At the UNLV School of Architecture, Master of Architecture students who elect the Hospitality Design (HD) Concentration are immersed in the unique challenges and opportunities of designing for the global experience economy.
Every year, each emerging professional in the HD studio produces a design thesis book chronicling their research, design processes, and architectural outcomes. The works are developed under the guidance of Associate Professor Glenn NP Nowak, AIA, and are informed by the constructive criticisms of numerous faculty and countless industry professionals to whom the School of Architecture is sincerely grateful. Las Vegas has attracted architectural researchers for over half a century, and the continued strength of academic inquiry within the field is credited, in large part, to the graduates of the Hospitality Design Concentration. The beginnings of this collection showcase the benefits of studying hospitality design while embedded in the entertainment capital of the world. The opportunities provided by learning from Las Vegas are compounded when the city becomes an extension of the classroom and design research questions truly become an extension of the city.
For more information about the HD-Lab, Studio, Seminar, or Collection, please contact The Hospitality Design Lab.
SHIFT is integrated to be operating on its passive systems when the weather is permissible. It will be a variable system where a primary and secondary system exists. Overall it creates an environment that is pleasant and enriches a guests experience.
Investing in Entertainment: Creating a new Las Vegas gaming space through a Stock Exchange informed design
Las Vegas is constantly reinventing itself, and this year the whole world has had to reinvent itself. Had this thesis not been developed during a global pandemic, some of its ideas might be considered radical for the hospitality industry. However, given the evidence of the gaming world's ability to rapidly adapt to the ever-changing landscape of gambling and risk-taking in the tourist and hospitality industries, Roger Dey's work reads more as a play book for possible next steps in merging integrated resorts with electronic trading. It promises to reach millennials among other populations not already connected to the entertainment capital of the world. The notion of transforming investing and stock trading into a refined form of entertainment grew from Roger's personal experiences in both day trading and gambling. The excitement from both were recognized as stemming from some of the same risk-reward stimulus effect. Combining the two in a conceptual way was initially described as a "stock-book" taking ideas from the stock exchange and the sportsbook. The project developed beyond the conceptual to include assessments of architectural spaces that support both gambling/sports-betting and financial investing. Everything from lighting, signage, and spatial cues were identified as impacting perceptions of safety, security, strategy, and more... The objective through the innumerable architectural variations studied was to adjust existing spaces such that overall experiences would combine psychological effects of two seemingly opposite archetypes. For instances, the design of the New York, London, or Tokyo Stock Exchanges lacked the fun and excitement of a bar, club, or restaurant. Conversely, the casino floors throughout the Las Vegas Strip lack the sense of security or sophistication found in financial institutions. Roger has tirelessly worked to envision how these worlds can be brought together in the future of integrated resorts. With insights from renowned designer, Roger Thomas, Roger Dey concludes with specific ideas of how to implement this thesis. Everything from new bar-top investment machines to entertainment kiosks to facilitate trading is shown with recommended changes to programmatic layout, circulation, and lighting. From idea to design vision, this thesis feels well-positioned to inform the next evolution of Las Vegas.
Maria Dos Santos
At the time of this writing (Spring 2021), the housing market in Las Vegas is hitting all-time highs. Average home prices are higher than they were pre-housing crash of 2008, and the available housing stock is so limited that many buyers are paying tens of thousands over asking price and they are doing it with cash. All of this is happening against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospitality industry (travel, meetings, events, restaurant, etc.) was among the hardest hit sectors of the economy, and many workers in this largest area of the Las Vegas economy are low-income employees struggling to keep their job...let alone pay for the ever-increasing costs of housing. This architectural design thesis by Maria Dos Santos examines housing for hospitality workers and their families by pulling precedents from the hotel industry into the development of community dwellings. A mixed-income housing inventory along with mixed use amenities like on-site food, entertainment, daycare, school, and work space borrows from the integrated resorts' model of "everything under one roof". After identifying several ideal locations for this kind of design, Maria sought the guidance of local leaders in the affordable housing arena to ensure that the project was not only financially feasible but that the experience would be one prospective residents would desire. Two interesting propositions emerged from the project's development. FIrst, housing created in collaboration with the hospitality industry (ex. corporate sponsorship) for the benefit of hospitality employees may produce higher degrees of employee satisfaction and company loyalty, which typically translate into greater guest experience and overall profitability. Second, the potential to integrate housing on or near The Strip and connecting amenities of the hospitality industry to the broader community might translate into more properties being deemed essential in any future scenarios that require partial closure of non-essential services. The hospitality industry is quite essential to Las Vegas, and the hospitable housing of so many service workers will only improve the perception of Las Vegas as the nation navigates what appears to be another housing bubble.
