Archive for Switzerland
Local River by Mathieu Lehanneur
French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has created Local River, a concept for a domestic “refrigerator-aquarium” that breeds freshwater fish for eating and grows vegetables at the same time.
Inspired by the Locavores movement of people who source food grown locally to avoid pollution and ensure freshness, the project would allow people to produce their own food at home.
Vegetables growing in floating pots would help purify the water by removing nitrates and other minerals.
Here’s some info from Lehanneur:
Anthony van den Bossche, spin doctor.
Local River, home storage unit for fish and greens
The Locavores appeared in San Francisco in 2005 and define themselves as ‘a group of culinary adventurers who eat foods produced in a radius of 100 miles (160 km) around their city’. By doing so they aim to reduce impact on the environment inherent to the transport of foodstuffs, while ensuring their traceability.
Local River anticipates the growing influence of this group (the word ‘locavore’ made its first appearance in an American dictionary in 2007) by proposing a home storage unit for live freshwater fish combined with a mini vegetable patch. This DIY fish-farm-cum-kitchen-garden is based on the principle of aquaponics coupled with the exchange and interdependence of two living organisms – plants and fish.
The plants extract nutrients from the nitrate-rich dejecta of the fish. In doing so they act as a natural filter that purifies the water and maintains a vital balance for the eco-system in which the fish live. The same technique is used on large-scale pioneer aquaponics/fish-farms, which raise tilapia (a food fish from the Far East) and lettuce planted in trays floating on the surface of ponds.
Local River responds to everyday needs for fresh food that is 100% traceable. It bets on a return to favour of farm-raised freshwater fish (trout, eel, perch, carp, etc…), given the dwindling supplies of many saltwater species due to over-fishing. It also demonstrates the capacity of fish-farmers to deliver their stock live to a private consumer as a guarantee of optimum freshness – impossible in the case of saltwater fish that has been netted.
Local River aims to replace the decorative ‘TV aquarium’ by an equally decorative but also functional ‘refrigerator-aquarium’. In this scenario, fish and greens cohabit for a short time in a home storage unit before being eaten by their keepers, the end-players in an exchange cycle within a controlled ecosystem.
Materials: glass: blown & thermoformed, water pump, joints.
Dimensions : Large : 64 x 29 x 39 inches, Small : 29 x 18 x 36 inches.
Mathieu Lehanneur, designer. Graduated from ENSCI-Les Ateliers in 2001; is currently exploring possibilities in nature and technology for their break-thru potential in functions and their capacity to work magic. Made his international début with a series entitled ‘Elements’ (VIA Carte blanche 2006) and the ‘Bel Air’ filtering system for plants (2007), six objects that form a domestic ‘Health Angels’ kit for rebalancing everyday physiological needs (such as lack of sunlight in winter) and countering aggression factors in urban settings (noise & air pollution).
Anthony van den Bossche, age 36, independent ideas man and curator. Set up Duende Studio in 2007, for events design and press relations. Moved full-time into design in 2001 after working as a journalist, ideas man and producer in television. Has mounted exhibitions such as “Design@home.se’, ‘Norway says’ and ‘Eden ADN, genetic design’ (Biennale de Saint-Etienne 2006) that highlight functional and decorative improvement of living organisms. Member of the purchasing jury of the National Fund for Contemporary Art, decorative arts department, and creator of the world gazette website http://www.resetdesign.com (2002-07).
Alexandra Midal, professor of theory & history of design at Ecal (Switzerland) and School of Fine Arts of Toulouse (FR), former directress of Frac Haute-Normandie, now an independent curator of exhibitions. Has published several books and catalogues, including ‘Appartement témoin, les annees 50′, ‘Appartement témoin les annees 60′, ‘Antidesign : petite histoire de la capsule d’habitation en images’, and in 2008 ‘Tomorrow Now-When Design Meets Science Fiction’.
–posted by Marcus Fairs.
Diplomats Help Boost Rates at World’s Most Expensive Hotels
by Tara Loader Wilkinson
Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva commands
$65,000 a night for its four-bedroom penthouse.
Amid the recession, rock stars, diplomats and other celebrities find
solace from the doom and gloom by spending their time in sanctuary
provided by the world’s most luxurious, and expensive, hotels. While
many of us are tightening our belts, shortening our summer holidays or
even abandoning them, hoteliers to the rich and famous claim to have no
trouble filling their most exclusive accommodations, and in the case of
the most expensive suite in the world, managing to double its rate to
$65,000 (€45,642) a night.
In an annual survey by Financial News’ sister publication Wealth
Bulletin, the Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in
Geneva, Switzerland, tops the list as the most expensive hotel room in
2009, commanding $65,000 for its four-bedroom penthouse — twice as much
as patrons paid a year ago for its luxurious setting and views of Lake
Geneva and Mont Blanc.
The hotel’s management puts the rise down to “buoyant demand” from
government officials and U.N. diplomats.
Last year’s winner, the iconic Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four
Seasons Hotel in New York, came second this time, at $35,000, $1,000 up
from last year.
New entries this year were the third-placed Presidential Suite at the
Hotel Cala di Volpe in Sardinia, the Villa La Cupola Suite at the
Westin Excelsior in Rome and the Presidential Suite at the Ritz-Carlton
Despite the past year’s financial and economic turmoil, prices at the
best hotel suites have risen by an average of 10% this year. Herbert
Ypma, founder of the Hip Hotels brand, said: “The very high end hasn’t
suffered all that much. A lot of hotels used to having upmarket
clientele are getting the benefit of them taking far more time off than
usual — so they have more time to stay in hotels. Money was never the
issue, time was.”
