Water + Life Museum and Campus

Hemet, CA

Client: Western Center Community Foundation

Cost & Scope: $36 million; 15 acres campus, 2 museums – 70,000 sq. ft.

Key Personnel:

            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

 

OVERVIEW

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.

 

SPECIAL CHALLENGES  

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.

 

DESIGN

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.

 

PROGRAM/SCOPE

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