Sanya is a tropical oasis located on the Southern peninsula of Hainan Island. A Chinese developer, Tiafeng, has teamed up with Kevin Kennon Architect to design a healthy, luxurious development for Sanya. Check out some of the eye candy renderings below the fold…this is going to be a nice resort. Matter of fact, I feel healthier just imagining myself there. Slated to open in mid-2008, Sanya will include 350-room, 5-star Shangri-La Hotel, an 18-story apartment building, and a fluid, ribbon-like complex of 23 apartment and condo buildings. All the structures will have roof gardens. KKA specifically designed the development with privacy in mind, but opened up the architecture to the surrounding green space. The buildings are meant to flow and blend into the environment, as opposed to standing out in contrast to the natural surroundings. I can’t wait to see more specifics on this project. Via.
On May 4, Greensburg, Kansas, population 1,500, was smashed by a tornado. Celebrity Leonardo DiCaprio saw the destruction and decided to help Greensburg rebuild their into an "Eco-town." DiCaprio pitched the idea to Discovery and the company decided to join with him to make the rebuilding into a 13-part series for Discovery’s new Planet Green channel. The series will be called "Eco-town," and it will document Greensburg becoming a "sustainable model of eco-living and one that will save it from future environmental catastrophe."
DiCaprio plans to executive produce the series through his company Appian Way, with the additional help of Craig Piligiann and Discovery Planet Green. They anticipate working closely with the governor of Kansas and Greensburg to put resources into the rebuilding and make a genuine difference. I think it’s an excellent idea and can’t wait to watch and learn from the effort. Via NY Times.
To get an idea of the damage to this town, check the photos below the fold. It’s unbelievable the damage nature can do.
Soon, London is going to welcome another interesting object to the city’s skyline. If you’re familiar with 30 St Mary Axe, you know what I’m talking about. Now, developer Land Securities will get the opportunity to construct a new, 37-story, Rafael Viñoly-designed building that commentators affectionately call the "Walkie-Talkie" Tower. City councillors were split on whether to approve the scheme, but ultimately it received a 12-8 vote for approval. Some councillors were worried about its location and the asymmetrical impact to London’s skyline. Another councillor said the building design is "striking, remarkable and [an] exciting standalone building." To be located at 20 Fenchurch Street, Land Securities thinks the building is necessary to meet the market’s demand for efficient large floor plates.
Like most towers being designed these days, this one will also include sustainable design. One notable green feature is the roof garden and park. The sky garden will be open to the public on the weekends, making it the highest accessible park in London. Also, there will be a cafe and restaurant on the park level. Via BD Online.
I’m pleased to share some information and renderings on ELEMENT, Starwood Hotels & Resorts new extended-stay hotel brand set to open in 2008. The idea behind ELEMENT is to make smart choices intuitive and support the lifestyles of guests while they are away from home. ELEMENT Hotels performed research on guest behavior, which revealed that socially conscious hotel guests are more likely to leave their good habits at home when traveling. That’s because, depending on the hotel, it may be difficult to recycle, conserve water, or maintain a lower impact lifestyle. ELEMENT Hotels aims to change that. Key smart design features of this green hotel include the following:
- Shampoo/conditioner dispensers will eliminate multiple mini-bottles;
- Low-flow sink faucets and dual flush toilets will lead to an estimated conservation of 4,358.6 gallons of water per room each year;
- Eco-friendly materials will be used throughout, including recycled content carpets;
- Low-VOC paints for improved indoor air quality for guests and staff;
- CFL light bulbs will be used throughout the building to reduce energy consumption; and
- Biophilic design that maximizes natural light and sightlines to the outdoors will help connect occupants to their natural surroundings.
Feel free to click on over to this PDF brochure to read more about the ELEMENT Hotel and what it will look like. The hotel design is pretty incredible, as you will see from the images below the fold.
Previously, I wrote about Greenbridge Developments, which is a mixed-use development in North Carolina expected to receive LEED Gold certification. This development is an incredible example of the business case for green building. They haven’t even broken ground on the development yet, but it’s 2/3 sold out. Here’s the math. There are about 99 units planned at an average price of $650,000 each (not averaging in revenues from the retail space). Wait, is that right? 66 units x $650,000 = $42.9 million? Wow. I’d like to see the estimated cost of construction because these numbers are incredible (again, without even factoring in retail revenues).
Business 2.0 and Erick Schonfeld have produced a video on Greenbridge Developments talking about low-carbon building materials, solar power, C2C, etc. The video is part of the New Disruptors video series available on iTunes. You can also view this episode online here.