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Sustainable Resort Isla Palenque Wins Prestigious ASLA Award for Excellence in Resort Planning

CHICAGO, April 28, 2010 — After receiving a record number of entries, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has awarded The Resort at Isla Palenque an Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning category for its geo-responsible resort master plan.

The Resort at Isla Palenque, a private island resort located in Panama's sparkling Gulf of Chiriqui, has sustainability at its very foundation – a quality likely to have interested the jury. Isla Palenque's developer, Amble Resorts, assembled a winning team to create the master plan, including Aspen, Colorado-based landscape architecture and planning firm Design Workshop.

"We chose Design Workshop because they are uniquely skilled at creating designs that encourage people to experience the natural world that surrounds them," says Amble President Ben Loomis. "Their design will allow the resort's future homeowners to connect to the island in a profound way: to feel that they are a natural part of it, not an intruder upon it."

"We're especially proud of this award because it was a particularly competitive year to win," says Richard Shaw, FASLA, a Principal and Partner at Design Workshop. But for Shaw, it's been clear from the start that Isla Palenque is exceptional. "Amble's concept is special to begin with," says Shaw. "The idea behind the master plan has always been to retain natural resources while accommodating low-density development; synthesizing aspects of sustainability, conservation, and ecotourism for a result that will really create unprecedented character."

For Design Workshop, Isla Palenque provides an opportunity to showcase design that is at the core of their environmentally focused mission. The design makes intelligent use of the terrain and lavishes attention on the beauty of the island itself. Says Shaw, "The placement of the buildings is thoughtful, putting most of the buildings in the few areas that were previously cleared for farming, allowing the sensitive ecosystems and cultural material to be preserved."

"Design Workshop really understands our goal here," says Loomis. "We want to create sustainability that is not only good for the land, but good for the people that will live on it." Loomis considers the natural environment to be the most important luxury amenity the sophisticated resort can provide. "The pristine quality of the land will still be there when all the development is done, and will be maintained for generations to come."

Amble and Design Workshop share the award with the rest of the development team, including architects 4240, environmental advisors Panama Environmental Services, and engineering firm East Bay Group.

Only a select few of the hundreds of applicants for the ASLA's award are honored each year. For Amble, Design Workshop, and the rest of this innovative team working to create a new model of sustainable luxury living, the distinction is welcome encouragement, and may foretell future success for their project.


About Design Workshop

Founded in 1969, Design Workshop is an international landscape architecture, land planning, urban design and strategic services firm with six offices in the U.S. and work spanning the globe. The firm's philosophy challenges the project team to equally integrate and balance artistic vision, environmental sensitivity, community values and sound economics to create unique places that stand the test of time.

About Isla Palenque

Amble Resorts was founded in 2007 to develop unique upscale resorts which provide ecologically and culturally sensitive travel experiences. Amble's new Panama real estate project, The Resort at Isla Palenque, will be a secluded and sustainable resort community with a unique boutique hotel, ingeniously designed residences, and sumptuous amenities.

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