Gathering power by way of ethernet cables, the Art Deco hotel is now one of the most green-friendly properties in the world
Oil companies aren't known to be the eco-friendliest of businesses, which is why it’s ironic that an old Sinclair Oil building in Fort Worth, Texas, will soon be one of the most ecologically sound hotels in the world when it opens in a few weeks. This fall, the Sinclair hotel will open in one of downtown Fort Worth's Art Deco gems, which was built in the 1930s. The 17-floor, 164-room property was renovated by Forrest Perkins and Merriman Architects, who retained the building's signature ZigZag Moderne façade and Art Deco interiors. But while the Sinclair's aesthetic is enough to entice travelers to stay, it's the hotel's technological amenities and advancements that set it apart.
Like a lot of things in Texas, the Sinclair aimed for bigger and better, which resulted in becoming the first hotel in the world to power its lights, window shades, smart mirrors, and minibars with power over Ethernet (POE) technology. Ethernet cables are typically used as network communication lines for landline phones and routers, but Sinclair Holdings president and the hotel's developer, Farukh Aslam, discovered that Ethernet cables could be used in a more efficient way. “We are taking modern technology and maximizing its potential in The Sinclair, a 90-year-old building, while staying true to the quality and detail of its iconic design,” says Merriman Anderson Architects senior associate and team leader Patrick Hazard. When opening a previous hotel, Aslam installed a light dimming system that never worked. When the electricians couldn’t tell him why, Farukh looked for something more efficient, which is when he came across Cisco, the technology company that produces a POE lighting system with a dimmer built in. Thus began a new adventure into power over Ethernet.