Canton Avenue harkens back to the Silk Road of China

January 21, 2022 by  
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The Canton Avenue by MOK Design for the Westin Pazhou Hotel in Guangzhou is a walk back in time, revisiting the days when the hotel was a stop on the historic Silk Road of China . The Westin Pazhou Hotel Guangzhou was jointly built by China Foreign Trade Center (Group) and Starwood Hotels and Resorts International Group. It is located in the center of the Guangzhou International Convention & Exhibition Center, with views of the city and the Pearl River. Entering in, the exhibition halls of the Canton Avenue can be reached through a sky corridor from the hotel directly. There are also a series of sunrooms and green space installations inside the hotel has integrated the renovated building into the surrounding landscape. Related: Grass-roofed arches and planted terraces bring nature into this modern bazaar in India A unique green lawn built into the lobby of the hotel brings daylight and air circulation indoors. There are also multiple floor and wall plantings that freshen the timeless design of the space. Central to the lobby is Canton Bazaar, an all-day garden restaurant and lobby bar combined with an outdoor sunroom. Decorated with mosaics and terrazzo floor, the sunroom was designed to combine a traditional and modern style. The space can accommodate up to 107 people for dining. Food in the Canton Bazaar follows a Cantonese food market theme. There are fresh ingredients reminiscent of the Canton Fair, the historical Maritime Silk Road, and the Lingnan culture of the Guangdong region. Most notable about the redesign is the use of green plants throughout, including the lobby and restaurant . The MOK Design team focused on both green spaces to create a healthy indoor environment and an update of the style to create a modern sleek take on the Silk Road. Details feature elements of porcelain, bronze and Cantonese embroidery. A hotel mosaic mural featuring ships sailing to port from around the world was originally created by contemporary artist Ms. Zhang Haiyan. She drew the manuscript of this mosaic mural with colored lead along with designer Li Yanfang. The manuscript was sent to an Italian mosaic factory to be used in the making of the wall mural. The main elements of the screen include: the Zhenhai Tower, bombax ceiba cotton-tree flowers, the harbor, Guangzhou Tower, merchant ships, seagulls and cloud patterns. It brings to mind the international sea trade that historically made this city a successful port. The hotel uses a neutral color palette and judicious use of quality ornamentation to evoke tranquility toward its visitors. There is thoughtful use of glass screens, greenery, marble and light and dark brown tones to balance the space. + MOK Design Photography by Zhang Jing and Weng Xiaodong

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Canton Avenue harkens back to the Silk Road of China

Home in Mexico is hidden in the forest

November 4, 2021 by  
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In the forests of Morelia, Mexico , HW Studio’s The Hill in Front of the Glen nestles among the natural environment it is placed in. A stretch of the landscape is lifted to form a long, gently sloping hill, which are supported by two concrete walls. Two more walls cut through this hill to carve out the path leading guests into the house. From the point of entry into the project, the visitor is cast into a state of solitude and contemplation.  While the path is wide enough for an individual to walk comfortably, it remains narrow enough to limit accompaniment. A large tree cuts through the center of the entry path , thus compelling a slight change in direction and creating a threshold between the exterior and the pearled stone steps leading to the dwelling’s steel entry door. Related: Akersbakken Bicycle Hotel design blends into the landscape Upon entry, the concrete vault supporting the blanket of landscape above creates a dark, cozy cave-like condition, while the interior spatial arrangement guides interactions among inhabitants. To the left of the house, the public areas maximize views and promote extroversion, as the spaces open up towards the lush forest ravine. Conversely, the private spaces are more introverted and self-reflective, with openings to provide natural light from the courtyard and slivered views of the forest canopy and sky. The client requested maintaining an aesthetic that is reminiscent of the unrefined beauty of the nearby mountains. It’s achieved by limiting the types of materials used. Concrete is the primary material. It is used to form the structure of the home and mimics the site’s undulating topography. Wood is used for the flooring and furniture to harness a warmth that balances out the concrete and disperses a fresh piney scent. The classy steel details further enhance the project and, like the surroundings, their texture evolves through exposure to the elements. Through the minimalist design and innovative landscaping, the dwelling elegantly blends into the site and becomes part of the surrounding environment , creating a blur between manmade structures and nature. +HW Studio Photography by Cesar Bejar and Dane Alonso

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Denmark hotel inspires green design through woodwork

