Water + Life Museum and Campus
Client: Western Center Community Foundation
Cost & Scope: $36 million; 15 acres campus, 2 museums – 70,000 sq. ft.
Mark Gangi, Gangi Architects – Lehrer + Gangi Design Build Team
Brent Nuttall, Nabih Youssef and Associates – Structural Enginner
Richard Davis, KPFF Consulting Engineers – Civil Engineer
Alan Locke, IBE Consulting Engineers, Inc. – Mechanical Engineer
Peter Gevorkian, Vector Delta Design Group Inc. – Electrical Engineer
Mia Lehrer + Associates – Landscape Architect
Completion Date: 2007
The Water and Life Museums are born of the construction of Diamond Valley Lake (DVL), the largest man-made water storage lake in North America.
Set in the semi-arid Southern California desert near Hemet, DVL is an integral part of the state’s water infrastructure. The lake provides a 6-month emergency supply of water for all of Southern California. Diamond Valley existed between 2 mountain ranges. Diamond Valley Lake was created by damming the Valley’s open ends with two 300‘ high dams. The East Dam is 2.5 miles long. The Dam, is made from rock mined from these mountains. The Museums sit near the base of the East Dam of DVL.
The construction of these dams is the largest earthwork project in American history.
The Water and Life Museums and campus celebrate the infrastructure of water and its central role in the evolution of life and development in California.
Water = Life
No Water = No Life.
The Museums are approximately half way between Hoover Dam and Los Angeles. They draw inspiration from the honorific architecture of Gordon Kaufman, Parker Dam, its pump houses, and the serial turbines and machinery that bring us water.
The design aims to place beauty and sustainability -- an inseparable couplet -- at the center of its agenda as an environmental showcase.
A Harsh Climate
Extreme temperature fluctuations: Daytime/Nighttime, Seasonally
300’ high, 2.5 mile long East Dam presents daunting scale, tough form:
Achieving appropriate monumentality in such a vast setting
2 separate Boards of Directors, often dysfunctional.
No environmental/sustainable mandate originally.
10 steel towers, 16’ wide, 46’ high achieve appropriate monumentality and intimacy. As primal, minimalist form, their simplicity projects them across a large open landscape, and complements the long, vast East Dam behind.
Major building mass is 24’ high,. The 8’ high datum unifies buildings horizontally, achieves intimacy while giving the building/loggia mass approporiate grandeur.
A 550-kilowatt rooftop solar-power array of 3,000 solar panels generates energy for 50% of museum building and campus needs.
Harness, celebrate, and control the fierce desert sun.
Courtyard lined with 2 photovoltaic covered loggia that provide a gracious and grand covered entry to the Museums.
LEED Platinum rating was achieved by extreme cooperation and partnering of the architect / builder /owner / engineers / landscape architect to develop a place of beauty and best management practices.
15 acre campus
2 Museums, 70,000 sq. ft.
WATER - The Center for Water Education
The story of water, its conservation, and stewardship, is told here. An outcome of major infrastructural investment, its mission is to foster, convene, and promote study and action to preserve this precious resource.
LIFE - The Western Center for Archaeology & Paleontology
This Museum was created to study, house, and exhibit the Pleistocene-era mammoth--and other animal--remains. These were found while excavating 150’ into bedrock to gird the huge earthen dams built to create Diamond Valley Lake.
