Founder of the Living Building Challenge, sustainability aficionado and architect Jason McLennan has been commissioned by famed actor Leonardo DiCaprio to design a 68-vila eco-resort on a private island in Belize. As The New York Times reports, the ambitious 42 hectare (104 acres) "Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island" will be carried out by New York developer Delos by 2018.
The resort will feature an arc of floating suites built over the water and a network of artificial reefs and fish shelters, along with 48 millionaire villas and an indigenous plant nursery focused on manatee conservation.
“My goal was always the fact that I wanted to create something not just environmental, but restorative,” said DiCaprio to the newspaper. “A showcase for what is possible.”
The island, just a short 15-minute boat ride from San Pedro, has suffered for years from overfishing, an eroding coastline and deforestation. DiCaprio's project hopes to restore the island and bring it new life as a luxury destination. To do this, 45 percent of the island will be designated to conservation and all new construction will live up to Living Building Challenge standards.
“We are pushing each other the whole way to test the boundaries of what is possible,” adds DiCaprio. “With the onset of climate change, there are huge challenges, so we want the structure to not only enhance and improve the environment, but to be a model for the future. That includes restoring the island, creating conservation areas where we can hold research conferences, and regenerating the entire ecosystem to bring it back to its original form and beyond.”
More about the project on The New York Times