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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Swooping Bamboo Structure Highlights Innovative Use of Local Materials

Swooping Bamboo Structure Highlights Innovative Use of Local Materials | sustainable architecture |

Using local materials, this impressive bamboo structure features a microcosm of imaginative spaces designed for a range of playful activities.

This incredible bamboo structure, by Dutch firm 24H-architecture, is part of the Soneva Kiri eco-resort on the island of Koh Kood, Thailand. Designed as a children's activity and learning center, the fantastic interiors are bound to impress even the most stoic grown-up.

Evoking the fluid shape of a manta ray, the center is located on a rocky slope overlooking the bay, with a large canopy of bamboo shingles sheltering the open interior of "mini-structures". The structure uses locally-sourced bamboo stalks of all sizes, ranging from the large main columns that are anchored into concrete footings to the other structural members that are grouped together using nuts and bolts and natural fiber lashings.

From the architects:

The design adopts all bioclimatic aspects to suits its humid tropical environment. The roof cantilevers up to 8 metres, acting like a big umbrella providing shade and protection from the heavy rains. The open design with the translucent elevated rooftop and setback floors allow a natural airflow inside and the use of natural daylight, limiting the building’s energy consumption.

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Shore Hotel is Santa Monica's newest and greenest

Shore Hotel is Santa Monica's newest and greenest | sustainable architecture |

In Santa Monica, California, there is no shortage of environmental awareness. The recent shoreline addition of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified Shore Hotel, located at 1515 Ocean Avenue just north of the Santa Monica Pier, sets an eco-friendly standard that would awe even California’s greenest, Kombucha-sipping, farmer’s market loving locals and tourists alike.

The u-shaped Shore Hotel, completed and opened in October of 2011, is at the apex of all that is good in Santa Monica. The property is situated a two minute walk from the Third Street Promenade and the historic Santa Monica Pier.

Shore Hotel is the only hotel in Santa Monica with LEED Gold certification. Every detail in layout and construction meets the highest environmental standards. Equipped with roof mounted solar panels, high efficiency burners and boilers, and a storm water capturing plan that treats and reuses storm water for landscaping, there is proactive environmental awareness at every turn...

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Eco POD Hotel in Switzerland

Eco POD Hotel in Switzerland | sustainable architecture |

The POD Hotel is located in a small valley in Flims (Laax Falera), Switzerland. The POD Hotel is aimed to be a universal model for more sustainable tourism. The Pods are made of wood and easily assembled. It has basic amenities and are big enough to house two tourists and offer enough comfort and peace.

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Vienna is home to the first hotel with a zero energy balance

Vienna is home to the first hotel with a zero energy balance | sustainable architecture |

Holidaying in Vienna and having nothing on your conscience more serious than a few too many slices of Sachertorte: you can do it if you stay at the Boutiquehotel Stadthalle, the world’s first city centre hotel with a zero energy balance certified by the European environmental quality mark.

All the energy the hotel complex requires is generated from renewable energy sources: a geothermal pump, a photovoltaic installation, solar panels and “active thermal slabs”: thermal activation of concrete and, in the near future, wind power. Rainwater is used for the toilets and to water the garden.

Other measures decrease the consumption of the hotel which is divided into two volumes: a renovated existing building and a new expansion built according to the dictates of passive construction with cement cladding...

Nguyen Quang Thai's comment, October 6, 2014 8:15 AM
There are many benefits for the hotels running sustainability program such as cost savings, competitive advantages and protecting environment. Consider, Vienna hotel, is the best example for energy savings. Vienna hotel is using energy that is generated from renewable energy sources such as: a geothermal pump, a photovoltaic installation, solar panels and thermal activation of concrete and, in the near future, wind power. Rain water is also used for toilets and water the garden. These renewable energies help them save a lot of money for energy consumption. Therefore, they could gain more profit because the cost of selling a room is substantially decreased. On the other hand, the hotel could have the competitive advantage by running green program. As Alto’s general manager said that “45% of customer choose his hotel because of sustainability”. Instead of investing much money on marketing, he just focuses on the word-of-mouth marketing tool by their green program which results in 95% room rate occupancy for the last four years. However, changing customer habit is also one of the most challenges the hotels have been facing. As to influence their guests, they should use some fun posters which could inspire the customer to join their program and to do the right thing for their society.
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Shore Hotel:the first LEED Gold hotel in Santa Monica

Shore Hotel:the first LEED Gold hotel in Santa Monica | sustainable architecture |
The Shore Hotel is a modern and green alternative to the usual chain hotels.

Originally, the plot on which the Shore Hotel was built was occupied by the Pacific Sands and the Travelodge hotels, both recently torn down and the materials used to build the new structure.

The Shore Hotel is also the first property in California to implement the 'Savings by Design' program, meaning the hotel earns incentives by reducing the use of energy during peak hours. Moreover, it was also built using water-wise landscaping and water-efficient fixtures, helping to reduce the amount of potable water by 50%. Also, the hotel’s guests enjoy non-toxic environments, naturally lit and ventilated rooms with eco-friendly furniture and finishes...

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Totally Green : Magic Mountain Hotel, Chile

Totally Green :  Magic Mountain Hotel, Chile | sustainable architecture |
Totally Green : Magic Mountain Hotel, Chile...

Montaña Mágica Lodge, also known as Magic Mountain Lodge, is located within Huilo Huilo, a 232 square mile natural reserve in southern Chile. Covered in rainforest moss and vines, this manmade volcano-like structure spews water and is only accessible by a monkey bridge. Montana Magica Lodge was constructed with a surprising architecture, noble materials and a delicate taken care of the nature. With beautiful rooms, excellent gastronomy, bar and a customized service for each visitor, you will be able to enjoy the propitious atmosphere for the rest of the body and soul. ..

Jourdan Sumithio's curator insight, August 13, 2014 2:37 AM

This magical Hotel looking great and beyond imagine, also located in unique area, which is surrounded by nature. With a unique architecture, the maintenance must be taken care seriously as well to keep it clean and good looking acommodation for tourists. Because there are some important factors that keep tourists coming, such a cleanliness, facilities, and comfortable. Customers satisfied is the main point to keep the business run. By promising different tourist experience here could make them see some good point of this hotel such a cozy acommodation with great view could lead to a great reputation in the future as well. Good management and service all the time are needed as a good commitment for tourists too.

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gracia studio: endemico resguardo silvestre

gracia studio: endemico resguardo silvestre | sustainable architecture |

Scattered along the sloping terrain of valle de guadalupe, mexico, 'endémico resguardo silvestre' is a cluster of twenty hotel rooms, designed by san diego-based practice gracia studio. Positioned within a landscape of vineyards, each ecoloft has panoramic vistas overlooking the scenic valley below. Placed upon steel stilts, the 20 square meter cubes hover above the rocky ground, minimally interfering
with the savannah continuing underneath. Corten steel was selected to surface the small structures, aging with time to blend into the rustic hues of the encompassing nature.

With each unit strategically oriented to unobstructed views directed towards the valley, guests may close their personal entry door and feel isolated in nature. Attached to each cabin, a personal patio and fireplace allow for comfortable lounging outside. The 99 hectare complex is completed with a nearby winery and pool.

Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 19, 2014 8:38 PM

This is so beautiful,I can not imagine staying somewhere like this. It must be amazing to be able to view the Mexican desert from the comfort of a room.What an amazing concept, I'm sure there will be more resorts with this concept in other regions in the future. Although I'm sure the perfect weather in this area must add to the allure of the environment. The wildlife must also be amazing to see.