Honor Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2009
Honor Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2008
Honor Award for Excellence in Design, The American Institute of Architects Pasadena Foothill Chapter 2007
Merit Award for Savings by Design, The American Institute of Architects California Council 2008
Green Good Design Award®, The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and
Design, The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd., 2009
LEED Platinum Certification, United States Green Building Council 2008
Honor Award, Architectural Foundation of Los Angeles Design Green Awards 2008
American Architecture Award®, The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and
Design, The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd., 2008
The American Institute of Architects California Council 2008
The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles 2008
Beyond Green™ High Performance Building Award, Sustainable Building Industry Council 2007
The American Institute of Architects Pasadena Foothill Chapter 2007
Gold Nugget Grand Award for Excellence and Value for the Best Sustainable Commercial Project, PCBC 2007
Merit Award for Best Public/Private Special Use Facility, Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2007
2008 April ArchitectureWeek.com website N/A People & Places
2008 April TheSlatinReport.com website Peter Slatin Gold Star for LEED Platinum Museum
2008 April Inhabitat.com website Mike Chino The World's First LEED Platinum Museum
2008 April TalkGreen.ca website Mike Chino The World's First LEED Platinum Museum
2008 April Digg.com website Mike Chino Water + Life Complex: World's First LEED Platinum Museum
2008 April Real Estate Journal Newspaper N/A Water + Life Museums Certified LEED Platinum
2008 May DBUrbanDesign.com website N/A The First LEED Platinum Museum
2008 May LucasKrech.com website Lucas Krech Museums go solar
2008 June Metropolitan Home Magazine Katherine Lagomarsino Forces of Nature
2008 June New York Times Newspaper Felicity Barringer The New Trophy Home, Small and Ecological
2008 June Interior Design Magazine N/A A Desert Oasis
2008 June archinnovations.com website Kim Tran AIA/LA Architecture Awards
2008 June Eco-Structure Magazine Magazine N/A Museums Secure Platinum Rating
2008 June AIArchitect.com website Zach Mortice Next to a Real Oasis, the Water + Life Museums Offer a Refuge of Sustainable Design
2008 June California Real Esate Journal Magazine N/A Southern People
2008 July Space Magazine N/A The Wisdom Oasis: Lessons on water and life in a sustainable environment
2008 July FloorBiz.com website N/A SBIC Announces its 2008 Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building Awards Program
2008 July Buildings Magazine Desert Museum Complex Receives LEED Platinum
2008 July The Architects Newspaper Newspaper N/A The Green Museums
2008 July arcCA Magazine Michael Lehrer What's Love Got to Do with It?
2008 July/Aug Fabric Architecture Magazine N/A Platinum Green
2008 August ArchitectureWeek.com website Leigh Christy Desert Museums in Platinum
2008 August AmericanArchitectureAwards.com website N/A 2008 American Architecture Awards
2008 August INA Magazine N/A Water + Life Museums and Campus
2008 September Form Magazine N/A AIA Design Awards Honor
2008 October Architecture Week.com website Brian Libby Los Angeles AIA Awards 2008
2008 November InteriorDesign.net website Mairi Beautyman USGBC's LEED 2009 Approved
2008 November Environmental Design + Construction Magazine N/A Water + Life Museums and Campus
2008 November 1000x Architecture of the Americas Book Verlagshaus Braun (Publisher) Water + Life Museums and Campus / Norton Towers-on-the Court
2008 December Western Real Estate News Newspaper N/A Lehrer + Gangi Receives 'Design/Green' Honor Award
2009 January Sources & Design Magazine N/A Swatches
2009 April Moto Trend Magazine, Magazine “The Birth of a Notion,”
2009 April GREEN Architecture Now! Book Taschen Publishing.
2009 July Ecological Architecture Book Braun Publishing.
2009 December Museum Design Lab Magazine Engerizing Museum
2009 Braun, Germany Desert Architecture
2009 July Ecological Architecture Braun; Germany
2009 3rd Qaurter arcCA Magazine 2009 AIACC Design Awards: Honor Award For Architecture
2009 September Deutsche Bauzeitung Trends Energie: Nachhaltigkeit Im Vergleich
2009 December Nachhaltiger.net; Online Energizing Museums
2010 Azur, Hong Kong Magazine Best Selection of Shanglin
2010 February TheArchitect’sNewspaper.com Online News: Sourced Up
2010 October Western Real Estate News Radiant Systems Beginning to Supplant Conventional HVAC