The island of Saipan
The island of Saipan has a meaningful history and culture as a commonwealth of the United States and as the location of the Battle of Saipan in World War II. At Saipan's Kensington Hotel, Landscape Architect Walter Ryu was tasked with the landscape architecture services in the renewal of this old, non-operatable, and abandoned hotel originally built in the 1970s by a developer from Asia. It had been left unattended on the northern coast of the island.
Instead of rebuilding the hotel, the client kept the architectural structure and revitalized the property landscape with an emphasis on the addition of plantings, water features, and landscape lighting. The success of the development came from hands-on-design, well executed construction, and the combined effort of volunteers from the hotel, dedicated work from local laborers, and solid support from the client.
A great deal of the island's tourism is centered around the 2nd World War battle of Saipan. War artifacts, such as tanks and canons, can be found throughout the island and visitors often fall into a silence at the World War II Saipan American Memorial. However, that is not all the island has to offer. Visitors are also able to experience beautiful natural elements such as mesmerizing sunsets and shallow beaches, with untouched tropical forests and serene caves found further inland.
Looking past the built environment, visitors can experience the island's rocky inland mountains, emerald waves, and a full array of tropical plants and native vegetation. Saipan is one of the most famous diver destinations and is a great tropical resort area boasting a short travel distance from Northeast Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, and China.
The resort site is located on the northern edge of the 45 square mile island of Saipan. It is a somewhat quiet and remote area, away from the established downtown shopping districts, hotels, and restaurants. Being in a more setback location, the Kensington Hotel targets itself as a setting for families and business travelers. The client, E Land Group of Korea, has been a long-time partner with the communities of the island. Before and during construction, the hotel staff had voluntarily started cleaning trash and debris from the beaches and participated in multiple fundraising activities. The island was mostly happy to respond as projects like this are not only good for the spirit but also benefit employment and economic components for the residents.
Scope of Work