Although the brief asked for an open structure, I would greatly advice for a semi-permeable system instead. One that can keep open most of the year, however shut down when necessary. Partially because of the summer heat, but also to shelter from the increasing summer haboobs (As an example why this would be a good idea, I would suggest visiting the Yard on 7th street during one of these events, the amazing courtyard quickly becomes unusable). Instead of a completely open system, I have created a translucent membrane build out of polycarbonate plastic (it is a lot cheaper than building glass facades, and allows plenty of light into the main space), with sheet metal louvers to help shade the walls (this is mostly done to reduce heat gain, but also to create a dynamic facade). During the day, the walls allow light to flood the interior, at night the light from inside becomes a glowing beacon towards the exterior.
The north and south walls are built out of cast-in-place concrete. The mass of the south wall allows for greater insulation from the exterior heat. While the north wall has several large window opening, allowing for a lot of daylight to flood the interiors.
The conditioned spaces are flanked by the more open airstream "hangers". This central location was chosen both for ease of access to all services, but also to remove the cooler spaces from areas where there is greater heat radiation (east and west facades).
The roof of the structure is completely covered by photovoltaic panels. This is not only for a sustainable desire, but also an ode towards the type of clientele the hotel is targeting (REI meets Airbnb, and Airstream users). Through this energy efficient design, most of the buildings energy needs should be able to be met through this array.
Even though the space can be sealed shut during the hot summer months, the large aircraft hanger doors and operable windows can completely transform the building during the 7 month when the valley has perfect weather.
Personally, I am a huge fan of the board-formed concrete aesthetic. However, I do envision the possibility of hiring some of the great muralists in the area to draw over some of the solid walls. The building could become a showcase canvass for tourist to see some of the fantastic art scene that exists in central PHX.
Without knowing the actual site, several conditions have been assumed. Ideally, a north facing facade would allow for an open view towards the street, making it very inviting. The site is also assumed to be a perfect square, which is not very common. The design therefore is schematic in nature, and would have to be adapted to better suit its surroundings and site. Regardless of whether or not this design is chosen, we would like to wish you luck and great success, this seems like a really interesting concept and would be a great addition to central Phoenix.
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