In 2002, we were approached by The Kyowon Group and Samsung to design their teachers' training center. They chose our design team because of our experience with hospitality.
I recently had a chance to visit The Kyowon Training Center (Dream Center) which was completed in 2006. This project has 350 guestrooms, 2 ballrooms, 6 meeting rooms, and a children's museum
Photos by Sih-Young Jeon
Recently I was in Denver on a business trip. The project team was invited during our lunch break to tour a "green" office building which was just down the street from where our meetings were being held. Not only was it a good opportunity to provide a break in our agenda, but it was also an unexpected surprise to learn from a "green case study."
The building we toured was The Alliance Center, which is an office building for non-profit tenants and a meeting place for collaboration with non-tenants. It has received various certifications for its renovations to increase energy and water efficiency, improve indoor air quality, and reduce waste. It has been awarded LEED Gold for Existing Buildings, LEED Silver for Commercial Interiors as well as Energy Star. It does a great job of educating the tenants and visitors with informative placards and showcasing its green features.
It was interesting to see how the Alliance Center fosters a collaborative work environment among all of the tenants by providing shared office space and conference rooms as well as equipment. They even have a common location for all of the tenants' mailboxes with the intent of creating "chance conversations" and social interactions among the various businesses. They have labeled it "The Water Cooler Effect." Not only are the tenants working in a more efficient building with better indoor air quality, but also in a building that fosters social relationships…something we should strive for in all of our buildings.
If you are interested in taking a virtual tour, then click on: Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
Bee boles like these were used for housing bees before the development of beehives.
I recently spent two weeks retracing the (many) steps of the Incas in Peru. Hiking, and in some instances climbing, through the ruins I was amazed at the quality and ingenuity displayed in even the smallest of architectural details. The massive walls of rock whose construction tolerances were enough to make the most detail-oriented designer flush with envy were among the highlights.
This geothermal destination spa is a great example of sustainable (and highly stylish) indulgence. The spa is fed by water heated by magma as it rises to the surface. The same geothermal water is used to generate both heat and hot water for many homes in the region.
Architecturally, the design plays on the clear blue water and dark lava rock. The use of white in the spa represents the silica, a key ingredient in the lagoon. The primary wood used is Brazilian Jatoba, chosen for its hardness and natural properies.
I spent an afternoon at the spa, enjoying the in-water treatments performed on specially-designed wooden benches and massages given on mattresses floating in the lagoon.
Attention Millenials: Aloft Hotels are opening everywhere because no one under 30 would be caught dead in a played-out W Hotel these days. Hotel Chatter reviews a new Aloft hotel by Starwood in Rancho Cucamonga, California. I’ll summarize Hotel Chatter’s review: Meh, but free Wifi! The images on Starwood’s own website, however, are much more appealing.
On Sunday The New York Times guilt tripped western architects for daring to work with countries whose human rights records leave a bit to be desired. As I’ve said before, I come down on the side of engagement not isolation. Daniel Libeskind may refuse to work in China but I wonder if he’d let me check the tags of his clothes to see where they’re made.
Stumbling toward the Olympics -- after being called out by Mr. Libeskind in Sunday’s New York Times, China receives more bad PR on Monday from the Guardian. Chinese hotels are offering reporters money in return for favorable reviews following the Olympics. The hotels must be getting desperate due to the fact that the Olympics don’t appear to be shaping up as the financial bonanza many had expected.
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