By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
It used to be that it was considered luxurious to have endangered woods, such as teak or mahogany, on the walls, with huge marble slabs imported from halfway around the world to act as kitchen countertops. Paints were full of lead, varnishes full of VOCs, and the bigger the home, the better – little thought was given to the real cost of heating and cooling the house.
Thank goodness our definition of luxury is finally changing! Today, the more eco-features a home boasts, the better – be they solar panels, fresh air filters, green walls or better yet, a LEEDS certification. In fact, having an eco friendly home is now a status symbol reserved for the lucky few – think Leonardo DiCaprio, Gisele, Johnny Deep and Orlando Bloom, for example. Even the White House in the USA has an organic garden now!
To further prove my point, I’ve found seven eco architecture developments that prove how energy efficiency, waste reduction and design are all aligning to create the new definition of sustainable luxury living.
If you’re looking for a true marina community that features waterside views of Miami’s skyline, you’ll fall in love with Island Gardens. This exclusive project includes a superyacht marina and luxury residential buildings that ensure eco-living. The development should be a wonderful addition and example to one of America’s most polluted cities: Miami is the 7th most traffic-choked city in the nation. The project, which is currently expected to be completed for the 2018-2019 season, will feature impeccable landscaped gardens and a cultured environment where public art glorifies the beauty of nature, all set in the majestic Biscayne Bay.
2. Oil Nut Bay
This car-free community has been carefully developed and constructed to allow you to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle in a private island setting. For example, only electric golf carts and bikes are used for transportation, around one of the world’s most secluded, comfortable and pristine natural settings. The motto is “Artful Elegance & Scientific Execution,” where sustainability is attained through smart design. Located in the stunning setting of the Virgin Gorda, one of the British Virgin Islands, this eco-luxury resort community is built in harmony with nature, surrounded by volcanic boulders and white sandy beaches.
Soaring 43 stories above the skyline of Miami, this was designed to be a sophisticated urban haven of consciousness. Four levels of high-end dining and entertainment are interconnected over three city blocks. Two residential towers, called Reach and Rise, compose an open-air retail centre, two mid-rise office buildings and the new lifestyle hotel. The sustainable architecture provides a progressive ethical development, as do the branded bicycles offered to residents. Tropical gardens and an outdoor fitness center allow those who reside here to newly discover the joys of nature, even in the heart of a contaminated metropolis.
Argentinian developer Eduardo Costantini decided to maximize the territory around Bal Harbour, Miami’s most fashionable beach destination, to preserve the natural greenery surrounding the place. As a result, about 70 percent of the property’s land is comprised of trees, reflection pools, and silhouetted lawns.The 240-unit luxury condominium, completed in January 2017, is incredible avantgarde in the way it utilizes technology, such as special turtle lighting and soundproof infrastructures to fight noise pollution. The gardens around the property were carefully shaped by the skillful hands of revered Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea, to make sure the longevity of the flora would require fewer resources.
Moving to the Big Apple in the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, the luxury condominium Fifty Third and Eighth offers breathtaking rooftop magic. The second floor terrace and roof deck, designed by landscape architecture firm Terrain, both feature a diverse mix of evergreen shrubs, flowers and native plants that thrive in every season. The residences, which range from one-bedroom to three-bedroom apartments, have an elegant decor that includes white wood with mosaic tile accent walls. Amongst the extensive suite of amenities, there’s a fitness center with a yoga room cater to the wellbeing of your body and soul, and a private pup park, for the wellbeing of your four-legged companion.
West Side Living is exemplified in the grandeur of the Circa Central Park development, which has obtained a coveted LEED certification. Circa is designed by leading architecture firm FxFOWLE, which proudly focuses on environmental issues. Their mission definitely was accomplished by this residential building on the Upper West Side, which boasts eco-friendly universal electric vehicle chargers for its residents to use, amongst other eco-friendly features. These installations make it easier for homeowners to be on the go, while still helping reduce carbon emissions.
Citizen360 takes a contemporary take on quintessential Upper East Side living, maintaining the traditional allure of the neighborhood and upgrading it to sustainable measures. Designed by SHoP Architects, through the supervision of Anbau developers, this complex embodies the dynamic spirit of evolution in the historic Yorkville neighborhood. The building’s interior design is curated by holistic designer Clodagh, which includes a lush living wall in the lobby and feng shui design principles throughout the development to promote residents’ well-being. The active ventilation in the kitchens and filtered fresh air throughout the one to four bedroom residences, guarantee the city smog never reaches the Citizen360.