Woolly New Zealand hotel raises profile
28 Apr 2010
A project designed to pull the eyes of the world back onto the benefits of wool has brought international architects together in New Zealand to design a "woolly" hotel complex.
Conceived by a German architecture magazine and hosted by the National Council of New Zealand Wool Interests (NZWTA), the project involves 14 of the world’s top architects who are in Christchurch, New Zealand, to learn more about wool and promote its versatility.
Their challenge is to design a concept hotel complex that incorporates wool in every possible aspect.
Raising wool profile
Largely funded by the New Zealand wool industry, the project is aimed at raising the profile of wool and thereby boosting demand.
Project lead architect Heinz Richardson says wool has endless possibilities and given its versatility, he believes it is one of the most sustainable products available.
NZWTA chairman Stephen Fookes said the international project was a significant event for New Zealand and was the first major initiative to getting New Zealand wool back in the forefront.
"It's about a renaissance of wool which for the last 20 years has largely been forgotten about," Fookes said.
The mission to brainstorm a woolly hotel that would incorporate the fibre in every room aims to reinvent wool's image.
"We want to re-introduce wool as an interior textile, create awareness and increase the demand of New Zealand wool as an interior textile not only into existing areas where it traditionally fits but new areas as well," said Fookes.
The 14 architects, many of whom know very little about wool, have come from Europe, North America and Asia. One New Zealand architect is also involved.
The architects will work in small groups on specific areas of the concept hotel before making a presentation of their design.
A book of their detailed work will be presented at international trade fairs and architectural conferences.
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