Planned community embraces luxe, eco-conscious design in Bocas del Toro, Panama

December 25, 2019 by  
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More than 12 years in the making, the 457-acre planned community of Casi Cielo has just begun sales for its first phase. Located on Panama’s northern province of Bocas del Toro, the high-end resort will emphasize a sustainable, low carbon footprint with site-specific architecture informed by passive solar principles and the natural environment. Led by developer Circular Strategy Group, the Casi Cielo development was created with help from Mario Lazo & Unidad Diseño, WATG and XOC2 to create a “future-forward” masterplan on an undeveloped peninsula next to the ocean within close proximity of the 45,000-acre protected San San-Pond Oak natural reserve. The mixed-use site will include a grid of 75 turn-key sites with 118 hotel suites and 77 branded luxury residences designed by Zurcher Arquitectos, Wimberly Interiors and GOCO Hospitality. Related: This private island resort in Panama promises sustainable luxury “Being from Panama , I felt this was a golden opportunity, not only to preserve Bocas and make positive impact in the region but also introduce a new way for conscious communities to be built,” said Moshe Levi, co-developer of Casi Cielo. “With the infrastructure already in place, Casi Cielo essentially serves as a blank canvas that will continue to evolve, while remaining a true haven for those seeking a different way of life.” Indoor-outdoor living will be celebrated at Casi Cielo, which will also emphasize its connection with nature by offering outdoor-oriented wellness and eco-tourism programs that take advantage of the site’s proximity to world-class surf and a tropical jungle landscape. To optimize the energy performance of the community, the architects have taken passive solar strategies into account when placing and orienting the buildings. Solar thermal and rainwater collection systems are expected to be integrated into the design as well. Casi Cielo is slated to open in 2021. + Casi Cielo Images via Casi Cielo

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Planned community embraces luxe, eco-conscious design in Bocas del Toro, Panama

This private island resort in Panama promises sustainable luxury

November 19, 2019 by  
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Just off the western Pacific shore of Panama lies Isla Palenque , a private island sanctuary with nearly 400 acres of lush jungle and a luxury resort that prides itself on low-impact living. Unlike the traditional beach resort, Isla Palenque promises paradise for wildlife and nature lovers who are invited to explore a relatively undeveloped island — over half of the island has been set aside as a nature reserve. From jungle hikes to kayaking to cooking classes and birdwatching, all activities at the award-winning resort aim to cultivate a greater appreciation of Panamanian biodiversity. Created as part of the Cayuga Collection, a hotel group of sustainable luxury hotels and lodges in Central America, Isla Palenque gives guests of all ages the chance to experience “nature in the raw.” Amble Resorts founder and architect Benjamin Loomis designed the sustainably minded resort and deliberately kept its total development footprint to approximately five percent of the island while capping the guest count to 40 people at a time. Related: Sleep in sustainable luxury inside this eco-friendly jungle treehouse Isla Palenque is also a partner of the community-supported Dock to Dish sustainable fishing program and offers a reforestation program that invites guests to plant a primary rainforest seedling of their choice in an area of secondary growth. To further reduce the resort’s carbon footprint, locally sourced materials and ingredients are used wherever possible, from the wooden furnishings made on-site from naturally felled trees on the island to the locally grown ingredients used at the Las Rocas Bar & Restaurant. The onsite guided activities and excursions on and near the island — there are over 8 miles of hiking trails and seven accessible private beaches — that are included in the daily resort rates also emphasize a minimal environmental footprint. Guests can stay in one of Isla Palenque’s eight sumptuous Beachfront Casitas — romantic 650-square-foot bungalows that face the island’s largest beach, Playa Palenque — or choose among the Beachfront Villa Estates that include two Ocean Suites, three Jungle Rooms and a single Garden Room scaled with children and teens in mind. Rates at the Isla Palenque vary depending on the season. + Isla Palenque Images via Isla Palenque

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This private island resort in Panama promises sustainable luxury

Sleep among the treetops in a nomadic hotel design with minimal impact

October 12, 2017 by  
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Reconnection with nature doesn’t always mean roughing it on a campsite. Environmental consulting firm EoA Inc created Living the Till, a unique treetop hotel resort concept that rescues guests from the stresses of everyday life by elevating them into the tree canopy. Conceived as a nomadic resort, the Till can be easily assembled in a variety of environments and then disassembled and moved without impacting the environment. Described by the team as a camping on a “hovering, transparent magic carpet,” Living the Till comprises a series of conical tents suspended on ropes tied to nearby trees. A large net stretched taut and secured to trees is placed beneath the tents. Bridges between the trees provide access between campsites. “Living the Till allows for seasonal inhabitation in remote areas, such as the stunning and perfectly preserved forests of Ecuador, Malaysia, Borneo, the Amazon, California, Australia, or Japan,” wrote the designers. “The concept was inspired by the air plant Tillandsia, which lives in harmony with a host tree. Conceived as a temporary nomadic structure, the Till can be assembled and taken down in pristine, coveted areas by a small team of climbers with simple tools without impacting the environment during the process or duration of a guest’s stay.” Related: Gorgeous Robin’s Nest Treehouse Hotel immerses you in nature Living the Till was recently honored as this year’s Radical Innovation Award winner. The design team was awarded a $10,000 reward at the New Museum last week. Founder of Radical Innovation John Hardy commended the project as “the perfect antidote to city dwelling.” Play Design Hotel , located in Taipei, received the second place prize of $5,000. + Radical Innovation Award Images via EoA Inc

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Sleep among the treetops in a nomadic hotel design with minimal impact

Stellar Townhomes are Lake Tahoe’s answer to the energy-efficient mountain house

March 31, 2016 by  
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Visionary architect Zaha Hadid dies suddenly at age 65

March 31, 2016 by  
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This jaw-dropping luxury resort is 100% solar-powered

August 21, 2015 by  
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