Greenest Games ever: World First for London 2012

The entire London 2012 Olympic Park development has achieved dual Project Certification from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) schemes for its timber usage — the first dual Project Certification in the world.

This groundbreaking achievement in sustainable timber procurement has played a prominent role in helping the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) achieve its commitment of making the London 2012 Olympic Games the greenest games ever with 100% of wood products supplied certified as legal and sustainable.

The project certification ceremony took place on 28 March at the Olympic Park Site with certificates presented to Dr. Peter Bonfield, Head of Construction Products at the ODA and Noah Bold, Park Operations Environment & Sustainability Manager, by the Soil Association.

The development was audited by the Soil Association’s Woodmark and is being hailed as a major achievement that is potentially destined to be a future model for timber procurement globally. The scheme also saw a unique and important partnership role played by both PEFC and FSC to make sure that the levels of legal and sustainable timber procured by the ODA achieved the highest possible target. Woodmark said the project was a ‘world first’ for certification of such a huge and complex site.

Further information: pefc.co.uk

 

Resort Le Meridien Koh Samui: Water The Key Design Feature

Anyone entering these portals immediately abandons all thoughts of stress; for the Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa is next to the beautiful fine powdery sands of Lamai Beach at Koh Samui — Thailand’s third-largest island. The guest is now on an inspired journey of unmitigated relaxation.

The establishment combines traditional Asian elements with simple modernity, maximum comfort and convenience, creating an inspired atmosphere of relaxation, which draws all-comers in its wake. Many typical Thai elements are employed in the architecture and interior design of the 63 suites and 14 elegant villas, together with many hints of a culture rooted in Chinese history. The interior architecture is by designer Khun Jakarin from the well-known Begray Bangkok partnership. The resort has been laid out on the pattern of an Asian village with luxuriant vegetation, trees and flowers, based on the principles of Feng Shui. This places great emphasis on the use of natural materials such as wood, stone and water, together symbolising activity, happiness and wealth. A large, square decorative pool dominates the quadrangular open-air lobby while inside the villas and suites, water is a key feature of the generously-dimensioned bathing and shower facilities, small plunge- and paddling-pools. Pool villas have direct access to a generously-dimensioned pool area, while guests residing in the striking Ocean Front Pool Villas have a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Thailand.

By contrast, walls around the extensive health and spa areas are finished in natural stone, marble or granite, down which the refreshing water softly trickles. Just one glance is enough to bring on a severe case of deep relaxation. Given the warm climate, guests will wish to spend most of their time in the open air, so there is no barrier between Pool Villa inner and outer areas. The covered sleeping areas are located behind large open terraces, furnished with upholstered outdoor sofas and comfortable lounge couches. One of the resort highlights is the 224-metre swimming dock, extending from the beach into the open sea. This is a favourite place for guests to hold a cocktail party or, if desired, to celebrate a private candlelit dinner.

For furter information: starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien

The Selman Marrakech: A Dream from 1001 Nights

This establishment is a magical symbiosis of Moroccan tradition and modern Zeitgeist: the new five-star Selman Marrakech boutique resort uses authentic heavy local woven fabrics with bold colours and clear lines.

French architect Jacques Garcia has created a work of art within a Moorish Palace at the foot of the Atlas Mountains: elegant and sumptuous, yet without appearing in any way clumsy, either inside or out. The interior areas create a sense of intimacy, while providing views of the magnificent Andalusia-style courtyards and gardens. The public areas have secluded patios and fire-hearth niche zones.

At the heart of Jacques Garcia’s oasis design is an 80-metre swimming pool — surrounded by a rainbow of flowers, olive and palm trees. As part of the overall design, the hotel has two restaurants and three bars; furniture includes stylish basket and steel furniture. Whether relaxing under the open sky or shade of Le Pavillion, the guest not only has a view of the carefully manicured ornamental pool, but also a unique view of the hotel’s own stud farm.

In addition to the 56 bedrooms decorated in the Moorish style, guests can reserve one of five luxury Riad apartments, for whose living rooms Garcia selected rare works of art and antiques. The opulent bedroom curtains are reminiscent of Bedouin tents. Each Riad apartment surrounds its own private 400 square metre private garden with heated pool and lounge area. And true to Moroccan tradition, a private patio and fountain lead to the guest’s own private and personal rooms.

 Further information: selman-marrakech.com

Riverside Museum of Transport in Glasgow: Colour coded Inside and Out

The summer of 2011 saw the opening of Glasgow’s Riverside Museum of Transport, and in May 2012 it received the ‘European Museum Academy Micheletti Award’ in recognition of its status as ‘the most innovative museum for technology, work and social history.’ This development was the first major public building contract won by Zaha Hadid in Great Britain, where she now resides. The building is clearly in her personal style — a combination of powerful zigzag and sweeping contours — and now stands as an important landmark in Glasgow Harbour, once the vital location for shipyards and busy port traffic. The hope is that the new museum will form a link to Glasgow’s maritime history and engender new life in the old quayside areas, much of which is in disuse. The historic three-mast steel-hulled barque Glenlee sailing ship is anchored in the River Clyde in front

The Riverside Museum skyline is rather like the letter Z turned on its side, with the edge right on the outer margin of the site. The museum has a 36-metre glass façade to the river, with the zigzag roofline not unlike waves on the water. The windows are darkened to protect the exhibits from solar glare, yet reflect the local environment, the shimmering silver roof seeming almost to blend with the sky. The roof construction follows a gentle, wavy, partly angular line. The height and width of the individual roof sections vary along the entire length of the structure. A cut-edge ridge crowns the pointed roof. Zaha Hadid: “The most important thing is the overall flow – the flow of things, the non-Euclidian geometry – in which nothing is repeated; in brief, a reordering of the space.”

The museum also houses a cafeteria. ‘Twin’ chairs were selected for the outside areas – a robust item suitable for contract applications. This plastic-coated steel chair is from Brunner: fresh, lightweight and in youthful design and cast in a single unique style, it harmonises ideally with the technical ambience embodied in the museum. The Twin is finished in apple green, following the colour scheme systematically used inside the museum – from the lime-green hall to the luminescent green stairs, through to the many details presented in a wide variety of green tones. The multi-functional and weather-resistant all-round Twin chair was designed by Archirivolto, and in April was chosen for inclusion in Die Neue Sammlung (‘new collection’) – one of the biggest museums of industrial and product design.

The one and only online garden camping community in the world

campinmygarden.com is the first and only website advertising private gardens as micro campsites. It was launched in April 2011 with an open invitation to all.

As a member of the community everyone is able to advertise his own garden as a campsite or book accommodation in other community gardens. The offered gardens vary in standard from “bumping” (basic camping) to “glamping” (glamorous camping).

And if you are looking for some fancy tents, visit FieldCandy, the exciting design-led brand for tents. Created by designers such as David Bowie artwork creator Terry Pastor, graphic designer Jonathan Zawada, art director Luke Bonner, and Illustrators Emma Bennett and John Wilhelm, each tent is limited to a few hundred and then deleted to ensure exclusivity. The tents come along with extra strong pegs, heavy duty zips and lockable storage pouches. FieldCandy tents are designed for extreme performance activities as well as festivals and more sedate camping trips. And you needn’t faff around buying extras because each tent comes with combination padlocks, a hammer, tent peg puller and indestructible instructions. You even get a grass-scented sachet to get you in the outdoor mood. Good weather not included.

For further information: campinmygarden.com and fieldcandy.com