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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2009 awards -> SGI-USA Community Center



Entry number: B09010
Project Name: SGI-USA Community Center
Building Type: Community Center
Completion Date: June 2009
Building Location: Charleston Blvd & Cahlan Dr. Las Vegas, NV
Type of Construction:
Materials Used: Standing Seam Meta, Cultures Stone, High Performance Dual Glazing
Building Area: 6,000 sf

Design Team:
Architecture Firm: Indigo Architecture, Inc.
Architect of Record: Steve D. Maahs, AIA
Client/Owner/Developer: SGI-USA
Interior Designer: Indigo Architecture, Inc
Landscape Architect: Sage Design Studio, Inc
Structural Engineer: R.L. Balogh Consulting Engineers
Electrical Engineer: Interpid Engineering
Mechanical Engineer: Interpid Engineering
Civil Engineer: Dwyer Engineering, Inc
General Contractor: R & O Construction
Photographer: Indigo Architecture
Project Specification: Spectra Consulting

Statement of Design Approach:
The design challenge of this project was that the client's program provided for a basic box with few window placements and a budget that left no room for eye catching aesthetics. It is located in a geographical area that borders a major city street and a well established residential neighborhood with a low tolerance for outside intrusions.

Our design approach was to create a buffer by orientating the building along the busy street corner and placing the parking adjacent to the residential neighborhood. The only automobile entry was located off the major street, leaving no access other than pedestrian to the adjacent neighborhood street.

Our goal was to work within the project budget to give the facility an appealing appearance on all sides and to break down the scale to the neighborhood. The program elements were grouped then arranged at opposing angles. The elements were further broken down by the use of warm desert colors, stone, battered walls and by enhancing the limited windows with an economical use of shading elements.

The lobby is the heart of the facility. All guests are greeted here and the building circulation revolves around the lobby. Our design takes advantage of this by placing the majority of the facilities glass at the lobby. It has created an inviting openness from the exterior decorative concrete plaza to the lobby and main multipurpose room. This experience is also enhanced by bringing the exterior stone into the lobby on the same wall that supports the entry roof overhang element.

Even though the community center met municipality requirements when it came to parking, the owner and the design team knew they were going to need additional parking to maintain peace with the unaccommodating residential neighborhood. The solution was to design pedestrian circulation with a minor grade difference with the adjacent business property owner and share our parking lots. The peak parking needs of each owner is at different times of the day and the solution provides for a more efficient use of each property.

Another design goal was to lower the overall building envelope. This helped reduce the cost of construction materials and the life cycle cost for the buildings energy use. In order to achieve this all mechanical units were located on the lower roofs and the main multipurpose interior ceiling was designed to accommodate the mechanical systems creating a dynamic ceiling that provides excellent acoustics.

Sustainable Description:
The SGI-USA Organization made a conscious effort when selecting the infill site near the center of the city rather than land further out in the community. They wanted to develop only half as much land. The membership would rely on shared parking with adjacent neighbors and alternative means of transportation to the facility. By centrally locating the building in the city, traffic congestion would be reduced and travel distance for the membership would be lessened.

This community center will provide diversity along a street that is mostly known for its office, retail and medical business activities. It is a diversity which strengthens the well-established residential neighborhoods that lay just beyond the businesses which align the street on both sides.

Our project replaced an uninviting chain link fence that bordered a site which was littered with years of trash. The impact on the existing infrastructure was minimal due to it being an infill site. We only had to connect to existing utilities and patch and repair the existing road and sidewalk that had weathered over the years.

Locating the facility in an existing urban corridor has created additional transportation options for facility users other than automobiles. Charleston Boulevard has well established bus routes with a stop right in front of our main entry lobby. Additionally there are members who live within the neighborhood who have the option of walking to and from their activities on site.

Over the course of its operational life the building will provide many meeting opportunities encouraging interaction between people and the sharing of diverse ideas. The majority of businesses along the street operate during normal business hours. The community center will operate in the early evenings and on weekends. This will bring additional life and a greater sense of place to the neighborhood.

The investment the SGI-USA organization has made in this facility has helped protect environmental resources around the site. The adjacent property values are better off. The hundred year flood improvements on the site will help reduce pollution of the community's water and sewer systems when it rains.

No turf has been added to our desert climate with the development of this site. Only desert landscaping and water reducing sensors were installed in toilet room faucets. All of the mechanical equipment has been placed on the lower roof, leaving the upper roof available for future investments in a solar collection system. The structural system has been designed to support the future collectors and the roof orientation was designed to take advantage of an East West layout with a southern exposure.

The building is designed to be flexible in use. There can be several smaller events going on simultaneously or one large event along with a smaller event. An oversized conference room can also serve as an additional event room with minor furniture modification. Two multi-purpose rooms adjacent to the main room have transparent glass windows and audio visual capabilities that transform these into over flow rooms for larger events.



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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 10:50:05 PST