Category: Architecture

What is the 2nd Century Master Development Plan?
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What is the 2nd Century Master Development Plan | Curtis Battles

{3:48 minutes to read} Historic Union Station in Washington, D.C., which opened in 1908, is a classic Beaux-Arts building designed by famed architect Daniel Burnham. Since the peak of its demand during the mid-20th century, the station has undergone significant restoration, transforming it into the commercial success it is today. Located in the hub of our nation’s capital, it’s no surprise that it is the second-busiest station (after Penn Station) in the Amtrak system. This transportation hub also offers regional commuter rail lines –

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Roads vs. Rails: Which is the better investment
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Roads vs. Rails: Which is the better investment | Curtis Battles

{3:50 minutes to read} Across the country, many states are facing an epidemic: the basic infrastructure is aging rapidly. Bridges, highways, and railroads often need to be replaced or undergo major repairs. This challenge is here to stay until it’s resolved across the country. It’s a hot topic for debate, especially in large metropolitan areas. In Connecticut, Governor Malloy has recently created a 5 year transportation vision plan to help guide this discussion. He is trying to balance the needs of drivers, as well as public transportation commuters.

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How Can You Keep a City’s Character While Preparing for 21st Century Needs?
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How Can You Keep a City’s Character While Preparing for 21st Century Needs | Curtis Battles

{Time to read: 4:10 minutes} Last year, the City of Stamford, Connecticut began a long journey to update and improve it’s “2024 Master Plan.” This document is a “roadmap” for future real estate development and major infrastructure upgrades in the city. City officials and other interested parties have high hopes that the project will attract more residents, visitors and ultimately, boost the local economy. The timeline calls for the project blueprint to be complete around 2024.

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4 Reasons Design Matters
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4 Reasons Design Matters | Bob Henry

Whether you are contemplating a renovation to your personal residence, your business, or hospitality venue – hotel, restaurant, spa – it’s very important to hire an architect and an interior designer with experience in that area. 1. Design Investment: A construction renovation is one of the most expensive activities one can undertake. It is much more expensive than buying a new automobile. Therefore, hiring an architect / designer is a basic insurance policy, mitigating potential problems and costly overruns.

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Health = Wealth
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Health = Wealth | Bob Henry

Our last blog, Healthy Home Part 1,  we talked about the healthy renovations a City apartment dweller has made to her home.  This attention to personal health and well being has also made it to the suburbs, as Part II demonstrates.

 Healthy Home – Part II

A young couple who have two children recently approached us to design a new house for their family in Rumson, New Jersey.  It is a beautiful estate property that offers views to the Navesink River with a full dock, episodic gardens, and terraced pools.

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The Growing Investment in Personal Health and Well Being
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We are finding that we are getting a lot of response from residential clients who have visited our spas, hotels and resorts and have had such a memorable experience that they’re asking us to design a spa inspired home for them. They are investing in their personal sustainability by integrating wellness into their own daily lives and creating home sanctuaries.

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The Global Spa and Wellness Summit
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Recently, I spoke at the 8th Annual Global Spa and Wellness Summit (GSWS), held in Marrakech, Morocco. The Summit shines a light on the $3.4 trillion wellness industry and was attended by futurists, economists, and wellness experts. I presented ” Peek Into the Future” about the impact the design of architecture and interiors can have on the emerging trends within the wellness sector.

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In the Hotel Spa Industry, Wellness is Front and Center
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It was a really wonderful experience and a great honor to speak again at the Hotel Spa Forum held at the illustrious Four Seasons George V in Paris this past June. The event was founded by Director Vladi Kovanic, who invited a hundred and twenty thought leaders within the Wellness and Spa industry to discuss emerging innovation.

I was very excited to visit Paris again and present innovation within the designs of Spas and Wellness in four out of five countries. I presented seven projects, opening with The Palm Integrated Health in St. Louis, MO and closing with the new QC Terme project on Governors Island, NY.

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It’s New! It’s Exciting! It’s Governors Island?
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 One of the projects unveiled at the annual Hotel & Spa Forum in Paris last month was the QC Terme – a 70,000 square foot European hydro therapy-spa on Governors Island. The project is for Quadrio Curzio, a group from Milan, Italy that has 5 other European spa locations. Our proposal was selected from among 30 international firms competing for the project with the Governors Island Trust.

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Innovation in Spa Architecture and Interiors
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The annual Hotel & Spa Forum (Forum Hot Spa) will be held at the George V Four Seasons in the heart of Paris on June 19, 2014.

 This is a meeting of thought leaders within the spa and wellness industry who will be discussing innovation. I’ve been asked to speak on innovation as it relates to spa and wellness design – architecture + interiors. I’m going to be presenting 6 innovative projects that have integrated “Evidence-Based Design,” sharing how to position a property within the current competitive marketplace by integrating distinct design characteristics that promote both a positive guest experience and drive revenue.

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Evidence Based Design
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In our last blog we asked, “Can wellness design improve healing?” The conclusion was yes, indeed it can, and we discussed a few points that promote a more healing environment. Now I’d like to further discuss some of the technical and scientific aspects that support achieving a higher quality of life through wellness design.

ight, in particular natural daylight; noise control or acoustics; and air quality all contribute to a higher quality of patient care, staff satisfaction and the wellness experience.

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Can Wellness Design Improve Healing?
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Wellness environments, if designed correctly, can promote harmony of the mind, body and spirit.

As the baby boomers are beginning to age, they not only want cutting-edge technology, but they also want a wellness environment instead of a sick environment. A carefully designed facility can not only promote healing, but it can reduce the patient anxiety, improve staff morale and efficiency, and create a less stressful environment for doctors, practitioners, staff, patients, and clients. It can have a marked improvement in terms of quality of life.

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Does Nature Nurture?
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Does nature help us relax? Can nature nurture? Think of the ocean. It affects all the senses. Physiologically there’s an exchange between negative and positive ions so our bodies physically respond to that environment. All of that is complemented by the soothing repetitive sound of the waves of the ocean. The saltwater provides additional healing components, being nearly identical with nutrients and minerals as human amniotic fluid. Imagine a camp fire. Just staring at the mesmerizing flames can relax you. You can smell the wood and feel the physical warmth.

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Decluttering Design
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The average American can spend a year of his life looking for lost items. Clutter creates both a psychological and physiological effect occupying physical space and clogging the mind. Spaces we design are relatively free of spatial clutter and confusing circulation.  People generally say that they feel serene, more comfortable, and better able to focus in spaces we have designed.

Organized environments contribute to relaxation which contributes positively to the overall guest experience. Consider how first time guests arrive at a new large hotel where they need a GPS system in order to find their way around its endless corridors or to the hidden elevators.

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