Hoteliers said that although the number of business travellers has
fallen in the past year, government officials have taken their place in
the best rooms and suites.
President Barack Obama and his entourage took over the entire
Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow for three nights in June. The President
Wilson Hotel said heads of state and other high-level government
officials are fuelling demand for its hugely expensive Royal Penthouse
Vivian Deuschl, spokeswoman for Ritz-Carlton Hotels, said demand is
also coming from wealthy leisure travellers: “Last year they might have
taken three or four cheaper holidays. This year they are taking one big
vacation, but pulling out all the stops.”
The 10 most expensive hotel suites according to Wealth Bulletin’s
survey for 2009 are:
library of the Ty Warner Penthouse at New York’s Four Seasons Hotel.
1. The Royal Penthouse Suite, President Wilson Hotel, Geneva
— $65,000 per night
Complete with a cocktail lounge, the Royal Penthouse Suite at the
President Wilson is so exclusive that bookings reportedly have to be
made through the hotel’s chairman. The suite occupies the entire top
floor of the hotel. It is reached by a private elevator, has four
bedrooms overlooking Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc and comes with six
bathrooms. Equipped with bulletproof windows and doors, it is almost
exclusively reserved for celebrities or state heads, ideal with the
United Nations headquarters a five-minute drive away.
2. Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel, New York —
$35,000 per night
Business at the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel in New
York has remained as buoyant as when the suite opened in 2007, according
to a spokeswoman. The nine-room suite has walls inlaid with thousands
of pieces of mother-of-pearl. There is an indoor-outdoor Zen garden, a
private spa room with a screen of living bamboo and a book-lined
library, which has a grand piano at its centre.
3. The Presidential Suite, Hotel Cala di Volpe, Costa
Smeralda, Sardinia — $34,000 per night
The Presidential Suite at Hotel Cala di Volpe near Porto Cervo,
averages around $34,000 a night, although during the peak summer season
will cost as much as $45,000. Located in the hotel tower, the
multi-level Presidential Suite sprawls across 2,500 sq ft and has three
bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private gym, a steam room and a wine
cellar. It is crowned by a rooftop terrace with an outdoor saltwater
4. Villa La Cupola Suite, Westin Excelsior, Rome — $31,000
Villa La Cupola Suite in Rome’s Westin Excelsior embodies all things
Roman and excessive: a cupola, a Pompeii-style Jacuzzi, frescoes and
stained glass windows detailing allegories of a mythological figure
paired with a modern one, such as Atlas and Television, Hypnosis and
Neurosis, Hermes and Marketing and Hermaphrodite and Fashion. Located on
the fifth and sixth floors, the suite covers 6,099 sq ft and has an
additional 1,808 sq ft of balconies and terraces overlooking Via Veneto.
Presidential Suite at Tokyo’s Ritz-Carlton.
5. The Presidential Suite, Ritz-Carlton Tokyo — $25,000 per
The Presidential Suite, on the top floor of the city’s tallest
building, has spectacular views of Mount Fuji and Roppongi Hills, as
well as an expansive vista of Tokyo’s impressive cityscape. It occupies
2,368 sq ft. For refreshments, guests may enjoy the $18,000
Diamonds-Are-Forever Martini, which comes with a one-karat Bulgari
diamond at the bottom.
6. The Bridge Suite, The Atlantis, Bahamas — $22,000 per
The 10-room Bridge Suite is actually a bridge spanning the two towers
of the Atlantis Hotel. The 23rd-floor suite is decked with marble
floors, a grand piano and a 22-carat gold chandelier. It was known in
former times as “the Michael Jackson Suite” because of his regular
stays. Prices have come down from $25,000 last year and fees are
negotiable. Nevertheless, the suite is so exclusive the hotel does not
even advertise it.
7. The Imperial Suite, Park Hyatt Vendôme, Paris — $20,000
The Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt in Paris provides guests with an
“in-suite-spa” concept — with the bathroom/spa comprising a whirlpool
bath, a steam shower room and a massage table. The 2,500 sq ft penthouse
suite has a huge living room, a dining room, a kitchen and a work area.
Burj Al Arab
Royal Suite at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
8. Royal Suite, Burj Al Arab, Dubai — $19,600 per night
Since it was built in the mid-1990s, the Burj Al Arab has become one
of the world’s most instantly recognizable hotels with its billowing
sail-like structure stretching out on an artificial island into the Gulf
of Arabia. The Royal Suite on the 25th floor has a marble-and-gold
staircase, leopard print carpets, its own private lift and a rotating
four-poster canopy bed.
9. Royal Armleder Suite, Le Richemond, Geneva — $18,900 per
The Royal Armleder Suite at the Le Richemond Hotel is named after the
wealthy family who used to own the famous hotel before Rocco Forte
bought it in August 2004. The three-bedroom suite, which stretches over
2,500 sq ft on the seventh floor, has a 1,000 sq ft terrace with
panoramic views of Lake Geneva, a real log fire and floor-to-ceiling
bulletproof windows. Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte’s sister and well-known
hotel interior designer, designed the suite.
10. The Ritz-Carlton Suite, The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow —
$16,500 per night
To stay at the best suite in Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton would cost around
$16,000 a night — $500 less than last year. Furnished in Russian
imperial style, the 2,370 sq ft suite has views of famous Moscow sites
including the Kremlin and Red Square. The suite comes with that
necessity for the security-conscious Russian billionaire — a panic room
with its own energy and telecommunications facilities.
Research for this survey was compiled during mid-August. Prices are
rate per night including taxes.
From Financial News at http://www.efinancialnews.com