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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2009 awards -> Nevada State Museum


Entry number: B09011
Project Name: Nevada State Museum
Building Type: Museum
Completion Date: May 2009
Building Location: 700 Twin Lakes Drive, Las Vegas, NV
Type of Construction:
Type II-A, Museum
Materials Used: Concrete (walls/floors), Metal Stud Framing, Gypsum Wallboard and EIFS (Exterior insulated Finish System)
Building Area: 78,000 sf

Design Team:
Architecture Firm:
Steelman Partners
Architect of Record: Ethan Nelson
Client/Owner/Developer: Las Vegas Valley Water District
Interior Designer: Steelman Partners
Landscape Architect: JW Zunizo & Associates
Structural Engineer: John A. Martin & Associates
Electrical Engineer: Finnegan Erickson Associates
Mechanical Engineer: Finnegan Erickson Associates
Civil Engineer: Poggemyer Design Group
General Contractor: JA Tiberti Construction
Photographer: Steelman Meyer

Statement of Design Approach:
The primary goal of educating the public about Nevada’s past, present and future was mindfully woven into the design of this facility. Playing off the natural plant-life, sand and stone terrains of the desert - the building design, both inside and out, mirrors the surrounding simple and natural beauty.

In 2003 the State of Nevada’s Department of Cultural Affairs requested designs for a new permanent home for the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society. Over the years, the Museum had outgrown its original location within Las Vegas’ Lorenzi Park. It was also thought that an anchoring location in the Springs Preserve’s new cultural campus would increase visitation and better serve the community.

The Preserve is located at the original wellhead for the Las Vegas valley. The role of water and the significance of this site for the early development of Las Vegas cannot be overstated. The 180 acre Preserve is split roughly in half. Approximately 90 acres is an undisturbed, archeologically significant window into Las Vegas’ past from Pre-history to the present day. The remaining 90 acres has been used over the years to store, treat and deliver a large portion of the Valley’s water supply. Situated adjacent to the enormous water tanks, in the heart of the Preserve’s cultural campus, the Nevada State Museum at once became a good neighbor to the surrounding buildings and an iconic symbol for the entire state and its largest city.

Consistent with the Museum’s mission statement, a facility that inspired and educated a diverse public about the history and natural history of Nevada was designed. The museum is poised to contain expansive historic collections that will provide perspective for the artifacts and personal narratives of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada. Intellectually, the Nevada State Museum is designed to be a sanctuary that opens the minds of visitors-- a source for learning, inspiration and amusement. Architecturally, the Nevada State Museum takes its form from the shifting sands of Nevada’s deserts. Stone cladding on the museum’s exterior evokes the numerous mountain ranges that Nevada is known for. The stucco evokes Nevada’s sandy valleys. Nevada’s flora and fauna is expressed in the organic geometry of the museum’s entry canopy.

Sustainable Description:
Many products installed throughout the Nevada State Museum building meet the LEED requirements for Recycled Content. Specified products with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) values, i.e. paints and finishes, were utilized. In addition, any products containing CFC’s and HCFC’s were required to be omitted.

An innovative transportation system was created to help prevent contamination and littering of surrounding areas. Lastly, arrangements were required for the return of re-usable packing materials and wood pallets.

This project was designed and built with an ever-present sustainable and environmentally conscious awareness at the forefront.



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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