Posts tagged with "Nevada":

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$1.2 billion eco-friendly district will rise in Reno, Nevada

Architect and developer Don J Clark Group and landscape architects Office of Cheryl Barton (OCB) are currently at work on the initial phases of the world’s first high desert biome eco-district, West 2nd District, a new $1.2 billion purpose-built neighborhood in the heart of downtown Reno, Nevada.

The project proposes taking over a series of underutilized lots in order to jumpstart an ecologically driven neighborhood containing 1,900 housing units, 450,000 square feet of office space, and 250,000 square feet of retail space. The nearly 30-building district will provide needed market-rate and workforce housing as well, with 20 percent of rental units available as affordable housing for those who qualify.

The construction of a new district—bounded along its southern edge by the Truckee River, a tributary to Pyramid Lake and Lake Tahoe—also represents a special opportunity to connect Reno to nature more efficiently than piecemeal implementation would. OCB is looking to integrate the district’s street life with the surrounding natural habitat in biome-specific ways. “We are very interested in the authenticity of the landscape and in bringing the larger ecology into the city,” Cheryl Barton said. Barton aims to plant over 300 trees across the 17-acre site; the firm aims to establish and expand a sense of pedestrian comfort on the street by reducing heat-island effect. OCB is also embedding expanses of vertical and horizontal gardens throughout the plan, including on rooftops. Barton explained further: “We are taking an artistic approach to the paseo design—there will be broad, shallow channels [embedded in the paseos] that can be used for patio seating regularly and, during the rainy season, can collect water.”

The district will be fully integrated with regard to stormwater sequestration and wastewater treatment, and will also employ a variety of digital tools to monitor and control these adaptive systems. For Barton, the relationship between these technical components and her efforts to make Reno’s streetscapes more bearable are two sides of the same coin. “Landscapes are a system like any other: It’s all about understanding the climate, the water, the soil, and the connectivity of that system, and bringing that understanding into the public realm.”

One hope is that the West 2nd District can feed Reno’s booming technology industry. Reno is affordable—and a 45-minute flight from Silicon Valley—so it is absorbing regional economic and population growth. Tesla operates its Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, just outside Reno, and Apple operates cloud-computing servers in the area as well.

The influx of technology-related capital is a boon for Reno, and continued investment will likely fuel the continued growth of West 2nd. “We are focusing on a lot of categories,” said Don Clark, “from being an eco-district to pursuing LEED accreditation to focusing on walkable communities and complete streets—and are ultimately making a new, next-generation, integrated section of a city.”

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Las Vegas could get a $12.5 billion light rail system

If stars align, it looks like car-centric Las Vegas will soon place new bets on mass transit. This week state and local officials presented a preliminary plan to construct multi-billion-dollar light rail system in Sin City. The route, which has been in the works for more than two years, would link Las Vegas's airport, McCarran International, to the Strip. A bill under consideration in the state senate would give local officials authority to pursue federal grants or impose tax increases to fund transit, as well as emerging technologies like self-driving cars. Right now, state law forbids local transit commissions from creating "high-capacity" mass transit systems like the proposed railway, the Associated Press reports. Bill sponsor Mark Manendo was one of six elected officials at the meeting who said Las Vegas trails similar municipalities in mass transit development. "If we can lead in the travel and tourism industry—and who can dispute that, accommodating more than 42 million visitors a year—I find it hard to believe our community cannot come together to help build a world-class transportation system," Senator Manendo told the AP. To formulate its plan, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada looked to light rail systems in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Denver, and San Diego. In addition to trains, the commission is also considering other mass transit options to connect the city's college campuses, commercial corridors, hospitals, and residential districts. The senate bill, though, doesn't stop at Las Vegas, where a light rail line could cost $12.5 billion and take two or three decades to build. Reno, Nevada, could see transit improvements, as well, if the state's estimated $26 billion plan is approved and fully funded.
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International collection of firms enlisted to create visionary, 10,000-acre modern ski community in Utah

From the highest point of land, it’s possible to see four states. There are eight national parks within a day’s drive. The closest towns are named Eden and Paradise and the area gets an average of 500 inches of snow every year.