November 1, 2021 by  
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In order to meet climate goals, the building industry needs to emphasize innovation and modern sustainable architecture practices. A new development located in Rønne on the Danish island of Bornholm has set out to do just that with the Hotel Green Solution House (Hotel GSH).  The building stands out among the rest, not only because of its green design elements, but because the structure, built and clad doesn’t follow traditional architecture in the area. It does, however, meet the certification standards of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). Related: KAJ Hotel is a one-room boathouse rental that exudes hygge The project is the newest wing of the Hotel Ryttergården and features 24 rooms, a conference room and a roof spa. Designed by 3XN/GXN, Green Solution House absorbs CO2 at every level with its wood material, a natural process that is expected to earn the project a positive carbon footprint. In addition to the wood selection, the team incorporated upcycled waste , such as construction offcuts that were repurposed in the furniture and surfaces, and debris from a nearby granite quarry that was put to use in the conference room.  “It is a dream to work with a developer who is completely uncompromising when it comes to sustainability and the circular economy,” said Lasse Lind, architect and partner in GXN. “This hotel will not look like others in Denmark and sustainability will be a central part of the experience. Through the project, we have collaborated with local companies, from craftsmen to material producers, who have all embraced the ambition to build completely climate-friendly, and who are helping to show the way for the rest of the country.” The area of Bornholm is booming with industry and tourism, even with the detrimental effects of the pandemic on both. Hotel GSH’s Director Trine Richter hopes the project shows the potential for continual growth in the area with a focus on passive design , energy-efficiency and natural building materials.  “Even though the hotel industry is having a hard time right now, we are full of expectation that the Danes will continue to spend their holidays in Denmark , and that companies will continue to demand meetings and conferences with a sustainable set-up,” said Trine Richter, director of Hotel GSH. “We are excited about the prospect of setting new standards for Danish commercial construction with this new climate-positive building, where the load-bearing structure will be made from wood. Everyone talks about it – we build it.” The layout of the building takes advantage of natural light and ventilation so energy needs are low. The entire development was designed with a cradle-to-cradle mindset. For example, elements throughout the space were designed for reuse with reversible joints to allow them additional life at another project site in the future instead of adding to construction waste.  “I hope that this project can help to show others the potential of wood construction,” said Lind. “If we want to be serious about achieving our climate goals , the construction industry needs to think and act differently, and therefore there is a great need for projects like this.” + GXN/3XN   Photography by Adam Mørk

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Denmark hotel inspires green design through woodwork

5 Ways To Green Your Hotel Stay

October 25, 2021 by  
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Although we get a bad rap, Millennials are behind a lot of the good changes… The post 5 Ways To Green Your Hotel Stay appeared first on Earth911.

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5 Ways To Green Your Hotel Stay

Picture yourself on vacation at this floating eco-hotel

August 17, 2021 by  
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A new floating eco- hotel  design by Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio (HAADS) boasts a zero-waste system and will generate its own electricity by slowly rotating. The studio envisions sitting the hotel off the coast of Qatar. It will take 24 hours for the round hotel to complete a full rotation. The revolving concept is based on dynamic positioning, the same computer-controlled system used to automatically maintain the position of  ships . Related: Qatar to create 16 sustainable floating hotels for World Cup A floating pier will allow guests to access the hotel by car. They may also arrive by boat or helicopter, using the floating pier’s handy helipad. Since the hotel is built entirely on floating platforms, it could be moved somewhere else after its initial site off the  Qatar  coast. The 152 guest rooms will take up the outer ring of the hotel, each with a balcony and an ever-changing view as the structure slowly revolves. A circular reception desk will occupy the bullseye in the middle of the hotel, surrounded by a massive lobby with seating for guests to socialize. The design also includes indoor and outdoor pools, mini-golf, a gym, spa and sauna. Fifty-five vertical axis wind turbine and umbrella, or VAWTAU, modules will produce green  energy . VAWTAU combines a wind turbine with a sun umbrella that can generate 25 KW of energy per module, powering the hotel. HAADS has also incorporated rainwater harvesting into the design. The roof will collect rainwater, which will be treated and used to water the hotel’s green areas. Seawater will be purified and used as clean water, and wastewater will be treated.  Food waste  will fertilize the landscaping. As of now, the floating eco-hotel is theoretical. Next come feasibility and  technical  studies. Then, hopefully, implementation. Don’t try to book a stay before late 2025, at the very earliest. Based in Istanbul, HAADS is known for sleek, modern and futuristic designs . Hayri Atak himself is an award-winning architect who teaches at leading universities and judges national and international competitions. Kaan K?l?çda?, Bü?ra Köksal and Kübra Türk are the other architects on the team designing the floating eco-hotel. + HAADS Via Design Boom

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Picture yourself on vacation at this floating eco-hotel

