Raphael Delstanche from Poland chats with us about responsible hospitality in disappearing places impacted by global warming. Mediance Hotel won an honorable mention in Radical Innovation 2011.
I love the idea of embracing places impacted by global warming – areas that people increasingly avoid due to the dangers of natural hazards. This could save disappearing landmarks through responsible tourism. Could you walk me through what initially inspired you to create Mediance?
Co+ developed “100 Places to Remember Before they Disappear” in 2009. Please visit their website: http://www.100places.com/. Their project exists to raise awareness about global climate change. Their goal was to reach a wide range of people around the world and to communicate our message in the most compelling way. That was my spark.
The Mediance Hotel concept goes further - this is an initiative to allow tourists to experience the impact of global warming first hand, to provide those visitors with opportunities to understand the causes and consequences of climate change, to eventually exchange knowledge and share initiatives, raise awareness and stimulate action from personal day-to-day habits to political activism, and to help preserve the precious beauty of this world we live in. Mediance Hotel invites you to an immersion in beauty of the most resonant kind.
How would visitors interact with the environment? Could you please elaborate on the indoor-outdoor shelter?
Firstly, its design: an external intelligent electrochromic envelope, solar flexible material and clear acrilic mirror coated external finish, but see-through from inside gives you 360 degrees view to the landscape. Secondly, the mediance "mPod" addresses basic issues about the relationship between the individual and his environment and acts as a catalyst to exist in harmony with the environment to successfully fulfill himself. A tool to help reconcile the individual spirit with the environment. Reconnecting the individual with nature is one of the great challenges of an urbanized society. Thirdly, Mediance Hotel offers an opportunity to bring man’s relationship to nature into the forefront, highlights the individual’s connection to nature through the medium of a man-made shelter, an attempt to bring nature, the shelter and the human being to a higher unity. Ultimately this is an indoor-outdoor architectural shelter simultaneously independent of and intertwined with the domain of nature.
What are the barriers you need to overcome in order for Mediance to become a reality?
It should work like the wonderful Patagonia Sur initiative. A for-profit company that invests in, protects, and enhances of course but also scenically remarkable and ecologically valuable properties in Chilean Patagonia. Mediance should be similar but also including our values of mission driven environmental hotel. I would love to see 30 pods in Yellowstone, the oldest national park of the United States. The park is an awesome region of wilderness, mountains, geysers, hot springs, lakes, canyons, and rivers, and attracts several million visitors yearly. Yellowstone National Park experiences summers like that of Los Angeles. These warm temperatures will imperil everything from native cutthroat trouts to aspen forests, and the $700 million in annual economic activity that they and other gems in the park generate by attracting tourists.
How did Radical Innovation push you to develop your ideas?
Radical Innovation is one of the few platforms for progressive hospitality. It gives designers the possibility of expressing new ideas in a generally conservative and risk-adverse industry. John Hardy has a deep understanding and love for this industry. And this competition proves it.