WATG has practiced environmental and cultural design sensitivity for as long as the firm has been in existence: more than 60 years. Having designed projects in more than 150 countries and territories, the firm respects the unique environment and cultural heritage of each host country, region or community, and works to make a positive contribution to the lives and culture of that area. Our mission is “to design experiences that lift the spirit.”
An example of a project that was ahead of its time in terms of environmental sensitivity was the Hotel Bora Bora in French Polynesia. The designers first began work on the project in 1965, and created an unobtrusive resort using indigenous materials and styles. The hotel sits over a pristine coral reef, does not overwhelm its surroundings and is repeatedly rated among the top ten resorts in the Asia Pacific region.
The Tanjong Jara Beach Resort in Malaysia illustrates the incorporation of cultural design sensitivity. The main design motif for the buildings of this 100-cottage resort was found in the indigenous istanas, the elegantly crafted wooden palaces of Malaysian sultans. The resort opened in 1981, and was awarded one of the world's foremost prizes for architecture, the prestigious Aga Khan Award.
Other sustainable projects include the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii; the Leela Palace Kempinski in Bangalore, India; and the Quinta do Lorde Marina and Resort Hotel in Madeira, Portugal.
Recently, WATG designed the newly-opened Sasakwa Hill Lodge in Tanzania. Two quarries were set up from scratch near the project, one for the stone cladding for walls and columns, and one for the slate that was used on the roofs and floors. Local villagers were trained to quarry, cut and finish the stone. The intent was that the quarries would continue production to generate local income and job opportunities. A concrete block “factory” was set up on site, where the client produced their own blocks. Transportation impacts, therefore, were diminished significantly, and local economic generation played an important role throughout the project. The project was also designed to merge with the environment in that the colors and building heights match the landscape. Furthermore, not one tree was killed during the entire building process of the project.
WATG was the full-service architect for Bardessono, a boutique hotel located in Napa Valley, California that opened to the public in February, 2009. The project was awarded LEED platinum certification, and will use solar and geothermal energy, sophisticated energy management systems, sustainable building materials, and organic landscape management practices.
People. Planet. Profits.
Designing sustainable solutions for over 60 years.
WATG has practiced environmental and cultural design sensitivity for as long as the firm has been in existence: more than 60 years. Having designed projects in more than 160 countries and territories, the firm respects the unique environment and cultural heritage of each host country, region or community, and works to make a positive contribution to the lives and culture of that area. Our mission is "to design experiences that lift the spirit."
Visionary Client Angelos Markides
Chief Executive Officer, Lanitis Development Ltd.
Angelos Markides graduated from American University in Washington D.C. with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and mathematics, and then from Harvard Business School with a Master's in Business Administration. He has been the general manager and now the chief executive officer of Lanitis Development Ltd. since 1998. He is the client behind the WATG-designed Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus.
Visionary Client Phil Sherburne
Phil Sherburne is the developer for Bardessono, a 62-room boutique hotel designed by WATG, which recently opened. Located on the Bardessono family farmstead in California's Napa Valley, the five-acre property sits in the heart of the walking village of Yountville. Bardessono family heirs, concerned about the impact a commercial development would have on the town's rural character, handpicked Sherburne because of his development experience and attention to environmental sensitivity.
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