This vineyard suite is tucked into a Tuscan UNESCO world heritage site

July 21, 2021 by  
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Recently unveiled in the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco in Val d’Orcia,  Italy , part of a UNESCO world heritage site, the first unit of a luxury vineyard suite project was recently unveiled to the public. Known as Casa Ojalá, the guest suite has a few whimsical features like retractable beds, hidden furnishings, a merry-go-round terrace, roof portholes and a series of pulleys, gears and ropes. With over $1 billion worth of development expected by 2025, the hotel will embrace the surrounding nature and ensure eco-friendly,  sustainable architecture  in its design. Some of the environmentally-focused features include sustainable wood selection, fabrics made from  recycled plastic  and the inclusion of handmade Italian ceramic pieces created by local artisans. Related: Latvian wellness resort honors traditional spa rituals The resort will also include a bio  garden  with over 180 plant species inside, and the entire property will be plastic-free. Future plans include using photovoltaic panels, a rainwater recovery system and a black water depuration advanced biological plant. “We are proud to launch, starting in Italy in synergy with Castiglion del Bosco, to offer its guests of exception an absolutely unique chance of enjoying and discovering the wonders of the resort,” said Italian architect Beatrice Bonzanigo, President of Casa Ojalá. “I consider the Luxury of the Casa that I invented, a form of happiness for the guests of the best Hotels around the world. A sort of revival of handcraft as the root of evolution. Beyond the automatism of travel and living of our times, based on virtuality and hyper technology.” Once completed, the resort will offer 42 suites, 11 villas, two restaurants, a spa and a cooking school. At 5,000 acres in total, the estate will also encompass the historic Brunello di Montalcino  organic  winery and a private member’s golf club. + Casa Ojalá Images courtesy of Casa Ojalá

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This vineyard suite is tucked into a Tuscan UNESCO world heritage site

The Uni Villa is a tiny eco-resort that can thrive anywhere

July 13, 2021 by  
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How many people wish they had their own little retreat? Studio Puisto has developed a new, modular accommodation that it believes would make it easier for people to open a small, sustainable resort anywhere. The Helsinki -based architecture firm designed its new, prefab units in collaboration with nature tourism entrepreneur Kari Vainio and installed the first prototype in the forest of Hyvinkää, Finland. One U-shaped, 1,205-square-foot Uni Villa, as the design is called, consists of two studio units along with a larger suite. Each unit comes with a keyless check-in system and readymade furniture. Uni means “dream” in Finnish; as such, Studio Puisto wants other aspiring hospitality entrepreneurs to be able to realize their dreams of running their own micro-resorts. Related: Modular, prefab cabins immerse guests in a Slovakian forest This first Uni Villa is tucked into Kytäjä Golf, which won the title of Best in Finland in 2020. Two courses designed by Canadian golf course architect Thomas McBroom are set in an unusual natural forest and lake environment. Kytäjä Golf is only 45 minutes from the Helsinki airport. The prefabricated , U-shaped blocks can be delivered via standard truck and are designed to sit on a compact foundation. The dark exteriors feature cross-laminated timber to blend into the forested areas. “The cladding is treated with a breathable and ecological dark oil stain that creates uniformity with the environment,” architect Sami Logren told Dwell . The designers created distinctly different looks for the suite versus the studios. The suites are furnished in dark wood and earthy textiles, while studio décor is much lighter in color. Both borrow their palettes from the natural world, with neutral furniture and gray, stone-like bathroom tiles. Indeed, the architects strove for comfort and accessibility to nature while blending in with the forested surroundings. “Sustainability and a low environmental impact are key values in our design process,” Logren said. “These values correlate with the current state of how people want to connect with nature to gain calm.” + Studio Puisto Via Dwell Photography by DECOPIC, Marc Goodwin / Archmospheres and Riikka Kantinkoski via Studio Puisto

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KAJ Hotel is a one-room boathouse rental that exudes hygge

July 7, 2021 by  
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The Danish idea of hygge brings “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Why wouldn’t you want to have more of that in your life? At KAJ Hotel, you can. Kaj is a traditional Danish name that also means ‘quay’ or ‘wharf’. The name and the association with hygge are appropriate in the rental that is not a hotel or a houseboat but a memorable lodging on the harbor in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It provides a unique visitor experience as a one-room boathouse and tiny home . It even comes with an extra boat. Related: These floating, 3D-printed private offices have no land impact The project came to light when business and life partners Barbara von Haffner and Toke Larsen commissioned architect Karl Smith Meyer to help develop the plan. The couple have their own houseboat, which they used as a prefabrication point for part of the KAJ lodging. With copious inquiries about what it was like living on a houseboat , they decided to give others the experience firsthand. KAJ Hotel technically has no footprint, perched over the edge of the harbor, but it also avoids a heavy carbon footprint with the use of reclaimed materials. The majority of the mini-rental is built using wood, and there was minimal site impact by craning the prefabricated pieces into place.  Window frames were upcycled from the previous Danish Defense Command building. Old railroad poles were used in the foundation, and recycled materials from a ship were used to build the stairs and gangway.  The tiny abode delivers big on interior design with a traditional Danish feel. Known for a modern minimalism vibe, the Scandinavian-style lightly-colored wood ceilings, walls, floors and furniture are complemented by white walls and window frames for a neutral color palette that doesn’t distract from the natural surroundings just steps away. The micro-hotel provides a countertop/desk area, bathroom with portal window, a primary bedroom and additional sleeping spaces all within a 16-square-meter room.  Along the water’s edge, visitors can take in the opportunity for leisurely or quick swimming, sunbathing or enjoying views of the nearby tourist attractions. Unlike a hotel, you’ll have no one sharing the space, yet amenities like the provided porridge, coffee and tea deliver the comforts of home.  + KAJ Hotel Via Wallpaper Images via KAJ Hotel

