Greenwash in the form of a sustainable hotel?
In 2009, ReardonSmith Architects proposed to the Hersham Golf Club, outside London, a five-star hotel buried in the estate, a worldwide innovation and intended to honor London’s Green Belt with a project that did not radically alter it.
The project was widely spoken between 2009 and 2011, but the proposal for its construction was rejected by the Elmbridge Borough Council, which said that the hotel would actually call into question such a Green Belt, its openness and sustainability.
The hotel designed had 198 rooms and was completely covered by a green roof that merged with the neighboring golf courses. In addition to this integration, the proposal included re-vegetation and reorganization of existing spaces, such as the car park, which, according to the atelier, would leave the space greener than it was previously.
“Our concept integrates the hotel, spa and golf structure into a unique architectural and organic organization, below and above the earth. The design fits the bill for a five-star hotel, while enhancing the physical layout and visual appeal of the entire venue, “explained project designer Matthew Guy.
What the local authorities thought was the opposite, though. Designed on a supposed mantle of sustainability, the hotel distorted an entire region known – and recognized – for its natural condition and little altered by man.