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




Entry number: B07074
Project Name: Orientation Plaza at the Springs Preserve
Location: 333 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas
Building Type:
Completion Date: June, 2007
Architect:  Lucchesi Galati

Sustainable Description

Design Team:
Architect: Lucchesi Galati
Civil Engineer: Pentacore (Stantec)
Electrical Engineer: Boyle Engineering Company
General Contractor: Tiberti Construction Company
Interior Designer: Lucchesi Galati
Landscape Architect: Deneen Powell Atelier
Structural Engineer: Pentacore (Stantec)
Photographer: Lucchesi Galati


Narrative/Project Description:
Located in Las Vegas, the Orientation Plaza is a $2.4-million open air gathering space that guides new visitors to the beginning of the Springs Preserve experience. The Springs Preserve is a cultural and historical attraction that offers entertaining, educational and recreational experiences that commemorate the dynamic history, ecology and people that has become Las Vegas. It also provides a vision and education promoting a sustainable future in the Mojave Desert. The Preserve features galleries, exhibits, multiple outdoor amphitheaters, class rooms, an interpretive trail system, an elaborate botanical garden, and the Nevada State History Museum. The Orientation Plaza acts as a central gathering entry for visitors and includes loading zones for school busses, an area with concrete bleachers for orientation and signs to inform about the purpose of the campus, expectations, and daily events. The Orientation Plaza prepares visitors for an enlightening experience.

The Orientation Plaza and adjacent parking was constructed on top of a below-grade 20-million gallon water reservoir that actively serves potable water to Las Vegas. One of the project goals was to demonstrate how parking or recreation spaces could be built atop below-grade reservoirs to achieve a dual purpose for these structures. Storing water can be demanding of land, but with dual functionality the reservoir can provide for the community in multiple ways. The challenge, however, is to maintain the integrity of the reservoir and to never compromise water quality. This challenge was met by this project. The Orientation Plaza and parking deck are constructed of concrete and include planters, walkways and shade details to comfort and engage new visitors. The parking area is designed with parking stall separation via planters and raised lane markers instead of traditional paint striping. This gives the parking area a different feel when compared to the common urban sea-of-asphalt feel. Additionally, Mojave native plantings and landscape are incorporated throughout the parking and the Plaza to help remove the visitors from the urban environment and submerge them into a more rural experience. This landscaping experience includes trails for pedestrians that lead from the adjacent city street directly to the Orientation Plaza. The Orientation Plaza acts as more than a landing, it is a springboard towards learning, interaction and a sustainable future.


Sustainability Description:
The Orientation Plaza at the Springs Preserve was designed and built using sustainable techniques and principals.

  • The Plaza integrates covered walkways were reclaimed corrugated aluminum is used as shades. The corrugated aluminum was salvaged from the demolition of the previous water reservoir that was built in 1950's at the same location.
  • Much of the construction, including the steel, does not use artificial coatings as to reduce the need and use of chemicals.
  • All of the lighting for the project is compliant with all ASHRAE and IESNA standards that limit light pollution, and lighting calculations were performed to confirm that all lighting met LEED standards.
  • Much of the Plaza, parking area and adjacent pathways or landscape features are produced of concrete. This concrete helps reduce demands from the environment in many ways. The aggregate used to produced the concrete is extracted locally and the concrete is poured onsite, therefore, using local labor and resources. The concrete uses salvaged fly-ash within the mix, reducing the need for imported cement. Reinforcement steel used within the concrete is made of recycled steel. Finally, concrete, specifically as a material for paving and pathways, helps to reduce heat island effect.
  • Structural and ornamental steel used on the project has recycled content.
  • The project uses an engineered bio-swale to collect all storm-water that falls on the site. The bio­swale then releases it slowly through purposefully selected soil and plant material that naturally cleanses it, therefore, reducing quantity yet increasing the quality of the water.          •
  • Irrigation needs are reduced by the use of Mojave native plants that are more appropriate for the dry climate of the desert.
  • Access to public transportation is readily available via two bus routes that are adjacent to the site. This promotes employees and visitors to use alternative transportation.
  • The project did not require imported or exported fill to prepare the site for construction.
  • Finally, the parking area is crowned by over 2,200 solar electric panels that have a peak capacity of producing 409 kilowatts of sustainable electrical power. This power is grid-tied and provides power to Las Vegas. It also provides shaded parking for up to 200 cars.

The Orientation Plaza as a part of the Springs Preserve provides vision and education for a sustainable future in Las Vegas and the Mojave Desert.


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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 10:50:02 PST