This is the mountain setting where entrepreneurs have set out to build a visionary arts and skiing community aimed at inventors and other creative types from around the world.

To guide construction, they have assembled a diverse team of designers, land planners, and specialists in alpine architecture from places like Studio MA in Salt Lake City, Utah, Skylab Architecture in Portland, Oregon, and Saunders Architecture in Bergen, Norway.

The community is called Summit Powder Mountain.

The site is a 10,000-acre parcel (including 8,464 skiable acres) in Utah, an hour’s drive north of Salt Lake City. It’s in the region where Utah meets Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. The owners say it’s the largest ski area in the country.

Plans call for 500 single-family, ski-accessible home sites connected to a village of similar size, as well as “cultural amenities and miles of walking, biking, and Nordic trails.”

Its name comes from Powder Mountain, part of the Wasatch Range in northern Utah, and the Summit Series, an organization that was founded in 2008 and hosts conferences and events for young entrepreneurs, artists, and activists. The community is aiming to take its place among other well-known ski and resort destinations in the Western U.S.

Summit Powder Mountain is a joint project of Greg Mauro, chairman of Powder Mountain, and the Summit Series. Principals of the Summit Series are Elliott Bisnow, Brett Leve, Jeff Rosenthal, and Jeremy Schwartz. They have formed a company called SMHG LLC, trading as Summit Powder Mountain, which operates the Powder Mountain Ski Resort and serves as developer of the community. Summit Series is its anchor tenant.

The developers have studied other planned communities, including Sea Ranch, California, and Serenbe, Georgia, and developed a set of standards and controls. They talk about pioneering a design aesthetic they call “modern mountain” architecture.

“We love Aspen and Telluride and Sundance and Park City,” said Sam Arthur, Summit’s vice-president of design and marketing. “We just happen to be building our own community…We’re seeking to attract artists, entrepreneurs, inventors—people who are really pushing the envelope in the areas they’re pursuing.”

Investors include Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group; Island Records founder Chris Blackwell; Gayle Troberman; Sue Turner; Ken Howery; and Bob and Darcy Bingham.

The developers claim that Summit Powder Mountain will be a place for intellectual stimulation as well as recreation, a setting for “leading-edge dialogues and hosted discussions, world class performances and farm-to-table dining experiences.” Besides their flagship event series, they have a resident chef, and are planning opportunities for crafts, sports, and wellness programs.

The Summit community shares “a philosophy of innovation, creativity, cultural enrichment, and environmental conservation,” according to its website.

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, no stranger to skiing and Alpine architecture, has come to lecture several times, but is not working on any specific project. Other visitor-lecturers have included Daniel Arsham of Snarkitecture in New York and Jenny Wu and Dwayne Oyler from the Oyler Wu Collaborative in Los Angeles and the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). In 2014, Wu took part in the Summit Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program.

In shaping this self-sufficient community, the team has developed a strong vision for architecture and land planning. “Modern mountain design and natural preservation” are core values, and architecture will be “subservient” to the landscape.

The community will have two distinct areas. One is called the Ridge, where home sites and “nests” will offer “unrivaled multistate views, easy ski access, and mountain quietude,” said Arthur. Many of these homes will sit on parcels of more than half an acre.

The second area is called the Village, which will contain residences spaced more closely than in the Ridge, including multifamily clusters. It also will be home to “the main lodges, cultural residences, and a walking street with juice bars, eateries, and shops,” making it the community’s central gathering place. The master plan calls for “unique spaces, intentionally designed to foster strong relationships, deep conversations, and inspire new ideas.”

“Preservation of the existing natural environment, which includes an elk reserve, natural waterways, and a thriving wildlife population, is one of the leading design principles,” said Arthur. “‘Homesites’ and ‘nests’ will be tucked in clusters of pine and aspen trees to maintain natural views for all community members, and the Village will be dense with living accommodations to allow for more open space in wildlife-sensitive areas.”

