“Vegas is purposefully constructed as a self-enclosed and isolated biosphere, sort of what a recreational colony built on the moon might be like.” – Marc Cooper, The Last Honest Place in America: Paradise and Perdition in the New Las Vegas.
This project is part of a larger exercise in rehearsing both ‘object form’ as well as ‘active form’. Our search for new spatial products started by researching the unique crisis facing Downtown Las Vegas, our site of investigation.
The city’s delicate relationship with its water infrastructure created an urgency for rethinking the irrational connections between water value, distribution and consumption. This provided new opportunities to reconfigure recreational program dependent on water systems: parks, golf courses, and the auxiliary spaces that often accompany them. By packing these functions in a totalized interior environment with artificial microclimates designed to prevent evaporation, the Zero Evaporation Park emerged as a new, repeatable urban typology ready to be deployed in a number of scenarios using switches and multipliers to increase its potency.
Swim or BLVD
During the course of its evolution, the project took twists and turns. After developing ZEP – Golf for Las Vegas, the golf component was replaced by more public and accessible recreational program – a public swimming pool and a linear ‘exercise tube’.
Retaining the zero evaporation ambition of ZEP – Golf, we developed a system of program ‘tubes’ which are nested within a larger, climate tube. Using the repertoire of ETFE panels developed for ZEP golf, we fine-tuned the ‘heat exchange’ performance and created a more efficient perspiration zone: the unoccupied, uninhabitable ‘leftover’ volume between the program tubes and the outer-most skin. Using a series of algorithms, a set of suitable streets for chosen as possible sites of deployment for ZEP Swim. The city re-christened it ZEP : BLVD.