Hector Ceballos Lascurain, an environmentalist from Mexico was the first to coin the term Ecotourism to describe eco-friendly and responsible travel. Ecotourism has the potential to ensure sustainable use of the country’s resources and generate jobs for the local population. Architecture plays a vital role in ecotourism as it is an expression of natural surroundings through space. Eco lodges and sustainable resorts that are well integrated within the surrounding environment understand the local livelihood, art, and culture.

Here is a list of twenty sustainable ecotourism architecture destinations around the world.

1. Bosco Vertical

Bosco Verticale, Milan, Italy, also known as Vertical Forest wasbuilt by Stefano Boeri Architects. It is one of the most inspirational examples of the revolutionary green buildings movementowing to its seminal incorporation of over two thousand square meters of trees, shrubs, and bushes into forty-four stories across two residential towers.

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Bosco Vertical ©www.unsplash.com
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Bosco Vertical ©www.unsplash.com
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Bosco Vertical ©www.unsplash.com

2. Phipps Centre

Phipps Centre for sustainable landscapes, Pittsburgh is the world’s first building to meet four of the following green building certifications namely,the LEED Platinum, the Living Building Challenge, the Four-Stars Sustainable SITES, and the WELL Building Platinum. At the Phipps Centre, sunlight, soil, and wind are used to light, heat and cool the spaces, purify water for reuse and grow vegetation.

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Phipps Centre ©www.sustainablesites.org
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Phipps Centre ©www.sustainablesites.org
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Phipps Centre ©www.sustainablesites.org

3. The Million Bottle Temple

The Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple or The Million Bottle Temple in Thailand’s Sisaket province is made up of millions of recycled glass bottles. Glass bottles are not only a sustainable alternative in construction, but they also allow the entry of natural light and do not require painting. Moreover, the glassbottle bricks are easy to clean and maintain.

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The Million Bottle Temple ©www.davidambuel.org
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The Million Bottle Temple ©www.davidambuel.org
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The Million Bottle Temple ©www.davidambuel.org

4. The Bird’s Nest

The Beijing Olympic stadium’s roof is an incredible example of sustainability. While conventional roofing systems would have required artificial lighting, air conditioning and ventilation, the open and translucent roof design of The Bird’s Nest stadium significantly cuts the stadium’s energy consumption. The stadium allows the entry of natural air and light and employs geothermal techniques to trap hot and cold air from the stadium’s soil.

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The Bird’s Nest ©www.readtiger.com
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The Bird’s Nest ©www.readtiger.com
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The Bird’s Nest ©www.readtiger.com

5. One Central Park

One Central Park, Sydney is Australia’s greenest urban village and an Ecotourism destination. It houses its on-site tri-generation plant which generates electricity, heat, and cooling using natural gas.

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One Central Park ©www.wikimedia.org
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6. Shanghai Natural History Museum

The Shanghai Natural History Museum is a spiral shape shell building representing the plant and animal cells.Through its integration with nature, the building represents the harmony of humans and the ecosystem.

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Shanghai Natural History Museum ©www.archpapeR.com
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Shanghai Natural History Museum ©www.archpapeR.com
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Shanghai Natural History Museum ©www.archpapeR.com
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Shanghai Natural History Museum ©www.archpapeR.com

7. The Africa Centre

At the Africa Centre, rainwater is routed into the wetland, the greywater irrigates the vegetation and the blackwater or sewage is treated on site. Locally sourced eucalyptus poles, wood, and glass have been utilized for construction.

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The Africa Centre ©www.commons.wikimedia.org
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The Africa Centre ©www.commons.wikimedia.org
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The Africa Centre ©www.commons.wikimedia.org

8. Makoko Floating School

Floating School, Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria uses over two hundred plastic drums to keep the structure floating in the water. The structure was constructed by the Makoka inhabitants using locally available timber. The school building is solar powered and has an in house rainwater harvesting system.