Arthur explained that “modern mountain” architecture does not necessarily mean a throwback to midcentury modernism. He said the buildings would be modern in the sense that form follows function, and floor plans are open and take advantage of natural light and views. “It’s modern in the way they are used, not modernist” as a style, he continued.

The land was originally a ski resort started by the Cobabe family in 1972. Before that, it was the family’s sheep ranch. Summit Powder Mountain has been in the planning stages for several years. One of the first new buildings is the Skylodge, which was designed by Jeff Kovel of Skylab and completed in 2013. The project moved to a new phase last summer, when construction began on the first residences.

Phase one will consist of 154 homesites reflecting the “modern mountain” approach that Summit Powder Mountain “will come to define,” the developers said. “Each building design will meet recognized environmental standards, and energy conservation guidelines will be provided to incorporate cutting edge sustainability systems and materials.”

The developers are working with a number of architects and planners. Besides Studio MA, Skylab, and Saunders, the list includes: Elliott Workgroup in Park City, Utah; Langvardt Design Group in Salt Lake City; and R&A Architects in Los Angeles.

Other architects involved include Sparano + Mooney in Salt Lake City; Marmol Radziner in Los Angeles; Bicuadro Architects in Rome; Bertoldi Architects in Ogden, Utah; Olson Kundig in Seattle; PBW Architects in Seattle; and Grupo H in Slovenia.

The initial elements of the Village will take about 24 months to complete. Construction of the entire community is expected to take place over the next 20 years.

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AN’s highlights from day five of Burning Man

The Architect's Newspaper (AN) will be posting images all week from Burning Man, now underway in the Nevada desert (see our highlights from the opening and the third day in). AN is being represented by Andrew Krebs of SOM's Los Angeles office; he's been supplying us with images and videos. Scroll down to see more from Instagram! We'll post more as we receive updates.
#burningman2016 #westcoastisthebestcoast #temple2016 A photo posted by @cmtomasetti on

#home #burningman #burningman2016 #blackrockcity #photography #photographer #photooftheday

A photo posted by @burningmanfestival on

Made it to the coffee! @burningman #burningman2016 A photo posted by Kristi Keno (@kkenooo) on

It's even better than I thought possible... #lighthouse #burningman #burningman2016 #art #blackrockcity #brc #love

A photo posted by Michael Holden (@michael.holden.photographer) on

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AN’s highlights from day three of Burning Man

The Architect's Newspaper (AN) will be posting images all week from Burning Man, now underway in the Nevada desert (see our highlights from the opening). AN is being represented by Andrew Krebs of SOM's Los Angeles office; he's been supplying us with images and videos. Scroll down to see more from Instagram! We'll post more as we receive updates.  

The temple #blackrockcity #burningman2016

A photo posted by Christine Kim (@chr.kim) on

#burningman #happyburn #welcomehome #burningman2016 A photo posted by Kos (@firekos) on

The amazing places a sand storm can lead you to 💨

A photo posted by Vanessa Adao (@acasadava) on

I'm going to take my bike and ride thru these rings. LOL #burningman2016 A photo posted by Henry Park (@henrypark74) on

Landed

A photo posted by HYBYCOZO (@hybycozo) on

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AN’s highlights from the opening of Burning Man

The Architect's Newspaper (AN) will be posting images all week from Burning Man, which just started in the Nevada desert. AN is being represented by Andrew Krebs of SOM's Los Angeles office; he's been supplying us with images and videos. Scroll down to see more! We'll post more as we receive updates. Other highlights from Instagram:

Tangential dreams 👌🏻

A photo posted by Hamish Macpherson (@hmacpherson77) on

#burningman #burningman2016 #blackrockcity #hyperlapse A video posted by Burning Man Videos Curated (@burner_videos) on
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Burning Man Festival buys 3,800-acre swath of Nevada

For those feeling the Bern with nowhere to go, have you ever considered the Nevada desert?

