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UNLV Libraries Main Page -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections -> Las Vegas Architects and Buildings Database -> Projects

Las Vegas Springs Preserve Visitors Center

Photos & Links: (Web Page 1) (Web Page 1) (Web Page 1)
333 S. Valley View Blvd
Las Vegas, NV
Alternate Name(s):
  • Origen at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve
  • The Origen at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Size (sq. ft.): 54000
Other Size Measure: 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.

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.
Contractors: General Contractor: Tiberti / Whiting-Turner Joint Venture
Civil Engineer: Poggemeyer Design Group
Structural Engineer: LERA
Electrical Engineer: JBA Consulting Engineers
Building Materials: 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.
Architectural Elements: 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.
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 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.

the building is a 85 % day lighter, generates 18% of its own energy and 16 %of the materials come from local sources.
Award(s) Won:
Extra Note: AIA Nevada Design Awards (2007) Entry No. B07002, Submission.
UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: Form Core Boards, Project Identification Form, Photo Release Form, Intern Compensation Disclaimer Form, Project Entry Form, Exteriors Photos, Site Plan, Floor Plans, Interior Photos and CD

Hopkins, Carmel. "Reserve project progresses." Las Vegas Review Journal 4 January 2003: 2E.

Hoversten, Mark. "The Centrality of Land-Based Issues in Design Education: Architecture Within Landscape." 306090, September 2004, 37-41.

Illia, Tony. “Green Acres: Springs Preserve Restores a Desert Oasis.” Southwest Contractor. June 2007. [Online]. Available: <>. Accessed June 7, 2007.

Illia, Tony. 2005. Vegas to Convert Old Water Springs Site into Nature Preserve Park. Architectural Record. May, 70

"New and notable." Architecture Las Vegas 1, n.2 (Fall/Winter 2001): 8-10.

Saylor, Hali Bernstein. "Desert Treasure: Springs Preserve to Open Doors of Water's Impact on Las Vegas Valley's past, future." Las Vegas Review-Journal and Sun, 6 February 2005, 1M & 8M.
AIA Nevada Design Awards (2003) Entry No. UB03063, Honor Award.
UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: entry form/board, plans, elevations, photos, CD, Boards from 10 Years of Excellence in Design (10YRS056)

AIA Nevada Design Awards (2002) Entry No. UB01013, Submission.
UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: entry form/board, renderings, drawings, cd

*This project has won the 2003 AIA Nevada Honor Award in the Unbuilt category.
S.D. "Structure au natural" Desert companion, march/april 201039.
Spatially Direct Parent: Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Spatially Largest Parent: Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Spatially Direct Children:
Spatially Largest Children: