings would be self-sustaining, playing a strong role in the design’s net-zero energy profile. The main tourist village would be built on telescopic piles that produce ocean thermal energy as well as tidal energy. This energy, along with photovoltaic cells , would produce sufficient energy for the the village, which will also be installed with vertical walls and green roofs to increase the buildings’ thermal inertia and optimize natural temperature control. To the west, twelve small spiral towers with a total of 164 units are designed to be built on rotating bases that turn on their axis according to the course of the sun, fully rotating 360 degrees in one day, providing optimal views of the surrounding environment and taking advantage of a full day of natural light. On the east side, the complex would have 12 small snail-shaped “museum-hotels” constructed with recycled concrete . The hotels will feature various exhibition spaces on the bottom floors and guests rooms on the upper floors. At the heart of the resort will be Origami Mountain, slated to house a scientific research center and nautical recreation area. The building would be constructed using a Cross Laminated Timber framework that would be layered to create a number of undulating ramps that fold out like a massive origami structure. + Vincent Callebaut + Nautilus Eco-Resort Images via Vincent Callebaut

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Visionary eco-resort design for the Philippines features rotating seashell towers

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