Skylar Michael Fontana
Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, now number over 75 million, eclipsing the current size of the baby boomer generation. Their generational values and cultural endeavors are going to define the built environment throughout the century as the preferences of older generations steadily move out of focus. Las Vegas' resort properties have been built up since their inception on the allure of gambling, but the city as a whole is now seeing a diversifying shift of entertainment and cultural options to respond to new generational preferences. The purpose of this research is to illustrate how Las Vegas resorts can thoughtfully shift focus away from gambling as they meet the entertainment demands of younger generations. Historically, Las Vegas resorts are demolished, resulting in a clean slate for developers. This book will begin by researching the evolution of the hotel industry over the last century and connecting that evolution with the generational preferences of the majority demographic population. The book will then explore case studies on resort refurbishment and updating, flexible architectural spaces, and architectural typologies within the field of hospitality. Through this exploration there will be a understanding of how these three topics create a unifying design philosophy within the context of social generations. This design philosophy will then be applied to select Las Vegas resorts to produce a design solution for existing resort properties to predict the future generalizations of resorts as demographic preferences force them to keep up to date. Using the data from the selected Las Vegas resorts, the book will shift focus to exploring most deeply the one option that showed the most promise in design experimentation; in this case that is the modular partition system. This system will then be analyzed, tested, and implemented in a resort environment to the greatest extent possible focusing attention on cost analysis, time frames, and experiential quality before finally culminating in a design showcase of the flexibility of the system.
The video gaming industry has become an innovative aspect in the advancement of technology and the entertainment industry, providing the audiences with an immersive and interactive entertainment experience. Video games are becoming one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States, among a diverse population spanning every age, gender, and ethnicity. Games have evolved over the past five decades, from single standalone games into collaborative and competitive multiplayer games (Banyai et al., 2018). However, games have become much more than a hobby, it has flourished into a professional competitive gaming industry called Esports. Millennial and Gen Z have overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest generation in America, becoming the primary consumer in the 21st century with an extensive influence of how corporations sell their products. Growing up in a rapidly advancing technological society, millennial and Gen Z have grown an affinity toward technology, social media, and digital entertainment. Currently there has been a decline of physical attendance among young audiences in spaces such as malls, casinos, and hotels. What sort of amenities these spaces can incorporate to attract younger audiences? This question is especially important to Las Vegas since it is considered to be the Entertainment Capital of the World with its large variety of entertainment facilities. Video games are becoming one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States, among a diverse population spanning every age, gender, and ethnicity. The goal of this project is to develop conceptual designs of Esports implementations into existing archetypes that can capitalize on Esports' lucrative business investment in the entertainment industry.
Andrew William Kennedy
Biophilic Design solutions have been integrated into numerous aspects of hospitality to help drive customer turnout and this model has been applied to many resorts, hotel lobbies and guests rooms across the globe but currently Las Vegas has little to no aspect of integration Biophilic Design to keep customers and more notably younger generations interested. With the introduction of COVID-19 the demand for nature and connection to the outdoors has peaked. With this in mind, how has the local resort industry in Las Vegas responded to this increased demand of biophilic design? Biophilic design has shown that it creates countless health and psychological benefits, it helps to decrease stress and provides an environment that is not just demandingly habitable but marketable and experiential, all the keys needed to unlock the future of resort design.
Jose Ricardo Leon Serrano
In a city populated by Luxurious Hotels, the streetscape is often neglected discouraging extended interaction of the pedestrian in the area. As a result, the topic of security in public spaces is being analyzed to bring to light the recent increase in violent offenses. Establishing additional principles of safety to the standard best practice guidelines will impact the image of our city promoting public safety. The issue arises as to the lack of urban squares and architectural features that allow for recurring criminal behavior. An increase in crime financially causes a loss in profit for the retail and hotels surrounding the area. To continue, consumer behavior is affected by avoiding the spaces in those locations not only by tourists but also locals who are concerned about their safety. As Las Vegas places 33 percent higher in crime rates than the national average a study to find possible solutions is necessary. To demonstrate the importance of addressing this issue multiple data is gathered indicating locations along the Las Vegas strip with the most crime reported and the similar qualities in each that could be generating the opportunity for recurring assault. By treating the urban massing as a constant and exploring multiple elimination strategies, building, and plant materials as independent variables, the study hopes to determine the effects of the architectural innovations with professional assessments stemming from the representation of models and renderings. In the book, streetscape design strategies will be presented as a solution to reduce the risk of becoming a crime statistic, impact consumer behavior, and revitalizing the urban setting while re-imagining the ground level interaction between pedestrian and casino.
Myriam "Mylo" Lopez
This proposal is to create a song of color with natural and fabricated elements creating public spaces to heal and escape. Thus, I introduce the main canvas - LAND|ART|UCTU|RAL with medium biophilia influenced by Biophilic manifest by dynamic sounds to uplight and reconnect our young and community. Can we create active participation of the community in such spaces?
