November 30, 2010

Easter Island Explora Rapa Nui Hotel by Jose Cruz Ovalle

One of my favorite buildings in Chile would be the Explora Rapa Nui.  Designed by Chilean environmental architect Jose Cruz Ovalle, it is the first building in South America to have received LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council.  It truly is a reflection of its surrounding, appropriately resting on a site that was carefully chosen with the utmost respect, avoiding fruitful agriculture land or an archeological site, as well as limiting impact to the existing flora that surrounds the hotel.  It was incredibly built into its environment, parallel to the land, and blending in with the adjacent trees and the fields below.  Ancient traditions, local materials and artisans were utilized communicating a commitment to the environment and to the local community.
Movement through the hotel is effortless, naturally transitioning from interior to exterior spaces.  The rooms were very thoughtful and functional taking on an almost camping type feel with no technology and an intentional focus on the nature beyond.

The combination of green principals and practices coupled with the expression of the material and how the form and fluidity of the building truly follow the function and use by guests.

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