We are in full throttle this week with our first big review coming this Friday. It should be beneficial, as it will give us much needed feedback on whether our ideas are coming across as clear. We talked with our professor on Monday about creating a cohesive story that focuses on the main points that we are trying to cover. We established these points as being:
- Developing a site that gives businessmen and artists a place to go in the office district
- Connecting with the art trail
- Responding to the current surrounding site conditions
- Converting the alleyway to make a well used alleyway
- Pushing for net-zero energy on the site
- Rehabilitating the Victory Hotel into a social club
Over the last week I have been focusing my time on understanding the feasibility of a net-zero site, while also working on the programming and some details of what’s crucial to our site, the social club. Dubbed the Victory, the club is to act as a catalyst for the site and the surrounding districts as a gathering place, arts community, and a vibrant night scene for an area that has bits and pieces of all, but is lacking a cohesive theme throughout. Because the idea behind our entire project is an arts and social scene for young professionals and business people, the treatment of the Victory as a social club is crucial in the success of the site as a whole. I looked into precedents on social clubs, and found a place in Des Moines that offered some of the amenities that we seek to include not only in the Victory, but also on our site as a whole. In this example, it also operates as an adapted-reuse project, converting an old fire station into a vibrant arts scene in downtown Des Moines. Similar to our project, the Victory will be a historically rehabilitated hotel converted to a destination for people after hours.
Beyond the treatment of the Victory social club, I have been looking into whether net-zero is an achievable goal for our site. Because of its location in southern Nevada, the site is perfect to implement active solar as a means to achieve net-zero. Beyond solar however, there are few technologies (maybe geothermal?) we can utilize that make sense or adhere to form based code. The success of our site achieving net-zero will lean heavily on how we design passively to reduce cooling loads.
Finally, I spent some time addressing the First Street Art Trail and how it could benefit from the programs we will be introducing. The art trail is pre-existing and in its current state, stops abruptly at the northeast corner of our site. In its current condition, the art trail ends at the service corridor of the Golden Nugget casino and meets the backside of the casino and its parking garage. The buildings are less than pleasant to look at and therefore work against drawing people down the final segment of the art trail. Our proposal of creating the Victory, combined with the community arts center, seek to give the arts trail a meaningful end and hopefully draw attention and expansion to the newly conceived art trail.