John Vincent Mata
Prefabrication in the architecture and construction industry is still more the exception than the norm. There are examples of prefab in hospitality and residential, but this project aims to bring them together in Las Vegas around the critical infrastructure of public transportation. The efficiencies of assembly can create more affordable housing and do it more quickly than traditional building. At the time of this writing (Spring 2021), the housing market in Las Vegas is hitting all-time highs. Average home prices are higher than they were pre-housing crash of 2008, and the available housing stock is so limited that many buyers are paying tens of thousands over asking price and they are doing it with cash. All of this is happening against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospitality industry (travel, meetings, events, restaurant, etc.) was among the hardest hit sectors of the economy, and many workers in this largest area of the Las Vegas economy are low-income employees struggling to keep their job...let alone pay for the ever-increasing costs of housing. John Mata's work positions a massive pre-fab development in close proximity to The Strip in hopes of creating more affordable housing options for employees of the nearby resorts. The mixed-use design tries to balance the needs of residents and the opportunities of developers by integrating sustainable strategies to bring people to and from the areas of commercial offerings on the site, which simultaneously seem to create a sense of community for the future residents of the site and the surrounding neighborhood.
The diversity of thought throughout the HD Studio always produces great synergy between projects with overlapping areas of interest. Here, we see a question about why Las Vegas' public green space lags behind other cities' lead to more questions (and answers) about how the pedestrian experience along Las Vegas Boulevard could transform from a predominantly car-centric space into a sidewalk experience that extends the excitement of resorts' interiors to the outside. Like other theses that explore everything from public promenades to places for social media posts, the work of David Navarreto calls on lessons learned from urban planning, landscape architecture, and the whimsical nature of thematic architecture often associated with Las Vegas. The themes, however, are not cliché or kitsch. The design of new green spaces are also connected to the building performance of adjacent resorts. The interventions' comprehensive connectivity across The Strip illustrates how multiple properties and the public realm can work together to orchestrate more activities and behaviors between the Strip's existing destinations. The park-like spaces begin to feel like new destinations in and of themselves...ultimately expanding the list of things that Las Vegas offers and reaching new audiences of global travelers.
David Paz Casado
The creation of a hybrid performing arts venue through the combination of theater space and guest rooms, which will mitigate the risks associated with public gatherings and creates an engaging user experience that will continue the evolution of performing arts to ensure that Las Vegas remains the entertainment capital of the world.
Future stadiums need to become multi-functional built environments that maximize revenue and provide connections with the community that allow them to survive. Applying integrative and forward-thinking design negates the potential for cities to face decaying venues that become detriments to the community they serve.
Construction Reconstructed: a prototype for adaptable, reusable, and recoverable building assemblies
This project began with an examination of housing design, finding that our building methods and practices do not meet the current and changing needs of its inhabitants - and a call for a new approach, an adaptable, plastic approach, to space that would allow buildings to fulfill the needs of the user over their lifetime and into the future. The research completed, however, revealed a more systemic problem with the way that we build that, while easily highlighted by, goes beyond residential architecture. We construct our built environment with the intent of permanence. These structures are static and stoic, parts assembled into an unchangeable whole. In doing so, we forget to account for the fluidity of the future, for human nature. In the U.S., the average age of a building is 37 years - and this is up from a prolonged average age of 31 years due to the ebb in construction activity stemming from the 2008 recession (Survey of Lives of N. American Buildings). The average lifespan of human increasing due to advances in/better access to health care, etc.: and the trajectory continues to get steeper. upwards trajectory. The lifespan of a building, however, is on a reverse trajectory. Building science has advanced tremendously in the last two decades. Materials are more weather resistant, last long, and can result in healthier (and in some cases) and more structurally sound homes. Construction methods have also improved dramatically. We build with permanence in mind. The average home can stand structurally sound for 75-100 years - and with proper maintenance and care, even poorly constructed tract homes could be expected to last for 200 years. (National Asso. Of Homebuilders Study) In North America, however, 59% of buildings are demolished before they reach a life of 50 years - and 12% of them never see a 25-year life. While a small percentage of these demolished buildings is due to structural failure, the vast majority are sound and inhabitable at their time of demolition (Survey of Lives of N. American Buildings). Because we design our structures to meet our immediate needs and construct our built environment using static, unadaptable methods, we fail to account for the changing tastes and needs of the not-so-distant future. Our buildings, and in particular our housing, are demolished due to changing expectations of what is acceptable in space and amenities rather than lifespan of the materials making up the home's primary construction.
