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M or ri s A rchi t e c t s Extreme Birding BIRD HABITAT BIRD HABITAT HOTEL HOTEL Bird watching presents untapped potential for the hospitality industry. With as many as 47.8 million American’s calling themselves “birders,” a niche market for hotel design has been previously overlooked. Morris Architects designed an approach that can make this great pastime a sensory, exciting experience for anybody—professional naturalists, hobbyists, or those in search of a luxurious retreat experience. Two climate extremes – Alaska, a cold, dry region, and Costa Rica, hot and humid – test how a birding hotel translates for each environment. Geography and climate determine the presence of bird species, dictating a strong connection between birding and travel. Our approach can be implemented around the globe, making this pastime an exciting, accessible experience for people of all ages and abilities. The Alaskan hotel is carved from costal cliff where birds naturally gravitate. In Costa Rica, a tree house replaces traditional ground structures, allowing birds to fly through the space. Both provide a perfect vista for birding, and by properly integrating the hotels into the environment, the bird habitats would not be disrupted. The Alaskan hotel is finished with cooler tones, in slate and lacquer to represent the region’s rocky environment and snow-covered peaks. AMPLIFYING CONTEXT The Costa Rican resort is warmer in appearance, with multi-hued indigenous wood for walls and floors. Both room models feature a modern design flair. There is no freestanding furniture. Beds, benches, dressers, and cabinets are MERGING OF DIFFERENT BIRD HABITATS 32 t e x a s a r c h i t e c t molded from the walls and floors. 1 1 / 1 2 2 0 0 9

Texas Architect Nov/Dec 2009: Industrial

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