Well, you should, because Burning Man Festival recently purchased the 3,800-acre Fly Ranch, a not-too-shabby swath of desert in Nevada’s far western Washoe County. The nonprofit art group announced the news via blog post: “As a year-round site, Fly Ranch has the potential to expand Burning Man Project’s activities and existing programs, as well as amplify Burning Man’s cultural impact into the wider world beyond Black Rock City.”

Pack your bags and bring your face paint because the desert is about to get pretty cool, man.

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Construction begins on Lake|Flato’s ASCAYA “Inspiration Home”

A luxury housing development in Nevada has started construction on the Lake|Flato-designed "Inspiration Home," one of seven homes in the new development designed by renowned architects to give "design inspiration" to future residents. ASCAYA is carved out of the hilly volcanic rock of the McCullough Range in Henderson, and is arranged so each lot has a view of the city and surrounding mountains. Its elevation at the highest point is 3,000 feet, and the remaining spots are sought-after: One of its 313 lots coming in at just a little over an acre recently sold for $2.6 million. Lake|Flato's inspiration home is a single story and measures 9,000 square feet, with four bedrooms and a four-car garage in addition to a large living space. The master bedroom opens into a private patio aimed at nearby Las Vegas. Sustainability and the landscape are integrated into the design of the house. Its walls are made of rammed earth, which blends into the surrounding rock as well as providing great insulation for the location's hot climate. The main living space also opens up into an outdoor courtyard. This is the third of seven inspiration homes to break ground on the site. Others were designed by Swaback Partners, SB Architects, Hoogland Architecture, Marmol Radziner, and Backen, Gillam, & Kroeger. Richard Meier, Pritzker Prize–winning designer of the Getty Center, contributed one of his signature all-white homes. Lake|Flato's philosophy of blending the house into its desert surroundings is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's own home and school in the desert, Taliesin West. When building the compound in Scottsdale, Arizona, he was mindful of integrating the house into the rocky landscape to the point of literally building its walls with local rocks. John Sather of Swaback Partners is a graduate of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. All these homes are in a style that could be described as "desert contemporary," setting the tone for architects who will design buildings for the development later on. Adding to that aesthetic is a luxury clubhouse designed by Swaback Partners that will include a fitness center, spa, and pool.
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Developer pitches new $1.2 billion downtown proposal for Reno

Two weeks ago we reported Las Vegas city officials and outside consultants are proposing a new downtown. Now farther north in Reno, local developer Don J Clark Group has unveiled plans for a new downtown. Their proposal centers on both physical infrastructure (a large park, water reclamation, building a tower downtown taller than the current 42-story Silver Legacy Casino Resort) as well as virtual (gigabit internet). "The project is aimed at finding a creative solution to a variety of distinct challenges that the city of Reno...has faced over the course of the last half of the century or so,” Colin Robertson, partner and director of communications and strategy for Don J Clark Group told Nevada Public Radio. Dubbed the West Second Street District, the over $1.2 billion development is planned for north of the Truckee River and west of Virginia Street downtown. The site is currently 17 acres of infill. Renderings reveals the biggest project for downtown Reno to date: 1,900 residences (condos, apartments with 20% affordable units for those making 80% of the median income), over 250,000 square feet of retail space, 450,000 square feet of office space, river access, three acres of green space, public art, and more. Thirty buildings could be built over the next ten years, with the first, a mixed-use commercial and residential building, at 235 Ralston. "The developers will take the unusual step of paying for $49 million in infrastructure and other services. If the project increases property taxes by $100 million over the next decade, the city will repay the cost; if it does not, the developers will," explained Nevada Public Radio. "Cities usually pay for infrastructure for redevelopment, but if property values, and therefore property taxes, don't rise in value as much as expected, the city loses money but must still make the bond payments for infrastructure improvements." More renderings below, and here is a look at prior Reno redevelopment projects, both unbuilt and realized. Don J Clark Group will now see whether Reno approves the $100 million deal.
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Obama’s new national monuments preserve landscape and protect Michael Heizer’s “City”

