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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
   AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2007 awards -> Origen at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve

       NEVADA AIA DESIGN AWARDS 2007        


Entry number: B07002
Project Name: Origen at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Location: 333 S. Valley View Blvd.
Building Type: Visitor Center
Completion Date: June, 2007
Architect:  Tate Snyder Kimsey

Sustainable Description

Design Team:
Architect: Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects
Exhibit Designer: West Office
Photographer: Tom Bonner Photograpy
General Contractor: Tiberti / Whiting-Turner Joint Venture
Interior Designer: Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects
Civil Engineer: Poggemeyer Design Group
Structural Engineer: LERA
Electrical Engineer: JBA Consulting Engineers
Landscape Architects: e group


Narrative/Project Description:

The Las Vegas Springs Preserve is an interactive environment that highlights the heritage of the site, which is known as the birthplace of Las Vegas. Once home to bubbling springs that were a source of water for Native Americans living here thousands of years ago, the land has been preserved since 1978 due to its significant cultural treasures and the ongoing archaeological studies being conducted there. The visitor center, called the Origen, encompasses two separate buildings, each housing distinct visitor amenities:

  • The 53,000 square foot exhibit building features three galleries and a theater clustered around a rotunda element that showcases the unique natural occurrence of water emanating from the earth below.
  • The 24,500 square foot guest services building houses a souvenir and book shop on the first level, as well as a second-level cafe with a large exterior balcony to provide views of the entire site.


The primary design challenge was to convey the cultural story of the site by means of exhibits and interpretive features that immerse visitors into a "seek and discover" environment. This was accomplished by melding buildings and site into a singular expression that demonstrates the dependence of life on the small, but powerful, water resource in the desert. Just as the materials harmonize with the environment, the basic forms of the buildings seek sensitivity with the land.

Additional site amenities include several exhibit / interpretive zones, an outdoor amphitheater, desert gardens, walking trails, and a children's play area. The site is also the future home of the Nevada Sate Museum.





Sustainability Description:

Designed to meet LEED Platinum-Level standards, the Origen features sustainable, regional, durable, recyclable and low-maintenance materials, including native stone, weathered steel siding, energy efficient glass, recycled composite plastic and wood products, and drought tolerant landscaping.

Daylighting and Shading
Weathered steel panels with varying levels of transparency serve as solar control devices. Their texture provides a soft controlled light for the interior, yet allows unobstructed views to the exterior. In addition, the weathered steel forms a unifying textural element for the different buildings. Horizontal louvers have been spaced and sized to allow winter sunlight to penetrate, while blocking summer sunlight to reduce heat gain. Linear galvanized steel siding reflects sunlight and heat away from the building.

Water Conservation
Potable water consumption has been reduced by over 30% by incorporating waterless urinals and ultra low flow water closets in place of traditional plumbing fixtures. Use of drought tolerant landscaping and native desert plants has also reduced the amount of water needed for irrigation.

Materials of Construction
Our design utilizes sustainable, regional, durable, recycled, recyclable and low-maintenance materials. Use of locally available materials reduced consumption of gasoline for transporting and shipping. Wood products that are certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council Principles and Criteria were utilized to support responsible forest management practices. To improve indoor air quality and reduce the possible health effects of off-gassing, only low-VOC emitting furnishings, adhesives and paints were specified.

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Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos

These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:01 PST