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Hotel Ventana

Awards Category

Academic Project

Project Summary

Hotel Ventana is a boutique hotel located in Mount Charleston. This facility consists of 100 rooms, a bistro, a ballroom, meeting rooms, outdoor event spaces, and a cascading pool. When approaching this site, the most important thing was to create a space in which guests could disconnect from the routine of everyday life and allow themselves to enjoy the beauty the Spring Mountains have to offer.

Project Narrative

The experience of Hotel Ventana begins the moment you turn onto Kyle Canyon Road. The expanse of the Mojave Desert opens before you as you traverse further into the landscape. Then, you reach a canyon where you begin to wind your way around tight curves, and eventually, the lush Mount Charleston valley opens before you, inviting you to explore its natural wonders. The first step in this design process was doing a site visit. Other than the journey itself, we studied the elevation changes, views, and orientation of the site itself. The site sits adjacent to the main road right before it forks, making any building that would be built there quite prominent. One of the design considerations, therefore, was ensuring that the building profile remained appropriate in relation to other nearby buildings. Given that the site had an elevation change of fifty feet sloping away from the road, it became a logical solution to take advantage of the terrain. By designing the ground floors as a set of terraces, the hotel was able to remain at a reasonable 36 feet in elevation near the road and descend the terrain to 70 feet in elevation near the face of the ravine. The opening up of the form into the ravine resembled the way in which visitors were funneled through the canyon before arriving in the valley. This idea of compression and release produced a sense of excitement that became pivotal throughout the rest of the design. In plan and section, the hotel opens itself up to the valley framing the center peak of Mount Charleston. Guests enter through a sunken porte-cochere and as they step into the lobby space, the entire atrium volume of the hotel is revealed. This space is composed of 3 terraces starting with the lobby, then the breakfast bar, the bistro, and the outdoor patio. The axis culminates with a winding path that connects to the existing trail system, inviting guests to explore the surrounding landscape. By bringing the greenery of the ravine up into the central areas of the hotel, a sense of transition and fluidity is created between the landscape and the building interior. In the summers, this central space can be opened, becoming a true outdoor experience. Guest rooms are located on two wings surrounding the central communal areas. These rooms boast views of other surrounding mountains including Fletcher and Griffith Peak. As with previous areas, the rooms also use the concept of compression and expansion to welcome their users. Guests step into a brief 4-foot hallway space before having the room open before them. Unlike traditional hotel rooms, the bathroom portion of these rooms is left open with an optional tambour screen for privacy, allowing for a room that feels more breathable. It was important for this hotel to make nature as present as possible in every step of the guest’s journey, so special consideration was taken into giving every public space and room a view out towards the landscape.

Sustainable Design & Materials

The chosen structural system was cast-in-place concrete bearing walls with cast-in-place slab. Although concrete is not a sustainable building material, its thermal and acoustical properties would help offset greenhouse gas emissions by reducing dependency on HVAC systems throughout its lifecycle. Passive systems were the preferred method of designing the hotel. First, the central atrium space was designed to act as a solar chimney. In the summertime, the windows of the bistro and guest rooms can be opened to allow fresh air in and the warm air exhaust would exit through the operable clerestory windows near the roof. The sinking of the communal spaces into the terrain had the added benefit of allowing the surrounding earth to insulate these spaces, reducing the dependence on mechanical systems. The presence of greenery within this space would help maintain an adequate level of moisture and indoor air quality year-round. Since one of the major byproducts of hotels is gray water from all the linen washing, one of its proposed uses is the watering of on-site vegetation to help reduce water use.

Project Stats

Square Feet


Green Building Designation(s)

Date of Completion

Project Location

2500 Kyle Canyon Rd, Mt Charleston, NV 89124, USA

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