THIRST: THE RESORT BEFORE A FLASH FLOOD
Positioned over the desert wash, the resort waits to be "activated". Its occupancy at this time is low and based on how much water it has stored on site from previous flash floods.
QUENCHED : THE RESORT AFTER A FLASH FLOOD
Momentarily satisfied by a violent flash flood. The resort itself acts as a weir in the desert wash, slowing down water flow while letting it pass through below it helps to irrigate the land around it. New life springs forth and the resort is full with visitors and activity based on vegetation and the wild ilfe it supports.
THE LAND OF THE NOT-SO PLENTY : LAKE MEAD'S RECREATIONAL NETWORK
An Overlay of Lake Mead's recreational circuit and decreasing water levels
CELEBRATING THE SEASONAL : A PLACE FOR A NEW RESORT
Analyzing the ecological layers of the Las Vegas Wash as a basis for a recreational network for the new desert resort
THE LAS VEGAS WASH RESORT NETWORK
A resort network whose programming stems from the study of various ecological layers of the Las Vegas Wash. Program and building locations are determined by soil, hydrological, and wildlife of the wash
Sun and Water
Solar: The modules are stacked so that the west-facing facade creates more shade and the east facade allows for more light to permeate the building.
Water: The modules are sloped so that water used from one unit will filter through the adjacent garden and by gravity make its way to the cistern below ground.
A section through the building demonstrates the dynamic, layered nature of "stacked" housing.
Unit Types and Distribution
Typical Floor Plans for High Density Prototype
How it Stacks Up
Variety is everything. While density is desired, if there were 20 "stacked" buildings in a block, it would be a little monotonous if they were all the same. This shows that "stacked" comes in different shapes and sizes.
A Layered Effect
DESERT FLUX : A NEW RESORT TYPOLOGY FOR THE AMERICAN WEST
The resort is a dominant typology in the American West. Originally a tool for exploring and understanding nature, it has evolved into an artificial oasis: something completely isolated from the reality of its environment. As desert civilization in the American West becomes more prone to drought, it is important to understand the scarce and volatile conditions of the desert. For this project, we propose to create an alternate resort network and building typology, which aim to engage in the ecology of their surroundings by registering the flux, which is inherent to the desert environment. By processing phenomena and fluctuations in its environment, the resort will allow the visitor to become aware of the extremes, which are integral to the identity of the desert.
We chose the parched shores of Hoover Dam's Lake Mead as our place of intervention and research for this project. We started this project by researching the existing recreational network centered on the lake. This circuit is based on the lake maintaining certain water levels and is centered on water based activity (house boats, water skiing, swimming, etc). However, as we know from recent years, drought and the inherent fluctuations of "nature" have caused Lake Mead to literally dry up. Thus, this recreational network which has been set up by the National Park Service here, is becoming obsolete.
So what do we do with it?
We propose to create a new resort network adjacent to the old one. The "new" resort is located in the ecologically active zone of the desert wash adjacent to Lake Mead. The wash is an element that is literally carved in to the desert floor by the violent flash floods. It is something which registers the extreme nature of the desert. Whereas Lake Mead represents a man-made constant, the desert wash embodies the uncontrollable flux of nature.
STACKED: A NEW HOUSING PROTOTYPE FOR L.A.
Back in 2010, we responded to L.A. Forum's challenge to re-envision Los Angeles's Dingbat housing typology of the twentieth century. A dominant building type in Los Angeles's urban fabric, the Dingbat is generally characterized by its teetering box-like form placed above street level parking.
With our design, we wanted to address density, the "urban" face of the building, in addition to water harvesting and conservation. At the same time, we felt it necessary to preserve the Los Angeles dream of a private home and garden. The "stacked" prototype begins with one module whose sloped and planted roof is used as both a garden and vegetative "filter" for gray water used in the adjacent unit. The water is then directed down to an underground storage tank below the core of the building. The module can be stacked so that each unit has an adjacent garden which preserves some sense of privacy while opening it up to views of the street and thus responding to the monolithic nature of the Dingbat. Parking is towards the rear of the building, which allows the front of the building to engage with the adjacent street life.