Arid Lands Institute

Arch 401 - 4th year
Prof. Susannah Dickinson
Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, Autocad, Photoshop, Illustrator

This given program was for a university building that would house a number of different facilities—classrooms, offices, scholarly residences, and an auditorium—all for the purpose of desert research and learning activities. The design concepts for the building were derived from growth patterns of the ocotillo cactus and investigate creative space through hanging large structures, rather than stacking them.

This project received Honorable Mention from the reviewers and was retained by the university for accreditation purposes.

Multiple tension members hang the bottom two floors from the large trusses overhead, allowing for a clear span for the auditorium, and exhibition space even further below.

Set on a stick assembly system, the vertical members widen in the middle to allow for more overhang to protect the glass window wall beyond, while providing light and views. As they round to the west side, they double as vertical fins.

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