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The ocean is on fire after Gulf of Mexico gas pipeline leak

July 7, 2021 by  
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It takes a lot to start a fire in the ocean. After all, water usually extinguishes flames. But as Pemex demonstrated last week in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the right set of conditions — a leak in a gas  pipeline  plus an electrical storm — can set the ocean on fire and be very difficult to extinguish. ? Sobre el incendio registrado en aguas del Golfo de México, en la Sonda de Campeche, a unos metros de la plataforma Ku-Charly (dentro del Activo Integral de Producción Ku Maloob Zaap) Tres barcos han apoyado para sofocar las llamas pic.twitter.com/thIOl8PLQo — Manuel Lopez San Martin (@MLopezSanMartin) July 2, 2021 The gas leak started in the Campeche Sound early Friday morning, according to Petróleos Mexicanos, aka Pemex, the state-owned petroleum company responsible for the ill-fated pipeline. Before workers could repair it, lightning struck. Voila, a subaquatic fireball. Related: Pipeline explosion in Mexico kills 91 and counting Pemex swung into action on the ocean and PR cleanup fronts. Firefighting vessels closed the pipeline’s valve and sprayed in nitrogen; they managed to extinguish the fire in about five hours. Pemex claims no  oil  was spilled, and the environment was unharmed. The company says it is investigating what caused the gas leak. But  Greenpeace  Mexico isn’t ready to let it go and move on. The environmental group stated that the fire “demonstrates the serious risks that Mexico’s fossil fuel model poses for the environment and people’s safety,” as reported by  ABC Chicago . A person might wonder if the world wouldn’t even know about this disaster if not for people like journalist  Manuel Lopez San Martin , who posted a video of the disaster that went viral on Twitter. The video shows ships spraying water on a fire in the ocean. A surreal image, indeed. San Martin wrote that the fire was only 400 meters from an oil platform.  This reporting stands out considering the dangerous conditions for journalists in Mexico.  Mexico  outranks Iraq as the  most dangerous country for journalists , with eight killed in retaliation for their work in 2020 alone. Pemex has a less than stellar record, with several leaks and fires in its recent past. A January 2019 explosion in one of its Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo fuel  pipelines killed 137 people during a massive gas heist gone wrong. Via CBS News , Bloomberg Business Week Lead image © Manuel Lopez San Martin

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The ocean is on fire after Gulf of Mexico gas pipeline leak

"This House Never Ends" is a sustainable reno in Melbourne

July 7, 2021 by  
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“This House Never Ends” is a sustainable renovation project located in Melbourne, Australia and designed by Steffen Welsch Architects. The project created additional space in an existing building and added visual contrast with a unique combination of textures and colors. Building next to the existing home, a structure that was historic and Edwardian in nature, the designers let the neighborhood’s eclectic vibe inspire the renovation . The building was stretched over the entire length of the site, rotated 45 degrees and pulled apart to create a sequence of interconnected spaces. Related: Residential building from the ’60s gets an energy-efficient remodel As a result, moving throughout the house creates a marriage of old with new while revealing complex vistas through the rooms and outdoor spaces . “This is a house with a sense of discovery,” said lead architect Steffen Welsch. “It has no clearly identifiable building form but a series of almost equally sized rooms both inside as well as outside that each relate differently to each other. As a result, this home is experienced not as an object but a journey that doesn’t want to end.” Welsch chose to change the main entry point to a north-facing courtyard formed with three walls of three separate materials, including the weatherboard from the old house, recycled brick and a link clad in a timber screen. Specifically, the new house was actually designed for arrival via bicycle. The first floor patio is accessible from the lounge, and a private study provides views over the neighborhood. Upstairs, a private terrace extends views from the neighborhood to the rest of the city and nearby mountain range. The design applies passive solar principles, including solar control, thermal mass, insulation and cross ventilation. The efficient, double-glazed timber doors combined with thermal mass provided by the recycled brick adds to the insulation. Outside, a 4.75 kilowatt interactive photovoltaic system powers the house, while a heat pump and induction burner negate the need for gas. + Steffen Welsch Architects Via ArchDaily Photography via Shannon McGrath and Peter Clarke Steffen Welsch Architects

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