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9. Eastgate Centre

Designed by architect Mick Pearce, the Eastgate Centre, Zimbabwe does not depend on any conventional ventilation systems for its temperature regulation, yet maintains air conditioning with dramatically large energy efficiencyrates. The building was designed using construction techniques derived from Zimbabwean masonry and the self-cooling African termites.

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10. ElewanaTarangire Treetops

ElewanaTarangire Treetops, Tanzania is located in Randilen Wildlife Management Area with rich wildlife and stunning landscape. By staying at ElewanaTarangire Treetops, tourists contribute to the preservation of natural areas and promote the benefits of responsible tourism.

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ElewanaTarangire Treetops ©www.steemit.com

11. Zeitz MOCAA

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art, Africa is yet another example of sustainability. The museum building uses cool water from the sea to assist in temperature control.

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Zeitz MOCAA ©www.architecturaldigest.com

12. Australian Islamic Centre

This Melbourne mosque features ninety-six golden lanterns facing all four directions. The north lanterns are green representing nature. The east lanterns are yellow for paradise. The west lanterns are red symbolizing blood, which gives strength. Blue represents the sky and this is to the south. During the day, sunlight channels through the coloured glass into the building.

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Australian Islamic Centre ©www.dezeen.com
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Australian Islamic Centre ©www.dezeen.com
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Australian Islamic Centre ©www.dezeen.com

13. Oregon Zoo Education Centre

Designed by Portland-based OpsisArchitecture, the Oregon Zoo Education Centreserves as a regional hub for conservation excellence is known for its contribution towards reducing hazardous emissions and sustainable design excellence.

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Oregon Zoo Education Centre ©www.architectmagazine.com
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Oregon Zoo Education Centre ©www.architectmagazine.com
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Oregon Zoo Education Centre ©www.architectmagazine.com

14. Feynan Ecolodge

The Feynan Ecolodge, Jordan supports the local tribal communities, villages, and wildlife of the Dana Biosphere Reserve. At Feynan Ecolodge, tourists enjoythe legacy, art, and life of the Bedouin. The lodge is powered by hundred percent sustainable sources and most of its resources used are purchased from within a fifty-kilometre radius.

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Feyanan Ecolodge © www.sustain.pata.org

15. Biohotel Colombia

Biohotel Colombia is powered by solar energy, engineered with water-saving systems and built with organic kitchen gardens and vertical agriculture. The hotel offers environmentally responsible luxury and comfort to its customers.

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Biohotel Colombia ©www.biohotelcolombia.com

16. FuerteHoteles

The Hotel’s ecological awareness and conscience have reaped several recognitions from global environmental agencies.

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Fuerte Hotels ©www.fuertehoteles.com

17. The Dixon Water Foundation

The Dixon Water Foundation Texas was started by late Roger Dixon, a conservationist. The Dixon Water The Foundation’s strategy is to heal the balding land using livestock.

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The Dixon Water Foundation ©www.dixonwater.org

18. Hanover Olympic Building

Hanover Olympic is the first solar-powered, net-zero building in Los Angeles. Powered by Ten photovoltaic panels provide energy for over twentyeco apartments, dramatically cutting down energy expenses.

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Hanover Olympic Building ©www.gid.com

19. Oasia Downtown Hotel

In contrast to the conventional high-rise developments, the Oasis Downtown Hotel, Singapore, designed by WOHA and Patricia Urquiola, integrates architecture and environment. It merges indoor and outdoor spaces with its ground-breaking design.

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20. Nanjing Green Lighthouse

Designed with soft light interiors, free flow of natural air, indoor vegetation, the Nanjing GreenLighthouse’s architecture aimed at creating a space for visitors celebrating the daylight. The Light House is one of the first of zero-carbon buildings to be designed in China.

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Sowmya is an architectural journalist and writer. In this column, Sowmya takes you through stories on eco-architecture, biophilic design, and green buildings from across the globe.

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