International film star Leonardo DiCaprio made news this week when he purchased a multimillion-dollar unit in a green and sustainable Greenwich Village building with over 500 wellness and health features, cheekily described by theNY Post as “vitamin C-infused showers, purified air and water, posture-supportive flooring, a kitchen herbarium and dawn simulation provided by a proprietary circadian lighting design.”
While some members of the press took delight in poking fun at Mr. DiCaprio for putting his money into wellness, we applaud him for placing a spotlight on what he describes as “innovative building designs that both enhance human health and improve the environment.” After all, nearly all famous movie stars have multimillion-dollar homes, but his commitment to living in a healthy environment—and his celebrity—set an example that people everywhere can (and will) follow, even if they live in a simple dwelling.
Developed byDelos Living, a sponsor of the Global Hotel Spa Forum at the2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit, the units are housed in a converted dress factory that was built in 1897, now described “as the world’s first WELL-Certified™ residences.” DiCaprio is also an investor in the project, and Deepak Chopra sits on the board.
Delos has also created the world’s first building standards for wellness and pioneered the “stay-well” rooms at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and the company hopes to extend its concept to schools, libraries and the workplace. As former U.S. President Bill Clinton noted at a Clinton Foundation event, Delos is “trying to get people to rethink the way they design buildings….and change the way we live and work in a very positive way.”
According to theNY Post, Delos founders Paul and Peter Scialla plan to “collaborate with the Clinton Foundation to build 40 homes in Haiti for every unit they sell.” The company describes its mission as working with “doctors and scientists, architects, designers and wellness thought leaders to develop and integrate holistic health and wellness solutions that can be deployed in the built environment (and are committed to) transforming homes, hotels, offices and other spaces into places that support and protect every domain of human health.”
There is much to learn from this new wave of wellness-infused building design, a trend we will all be hearing more about in the future.