This stunning, LEED Platinum and Net-Zero building by Weddle Gilmore Black Rock Studio really sets the tone for the majestic McDowell Sonoran Preserve behind it. Built with the help of 4,200 volunteer hours out of rammed earth and topped with a desert-cobbled roof, the Gateway treads gently and reminds bikers, hikers, and horse-riders to do the same. It also harvests 100% of the water required for landscape irrigation and produces all of the energy it needs to operate. Despite the modest construction so typical of park service buildings, this gateway to desert heaven is definitely easy on the eyes.
Paying tribute to its location, the Gateway is constructed from rammed earth, although it is every bit as energy efficient and cool as any modern home. Ninety percent of its construction materials were sent to be recycled and its energy is produced with an 18KW solar-energy system. As such, the LEED certified building has a net-zero impact.
Everybody knows the desert is dry, but it won’t be here. A clever rainwater harvesting system combined with an underground storage cistern will ensure that 100% of the landscaping can be done without undue stress on existing water supplies. Dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals further ensure that the Gateway’s water footprint is kept to a minimum.
Via Arch Daily