The concept for this rest stop plays upon the vulnerability and exposure of the body to the land. Originally incorporating outdoor baths, the scheme uses the extreme climatic conditions of the desert to create a sweet spot between the visitor and the vastness.
As the snow blankets the land, the steam rises above the horizon; a refreshing soak awaits in the distance.
From the program:
341 logarithmically decreasing spaced poles form a straight line in space intersecting the curvature of the sight, which is a water-leveled surface where objects go over the horizon between 2.9 and 3.2 miles depending upon your height above the surface of the earth. A passive audience of continuous traffic engages the art piece at high speed and in a span of 20-40 minutes more readily experiences the curvature of the earth and perhaps a greater awareness of our planet and our selves.
This self-contained, off-grid rest stop collects power from the 6,000-8500 vehicles that experience the land art installation each year, and is supplemented by the onsite the photovoltaic array. The excavated clay, sand, and gypsum from the parking is repurposed as floor and wall material for the buildings. As a concrete landscape, it contributes to the retention of heat in the winter, evaporative cooling in the summer, distribution of utilities, greywater collection, and experience of the desert’s edge, texture, and extent.
Realistically, concerns regarding water retention, heat loss, and cultural obstacles reined in the design to offer one private bath in one of the lodgings. In the winter, heat retention is managed by a geo-thermal heat which pumps water at a constant temperature through the thermal mass of the concrete floors and walls. Low traffic spaces which may not be continually occupied, such as the lodgings, are independently conditioned to reduce the overall energy demand. In the summer, saltwater brine from just inches below the desert surface, can be used for evaporative cooling in the concrete landscape, leaving natural efflorescent designs. At certain times of the year, such as the spring runoff from the Silver Island Mountains, the crease of built form becomes a cool, shaded playscape.
This project was created for the 2011 Lyceum Land Art Installation Competition
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