A Mideast Bond, Stitched of Pain and Healing This article is about a Palestinian little girl and an Israeli little boy both recovering from injuries inflicted by their respective enemies. Amazingly beautiful lesson on humanity.
Surfing Legend Rob Machado Rides the Waves of His Californian Home- His relationship with nature, the water and allowing the ocean to shape him is inspiring.
Rob Machado weaves over the Pacific Coast surf in a short from photographer and filmmaker Marcus Gaab. The veteran of the board was presented with his own accolade on Huntingdon Beach’s Surfing Walk of Fame in 2011 following a career that has seen him win multiple titles including Hawaii's prestigious Pipe Line in 2000, as well as cameos in the 2007 animated film Surf’s Up and his own 2009 documentary, The Drifter. Shot here in his hometown of Cardiff, California, Machado is known for his relaxed style:
The Power Of The Moment In Design and Location A Conversation With PURE AWARDS JUDGE, GÉRMAN DEL SOL
Slow Travel Heightened Awareness
* Pure is an annual experiential travel conference in Marrakech November 11-14 2013
Architect Germån Del Sol and his sons
WORDS BY SARA HENRICHS ( interview from Pure conference editorial) After a long journey all the way down to Chile’s deepest southern spot, we connected with PURE Awards judge Germán del Sol and got him to tell us about designing explora resorts, his latest project and the future of sustainable landscape architecture in high-end travel.
Sara Henrichs: You are one of Chile’s most influential architects focusing mainly on sustainable design. What was your passion and drive to study architecture?
Germán del Sol: I have always been surprised by places that reflect human’s desire of beauty. Places that transcend their practical use, and show some of the human splendour. And I have always tried to learn from them, how to give place now to human life in plenitude and overcome its miseries.
SH: You designed the explora resorts, which put Chile on the global map for innovative landscape architecture. Can you tell us about the concept and why you decided to launch it?
GdS: The idea behind explora was to open up remote, world class destinations for discerning travellers in the southern tip of America. The two first hotels in Patagonia and Atacama – which include horse stables, spas and Puritama Hot Spring complexes – were designed to form part of the landscape. I think that landscape has an inside that some people get and others not, and that every building must relate properly to its natural and cultural environment, in order to make the experience be fruitful for its visitors.
SH: You have been building ecological resorts, wineries and thermal spas. Do you think they are the future of travel? Is that what the high-end traveller is looking for? How do you see sustainable architecture evolving in the future?
GdS: If we do not want to destroy the beauty of diversity that refined travellers are looking for, well designed ecological resorts, wineries and thermal spas may be the appropriate architecture for present and future travel destinations. When a place is overbuilt, its natural and cultural environment disappears and is replaced by the sad international style of urban mass and skyscrapers. Sustainable architecture means beautiful architecture done with more love than money.
SH: The right architecture can attract the right crowd anywhere in the world. How do you see your influence as an architect towards Experiential Travel? Do you think it’s important for the traveller to be more involved in the local community and to make it part of their travel experience?
GdS: I wish architecture had more influence than money in the short run. In the long run good architecture is a good business for any lucid society. I understand that it may sound politically incorrect, but let us leave the local communities alone to live their lives and do their businesses and crafts as they like them, and take travellers to meet them only in the public local markets – one of the few places where the exchange may really be of interest for both parties.
GdS: I am working in a master plan proposal to make Chile’s badly needed infrastructure to produce energy, add beauty and cultural interest to the landscape instead of being ugly and destructive to their environment.
SH: Which was your most challenging and exciting assignment?
GdS: If I am able to do it right, this project may be a contribution to the cultural landscape of a country that has given me so much and that I love.
SH: How do you pick a location and does it become the main source for your design? What other areas inspire you and where would you like to build your next resort?
GdS: A location captures my attention if it shows some potential of becoming a place. And a place only exists after someone who creates that piece of architecture is poetically inspired – it will be good and beautiful there in that moment. And that also includes the past and the future that may also be present.
“I want guests to feel as if they have been to a country and a community rather than just a resort or a beach.” Chris Blackwell Founder, Island Records, Island Outpost Resorts and visionary responsible for putting U2, Bob Marley and countless other musical legends on the map of the world.
Me and my late friend Elizabeth with Laurel of Strawberry Hill ilaughing our way through Jamaica
“Good hotels are places where you dream of staying,” Chris Blackwell, Island Outpost owner told me. “Great hotels are where you want to live. This is how a lot of these hotels began, as places I lived."
Golden Eye Island Outpost Resort
Some people are so magnetic and driven they command our attention because of how they use their time and imagine the world. And some of those people have created resorts that are entry points to values, dreams, ideas and adventure using local resources and preserving cultures by simply framing a location and letting it breathe. Pleasure and fun of course are important so there might be some elements like a jet ski, a full bar, the glamour of private pools and a few other indulgences. Ok a lot! Here's a few resorts where their owners backed into this world because of their daring natures, drive and passion about place. These second career resort trendsetters helped start a movement and brought us into their all dimensional world instead of the music or films they created.
Francis Ford Coppola, Eco Resort Pioneer and The Iconic Film Director Became An Amateur Eco Resort Owner And Helped Set An Industry Standard
“After shooting“Apocalypse Now” in the Philippines in the late 1970-’s, I had become used to living in a jungle paradise. When I first visited Belize, I was searching for the same paradise there, and tucked in the Maya Mountains, I found it. Blancaneaux Lodge”
The art of living is such an Italian thing and legendary movie director, Coppola was not afraid toget his hands dirty, rough it and live the good life at the same time. He is used to recreating worlds through his movie sets and the jungle held a particular passion for him. In the early 80’s he went to Belize to set up telecommunications and wound up buying an old jungle lodge as a retreat for his family. In 1993 he opened his jungle paradise to the public. Coppola explains that having a resort in the remote reaches of the jungle didn’t intimidate him at all. “It’s like being a movie on location—you just bring everything with you or build it yourself.” Like running wires through the jungle or planting an organic garden full of tropical fruits and Italian culinary staples like eggplant, basil and tomatoes.He is delighted his laptop is run by the clean free energy that his river-powered hydroelectric plant provides while feasting on caprese al fresco.
Selengut, a Long Island engineer who pioneered sustainable resort development began using low impact building practices and set up a communal, recycling, resort preserve in1976. Maho Bay sits on the north side of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, surrounded on both sides by national park. Its 114 cabins spread unobtrusively among 14 acres, a nearly invisible complex of buildings.
Camp Caribbean (excerpt from Audobon by By Jane Braxton Little) Wake up in a solar-powered tent, snorkel in an aquamarine underworld, bathe in water collected from the clouds, and turn your beer bottles into art—all while helping preserve St. John’s natural appeal. A pioneering experiment in ecotourism has endured for years. Note to readers, Maho is losing its lease and after forty years, there is some question about what the fate of this cherished ecotopia will be. I really wanted it in here so you can learn more and maybe even help save its current status.
I keep bringing Sundance up but it has so many lives that they are worth mentioning in different offerings here. SO if you read my Slow In The Snow entry here's more fodder about Sundance. Robert Redford started this way of life early and is known for environmental activism as much as his work in film. Again, it was his home that became a resort and an institute and the place where nature and creativity are nurtured. Take the ideas and values of the person and watch them grow and look at how the world gets to learn, play, aspire, enjoy and slowly consider the possibilities of our nature and ideas.
Check out this video on the vision at Sundance and how it evolved from Redford's small parcel in the 60's to the nature and creativity sanctuary is today. Click on the videos and get the story.
The Bedford Post Inn
That's it for now. Yes, there are others but we will talk about that later.