Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Proximity Hotel

The Proximity hotel was designed with the basis of sustainability, but also wanted to be functional and beautiful. The owner, Dennis Quaintance, wanted an elegant, but environmentally safe hotel, which in turn became the Proximity hotel located in Greensboro, NC. The Proximity Hotel was designed on the basis of sustainability, visual interest, and an impact on surroundings.
The name for the Proximity came from the Proximity Cotton Mill developed by the Cone brothers in 1896 (History). The hotel was designed around the idea of an old factory or mill, such as the Proximity Cotton Mill located down the road from the hotel (Design). Bradshaw Orell, the designer of the hotel, took the idea of an old factory and designed every detail of the building, down to the custom furniture. The unusual design process was grounded on the notion that the process is more important than the outcome (Design). The building’s design and construction followed guidelines of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings (Sustainable). LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in six key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design (Sustainability).
The Proximity hotel is one of the newest hotels in Greensboro. It was built alongside a polluted stream that was cleaned up and now adds visual interest to the hotel itself. When driving by the Proximity or pulling into the parking lot at night, the viewer is in awe at the magnitude, but also the beauty of the structure. The designers used large windows in each of the rooms to allow for an abundance of natural light to flow in, but also for electric light to flow out to illuminate the structure at night. The hotel’s design and outward appearance adds a new flare to hotels of Greensboro that you may not see elsewhere in the city.
The Proximity hotel is a leader in green and sustainable building for Greensboro, but also for the world. The sustainable practices used can influence how hotels and other structures are built in the future. The use of solar panels to heat water, natural light, recycled air from outside used in air conditioning, and a green, vegetated rooftop above the restaurant are some of the many ways that the hotel has encouraged sustainability (Sustainability). Hotels being built in the future will begin to look into sustainable practices and will begin to build with those in mind.
The Proximity Hotel was designed on the basis of sustainability, visual interest, and an impact on surroundings. This hotel is a leader in sustainability for Greensboro, but also for the world. The ideas that this hotel came up with to allow for a sustainable hotel will be used in the future as the world is going green and thinking more about how construction affects our environment.


1 comment:

patrick lee lucas said...

what are the implications of designing a building based on the idea of emulating a previous mill building. with the hotel and the restaurant both (even though they were built in the same year), the designer attempted to make historical layers where there really aren't any. what do you think the real impact of a sustainable design process is?