Monarch, a living resort, (Monarch) combines the need for private meeting and event space in a natural setting with sustainable technologies. As a full service 5-Star facility, planning and execution of events will be partnered with seclusion, creating an atypical experience for all guests. Utilizing programmatic design will enable the facility to attract a wide range of users. This project has five primary objectives:
• To create a “one at a time” use facility in which a single group or organization will have exclusive use of the 25,000 sq. ft. resort facility. This will enable better collaboration and ongoing communication among group members as they are able to continue dialogue outside the conference rooms in a more relaxed common area. As a state-of-the-art facility, patrons will have access to all of the technology they depend upon to run their business. Built and decorated with the ambience of a 5-Star resort, guests will not have to sacrifice quality for environmental benefits.
• To create a natural peaceful setting where guests can relax, “slow down” and focus on the purpose of their meeting. University of Michigan psychology researchers Berman, Jonides and Kaplan found memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour interacting with nature. Monarch will be surrounded by 47 acres of pristine and preserved natural habitat. Access to nature will be easy and encouraged; however, the inclusion in all visual aspects of the design will have a dramatic effect on the guests. (Take A Hike by Joe Serwach, January 20, 2009)
• To demonstrate the practice of sustainability through programmatic design. Guests will “live” sustainability the moment they arrive onsite (i.e. driveway made of permeable pavers, native natural landscape, zero waste, etc.) A lending library will provide additional resources to those that want to learn more about sustainable living. Through Monarch’s partnerships with various experts, seminars and lectures will be available at a group’s request.
• To provide a living laboratory for students of local colleges and universities to test new “green technologies”. Ideas are evolving everyday within this industry in all areas such as, engineering, biology, and environmental sciences. The ability to test these ideas is often limited to the campus. However, having readily available access to both, a fully occupied commercial and residential setting will provide for a higher quality of testing and product development. Additionally, Monarch will be a leader in both the green building and hospitality industries.
• To provide an educational facility for the community and organizations to foster the growth of the sustainability movement. The “E” in G.A.T.E. House stands for education and is a driving force of this project. Providing adults and children the opportunity to experience first-hand what sustainability is, will reveal why sustainability is so important. The additional conference room and classroom within the G.A.T.E. House will allow education to continue while the resort is in use.