According to HotelChatter, architect/artist Michael Jantzen has designed a new hotel that is part ski slope, part hotel. Yes, that's right, the ski slope and hotel are part of one structure. The hotel/slope would be 400 feet high and be powered by a combination of wind turbines and solar cells. The hotel would incorporate passive solar heating and include a system that would collect rain water and melting snow for reuse in and around the hotel. The project is a long way from fruition. It certainly ranks up there as one of the most creative proposals for a "mixed-use" development.
Jantzen is well known for his designs that work with nature. His website includes designs for a sky-cloud pavilion, eco-tower and sun tower, elements theme park and much more. Will a hotel/slope be built any time soon? I doubt it, but it is refreshing to see that architects like Jantzen are at least thinking about a more sustainable approach to hotel building. While buildings built to LEED standards are great, they are just one step toward what are considered "living buildings" or "net zero" buildings--buildings that either produce more power than they consume, or the same amount that they consume.