In an act that preserved more than a million acres from development, President Obama designated three new national monuments in California, Nevada, and Texas. While the monument in central Texas protects an archeological site where Columbian Mammoths fossils were unearthed, and Berryessa Snow Mountain, the California location, staves off potential suburban encroachment, it is the Nevada monument that holds the most excitement for those with an interest in Land Art. Located about 150 miles north of Las Vegas, the Basin and Range National Monument contains within its borders City by Michael Heizer, the sculptor behind Levitated Mass. The artist began working on the piece in the 1970s and in the decades since, he’s sculpted dirt, rocks, and concrete into a mile-long geometric structure reminiscent of an urban form. In January, AN reported that the pristine desert plain where the was under threat when Nevada Senator Harry Reid’s Garden Valley Withdrawal Act failed to pass. Now, the land and more than 800,000 square miles of adjacent federal property in Garden Valley will remain unspoiled and free from industrial activity. LACMA director Michael Govan is a vocal supporter of Heizer and City. In May he and Brian O’Donnell, executive director of the Conservation Lands Foundation, penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, making a case to protect the Nevada landscape and the artwork. “Designating the Basin and Range National Monument achieves two remarkable outcomes—a world-class artwork would endure into the future as it was envisioned, surrounded by sublimely beautiful open country; and a majestic Western American landscape would remain unspoiled for future generations,” commented Govan in a statement from the museum. This past spring Govan and art critic Dave Hickey discussed the importance of artwork operating at the scale of landscape. The ambitious undertaking provoked comments from Hickey, which were captured in a Huffington Post report. “Artists are all the time trying to occupy ordinary spaces... But to do a city? That is really cool,” he said. “It means that you can walk along one area and take a right and see some absolutely strange thing that you have never seen before, and walk along there until you see something else you've never seen before.”
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Carpenters Union builds the nation’s largest training complex in Las Vegas

Every architect has horror stories about construction quality on job sites. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) union wants to prevent that, investing $250 million for a training center in Las Vegas to teach and certify their workers. The group has been building the International Training Center, just outside McCarran Airport, over the past several years, and recently completed phase five of the complex, bringing its total size to almost 1 million square feet. The facility features more than 70 classrooms, its own dorms (with 300 guest rooms), and training shops fitted with facilities like scaffolding mock ups, concrete form making stations, a pile driver pit, flooring stations, glass curtain wall mock ups, turbine pit, a robot zone, and even a tank to practice underwater welding. Third year apprentices from around the country train here for two weeks at a time. They include general carpenters, interior systems carpenters and drywallers, millwrights, floor coverers, millworkers, cabinetmakers, framing and residential carpenters, pile drivers, lathers, scaffolders, roofers, and workers in forest-product and related industries. The UBC sponsors more than 200 training centers across North America (there are about 3,500 full- and part-time instructors associated with the UBC), but this is by far the largest. “Our job is to make sure our members are trained and ready,” said Bill Irwin, executive director of the Carpenters International Training Fund.
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Is this enormous mile-long land-art project in the Nevada desert a national monument?

According to a report in Las Vegas Weekly, the  Conservation Lands Foundation is pushing to make a project by land artist Michael Heizer, of "Levitated Mass" fame, a national monument. The newly threatened City installation is a still-incomplete collection of giant abstract structures stretching for more than a mile into the Nevada Desert. The move came after the failure of Nevada Senator Harry Reid's Garden Valley Withdrawal Act, attempting to keep the land—and more than 800,000 square miles of adjacent federal property in Garden Valley—free from mining. Critics have complained that it's a convenient tool in the effort to keep the area free of industrial activity, but conservationists argue that the unspoiled area as a whole is worth saving. “These are two of the most scenic valleys in Nevada, two of the most undisturbed, least-roaded, and least populated portions of the state and therefore the country," Brian O’Donnell, executive director of the Conservation Lands Foundation, told Las Vegas Review Journal. Heizer, who has been working on the piece since the 1970s, plans to open it to the public once it's complete. Made of dirt, rocks, and concrete, City considered by some to be the largest piece of land art in the world. But since the artist hasn't allowed visitors, many assertions about the piece remain unclear.