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Cubescape is a proposed gateway building for the new UNLV Harry Reid Technology Park in Las Vegas. As a gateway, this building is designed to promote the diversification of building occupancies throughout the site. Cubescape takes retail, commercial, residential, and educational spaces and intersects them in a way that encourages the exchange of ideas. To bring these groups closer together, the Cubescape combines the idea of density with porosity to create a five-story structure that is taller than the average Las Vegas office block but feels more welcoming through its open-air spaces. The goal of this design is to create a prominent and memorable entrance to the campus that will not alienate the surrounding neighborhoods, but instead invite them to take part in and discover what the campus has to offer.
The introduction of a technology park in Las Vegas must consider the unique nature of our city. By bringing together UNLV, emerging professionals, entrepreneurs, and the surrounding community, Harry Reid Park will become a one-of-a-kind place to foster innovation. The Cubescape is a proposed gateway facility to welcome visitors to the park. Combining residential, retail, office, and educational spaces, it welcomes people of different backgrounds and interests and encourages the cross-fertilization of ideas. The site is located in Southwest Las Vegas, a rapidly expanding area of the city. With commercial developments such as the Durango Station Casino, The Bend, and The UnCommons within a one-mile radius, the development of a technology park will help diversify the local economy. The master plan of the site was designed to help promote community engagement and a healthy style of living. Rather than making the site exclusively commercial or educational, it was designed to include entertainment, retail, and residential components to meet the needs of surrounding neighborhoods. By placing all parking underground, the ground plane of the park will open itself up to pedestrian activity in a campus-like fashion. Hospitality is the largest industry in Las Vegas, so its technology park should aim to combine hospitality with technology and education. This inclusion should not be limited to white-collar members of the hospitality industry but be open to all members. Once residential, commercial, and retail spaces were incorporated into the initial concept of the Cubescape, I chose to include a space that would be dedicated to the grey-collar members of the hospitality industry – the culinary team. This facility is comprised of three parts. First, on the top floor is the laboratory space where students will develop new ways to sustainably process, preserve, and minimize food waste. On the second floor are the culinary classrooms where students will learn to apply these new techniques. On the ground floor, open to the public, are the incubator and restaurant spaces where aspiring business owners can set up small-scale kitchens before transitioning out. To help promote cross-fertilization, the Cubescape was designed to include a series of interconnected platforms that are designed as outdoor spaces. As people within the office and residential blocks step outside to take a break, they will pass by the culinary and retail blocks and be visually connected to what’s going on inside of them. The largest platform is in the very center and is hugged by the building on both sides to create a sense of intimacy even within a public space. The intention of this platform is for the adjacent culinary classrooms to open their doors and invite the community in by hosting events like outdoor dinners and educational activities. By orienting the building to the mountain ranges on the south side and the strip on the north side, the Cubescape gives its residents an inspiring outlook on nature whilst reminding them of the unique nature of their city. In essence, it captures and celebrates the dichotomy of a city like Las Vegas.
Sustainable Design & Materials
To foster a healthy style of living for its residents, the Cubescape was designed to be responsive to its environment and its inhabitants. The size of the cube volumes is a standard 70 feet square to allow for sufficient access to daylight throughout the building. To prevent heat absorption and filter out direct sunlight, a double skin was applied to the entirety of the building façade. The blues, mauves, and light browns of the skin are an homage to the colors of the skies and mountains of the Las Vegas horizon. To help regulate thermal comfort, a chilled beam system was proposed. Water has greater cooling capacity than air, and when used responsibly, chilled beams can be a great alternative to all-air systems as they require less plenum space, allowing for a smaller ceiling height, and reducing construction and operation costs. This system, paired with solar energy, will allow the interior of the floorplates to be actively cooled whilst the perimeters are passively cooled through convection. Lastly, this building incorporates native vegetation throughout the outdoor platforms, and locally mined stone in the base areas to help ground it to the Mojave Desert.
Green Building Designation(s)
Date of Completion
6278 S Durango Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89113, USA
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