ASAP, or “As Sustainable As Possible” and “As Soon As Possible”, is the name given to the awareness initiative recently launched by Oskar Metsavaht, the designer behind the eco-friendly luxury fashion label Osklen. The Brazilian creative has long been a supporter of sustainability, using materials such as organic cotton, recycled PET and leather made from piraruçu fish skin to craft his collections, and he is also well known for his award-winning environmental foundation, Instituto-E. With such credentials, it comes as little surprise to learn that his latest project, a new eco-chic boutique hotel, is “exactly as sustainable as possible”.
Sited in Rio's Leblon neighborhood, a little west of Ipanema, the beachfront JANEIRO was launched by Metsavaht in partnership with local hotelier Carlos Werneck. Formerly the Marina All Suites hotel, known locally as Marininha, all 53 of the open-plan guestrooms have views of the white cliffs of the Cagarras Islands, including the bathrooms, where the rainforest showers are positioned next to the glass.
Decorated entirely by local artisans, the interior design reflects the hotel’s waterfront location, “textures from the beach: sand, water, ráfia, palm trees,” Metsavaht explained in an interview with Vogue Paris. And this natural theme continues in the restaurant, which serves fresh, farm-to-table dishes inspired by the healthy lifestyle that reigns locally, and the region’s easy-going food culture.
A love and respect for Brazilian and carioca culture - the blend of people and traditions both native and specific to Rio - is also reflected in the design details. Local art, many pieces from Metsavaht’s personal collection, is clearly evident throughout the hotel, and even the music played on site has a distinct Rio vibe.
With a focus on sustainable luxury, JANEIRO is partly powered by solar electricity (the existing structure is too narrow to host the amount of solar panels required to entirely power the building) employs energy-efficient air conditioning and utilizes recycled rainwater. Both furnishings and food are sustainably and locally sourced, and the hotel makes good use of materials such as organic cotton, reusable glass bottles, paper straws and natural toiletries. It also supports “a children’s foundation that develops great educational projects in the city, and another that revitalizes the beach environment in our neighborhoods,” said Metsavaht.