Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine September 2008


Back on Track?

­A show devoted to the early impact of trains opens just as railways in the United States are showing new signs of life.

A Masterful Match

It took years of color-analysis trials for Pittsburgh Paints to match the hues Frank Lloyd Wright originally selected for Fallingwater, his 1939 masterpiece built above a stream in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. But you can now achieve the same results in the time it takes to apply two coats: the company’s new line of commercial paints—available without VOCs—faithfully replicates 13 distinctive…

Design After Franco

Delayed by decades of civil war and dictatorship, contemporary Spanish design is now a force to be reckoned with in the international furniture-and-lighting scene.

Blob Mentality

A home-improvement project by Greg Lynn evolves into the Blobwall, a modular wall system produced by Panelite.

Carbon Footprint

SCANDIC HOTEL Stockholm, Sweden It is probably a bad idea to drive a Hummer to a Scandic Hotel. It is probably a bad idea to leave it idling while you run in looking for a ­single-packed toiletry item (which you won’t find) and an equally bad idea to ask the staff to change your sheets every night. It is definitely…

Certification Programs

What’s the most sensible way to certify sustainable hotels? Tourist destinations often have little in common with one another but a penchant for attracting Bermuda-shorts-wearing masses. Are ­travelers—and the rest of us—best served by a standardized system, or would regional models be more useful? Some programs emphasize physical factors like architecture; others focus on service issues, such as the use…


ORCHARD HOTEL San Francisco When the managers of the Orchard Hotel first considered phasing out chemical-based cleaning products, the environment was the last thing on their minds. It was late 2001, when many hotels were struggling to survive, and the Orchard was scrambling for ways to cut costs. The director of housekeeping suggested looking at cleaning products—there were alternatives on…

Hiding in the Hill

Two architectural firms bring their unique cultural perspectives to bear on a state-of-the-art children’s hospital quietly tucked into the Tuscan landscape.


MORGAN’S ROCK San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua Morgan’s Rock, a 15-room bungalow-style lodge on the Pa­-ci­fic Coast, is a small part of a large environmental effort. In 1998, when Clément-Marie Ponçon and his wife, Claire, bought the 3,400-acre farm where the hotel is located, they immediately put their stamp on the land: an extensive reforestation-and-preservation program was under­taken, and a…

Murray Moss

Murray Moss answers a few questions on design retail, life, and inspiration—using his thumbs.