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Begun as a faith-based youth camp in 1958, the 160-acre Potosi Pines Camp offers year-round use for all ages and faiths near the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. As part of the United Methodist Church’s Desert Southwest Conference, Potosi Pines offers 7 summer camp sessions at the camp as well as four programmed retreats during the year. Local churches, United Methodist, and other faith groups, as well as non-church groups use the site for short term retreats throughout the year.
Having recently completed a master plan for development of their site, Potosi Pines Camp required a conceptual design for a new program building within their existing landscape. The program building will fulfill a need for a larger recreation space that connects to the rest of the campus and the surrounding natural environment. The current program building is located across the driveway to the main road causing safety concerns with younger campers. It will be converted to a necessary maintenance building. The master plan outlines a large, open facility connected to a smaller meeting room. Overhead doors that open to the outdoors are required along with restrooms and ample storage for recreation equipment and program supplies. As a previous client, the history, mission, campus, and site plan of Potosi Pines was already well-known as design commenced. With the master plan serving as a guide, two modern, yet rustic, interconnected buildings were created that blend in with both the style of the existing buildings and surrounding nature, while offering the functionality and flexibility needed by the camp. The two buildings are connected by a deck to create additional outdoor space. Roll-up sectional doors allow the interior to connect with the various exterior gathering areas, including a fire pit and an amphitheater. Operable partitions encourage variable uses for interior spaces, whether summer camp programming or retreat group break-out sessions. To reflect the holy trinity of the Christian faith, windows, columns and other features were added in triplicate.
Sustainable Design & Materials
The site location for Potosi Pines Multi-Purpose Complex was chosen to compliment and protect the desert environment. An open area was located within the camp’s 160 acres that would accommodate the new buildings while disturbing plant life as little as possible. Thorough consideration was given to theorientation of the buildings to minimize heat gain in the summer while maximizing it during the cold, sometimes snowy, winters seen at the camp’s high elevation. Existing mature trees will provide shade to the structures and open amphitheater in the summer while buffering winter winds. Exterior overhanging roof elements and canopies give additional coverage while transitioning between buildings. The site is located near the camp’s access road allowing construction equipment entry to the site with little damage to the surrounding flora. Because of the remoteness of the camp, building sections will be fabricated in Las Vegas and delivered to the site for assembly. This greatly reduces the impact to the natural environment of the camp by minimizing the construction footprint. Finally, chosen building materials have proven longevity in the desert sun and blendnaturally with the landscape and existing structures.
Green Building Designation(s)
Date of Completion
10910 Mount Potosi Canyon Road Las Vegas, Nevada, 89161
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