Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine September 2008

 

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…

Cleaning

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.

Community

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…

Interiors

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…

Energy

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…

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