Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine September 2008


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.

Baby Weight

Babies need to be weighed regularly to check their development, but most infant scales are cumbersome, ugly, and cold to the touch. Taiwan’s Duck Image has envisioned an alternative that is equal parts 2001 and Homer Simpson. The Bubble Infant Scale prototype, which also received a Red Dot Award this year, is made of transparent plastic bubbles (resembling donuts) that…


LEXUS HYBRID SUITE San Francisco This year the Fairmont Hotel & Resorts chain, in partnership with Lexus, created the Lexus Hybrid Living Suites, which are aimed at travelers who want to sleep, eat, and drink sustainably. This tenth-floor corner suite, by the Los Angeles–based designer Kelly LaPlante, is outfitted in neutral tans and sky blues that were inspired by its…

Part 3: The Engineering

Weighing the needs of the Academy against the building’s dramatic expression—seven rolling, seismically secured hills—required the work of 320 engineers.

Pills’ Progress

Having your doctor poke you whenever it’s time to take your medicine could get a bit tiresome. Thank­fully, there’s Helping Hand Data Capture, a new device from Medi­com, Bang & Olufsen’s medical-products division, which reminds you with beeps and colored lights that it’s time to swallow a pill. The svelte design, a Red Dot Award winner this year, also connects…


Proximity Hotel Greensboro, North Carolina Proximity is one of the greenest hotels in the country, incorporating more than 70 sustainable practices. Although certification is still pending, the hotel’s developer and CEO, Dennis Quaintance, is confident that the 147-room building will achieve LEED Platinum after less than a year of operation. “We currently have 54 points, and it takes 52 to…

Health and Happiness

Architex’s Rx 7000 collection, which won a NeoCon Gold Award over the summer, combines soothing imagery with durable Trevira CS fiber that can withstand the beating it’s likely to encounter as a hospital privacy curtain, drapery, or bedspread. Two patterns by Angela Adams (Happy is pictured) stand out for their handsome geometry and bold colors. Adams’s Pop naturalism may not…


ADRÉRE AMELLAL Siwa, Egypt The sustainable thinking behind this lodge may be as ancient as the 12,000-year-old desert community where it’s located. To build it, the hotel’s founder, Mounir Neamatalla, restored and extended century-old homes using the traditional building material kershef—a mixture of rock salt and mud—which he studied under the guidance of the region’s oldest master builders. A natural…

Rug Refresher

Gloria Finn, a rug artist who translated the works of Milton Avery and Anni Albers into floor coverings, has left her legacy to daughter Rosemary Hallgarten in more ways than one. A textile artist in her own right, Hallgarten has recently revived one of her mother’s Gio Ponti designs—albeit in fresh colorways. Just try to imagine the Italian Modernist coming…

Eco Innkeepers

The term green hotel was once an oxymoron. No more. Here’s a look at some of hospitality’s most sustainable lodgings.

The Chinese Century

Thomas J. Campanella’s new book explores the implications—and contradictions—of China’s rapid urbanization.