Allegiant Stadium (a $1.9 billion project) has been recently completed just across the interstate from the south end of The Strip. Its future-oriented design and seating capacity of 60,000 brings tremendous potential for Las Vegas, and its location has brought challenges to resolve with regard to pedestrian and vehicular traffic around major events. Austin Sattler studies the characteristics of Las Vegas Boulevard that make it one of the most populous streets in the world and its multiple cross-streets that support a continuation of the tourist experience. After conducting additional case studies of popular promenades around the world and simulating various strategies in the Las Vegas context, this project shows how to efficiently and excitedly facilitate the safe movement of massive amounts of people through the arid urban landscape. Gaining insights from mentors from the Clark County Comprehensive Planning Department, Austin learned that the current plan for tourists wanting to cross the interstate on game day is a simple road closure for guests to walk across the four-lane bridge. The alternative design takes shading, seating, mobility impairments, and more into consideration. Further, the nearly half mile stretch is transformed with the kind of entertainment often found while tailgating at other events usually surrounded by hundreds of acres of parking. With the desire to density the neighborhood and instill sustainable design strategies, this project demonstrates what is possible when planning, parks and recreation, and private industry work together to deliver fun and functional infrastructure.
Food insecurity is an unfortunate reality for far too many people. In this noble venture, a Master of Architecture candidate takes principles of hospitality design and applies them to residential and civic design such that the communal spaces of our neighborhoods and the homes of families become more hospitable. Diego Soto entered the HD Studio with a passion for helping people and a goal to address hunger. Conversations chronicled through his book take the reader on a journey that helps the wider audience appreciate the oath architects take... to uphold the life, safety, and welfare of the general public. Diego's journey includes recognizing that building codes are in place to protect occupants. These codes lead to building systems that improve structural integrity, shelter from the rain, warmth from the cold, air quality for breathing, egress to escape fire, and so much more. Why should our buildings not also provide us with sustenance? Las Vegas imports nearly all of its food from out-of-state, yet Diego's models reveal that hydroponic systems integrated into residential design can produce enough food to sustain a family of four. The thesis could very easily have produced a one-off building that claimed to be self-sustaining, but that would have been seen as an anomaly in a sea of suburban sprawl. Instead, this work demonstrates how typical building materials (ex. concrete blocks) and building systems (ex. windows) can be redesigned to foster farming at a foundational level... In the future, it will be interesting to see if these ideas can become adopted norms in the residential design industry. Municipalities could incentivize this kind of sustainable food-source development. Future design ordinances and even international building codes might include language that leads to the merger of architecture and food production. In the meantime, these features may be among those that distinguish innovative design amongst leading home builders from that of the status quo.
Traditional cemeteries defined as a place where the deceased are embalmed, placed in metal coffins and buried horizontally underground, are important places but have become outdated. Traditional cemeteries can be improved in terms of economic use of space, circulation, and visitor experience. Improving these aspects will make cemeteries more environmentally sustainable, more practical for people and cities, and overall improve the experience of the modern consumer.
Shopping malls today are dying due to the demand of online shopping. Rather than going strictly to the digital world. The retail spaces are places where consumers can physically feel the product that online shopping does not have to offer.
The modern world presents a dilemma in its inequalities of domesticity for people from a low socio-economic background. Public housing can provide a solution for this issue, but the properties of such buildings differ drastically in their architectural sensibilities from the outdated uniform Queensbridge blocks in New York to elite Quayside Village In Canada. The former is an outdated, low-cost living opportunity (Barry). The latter Quayside, on the other hand, is a comfortable residence that grew into a community. (World's 3 Most Successful Housing Projects"). The experience of Quayside Village allows the residents to engage city life by having amenities within walking distance. The complex provides communal facilities, and commercial spaces as well as private areas that residents can use to organize social events and grow their food. Quayside can serve as a foundation to develop a new public housing typology and create new standards for a community in Las Vegas that aims to enrich the local experience within a public housing environment.
This project imagines that by the year 2050, thousands of passengers will walk through the terminal gate of Spaceport America in order to board a hyper or supersonic flight. But currently there are no existing commercial flights and accommodations within a 25 mile radius to Spaceport America. Alternatively, this project attempts to provide future developers with the tools needed for "space age" developments. Thus, this project seeks to serve as a driver for a new type of architecture called "space-age" urbanism, where the architecture aims to re-establish the American "excitement" found in the 1960's.
Nevada is ranked at the very bottom of the U.S. with only 15 affordable homes available for rent statewide per 100 extremely low-income renter households. Las Vegas is even worse at 10 per 100. Las Vegas is a Hospitality-Driven city. My goal is to holistically understand mixed-use affordable housing from 4 main topics: Policy, Development, Finances, and architecture. Through an adaptive reuse approach of the travelers motel downtown Las Vegas, I have proposed a mixed-use/mixed-income development solution.
Analysis of the hotel buildings reveals greater than 50% of rooms have inadequate day lighting. This topic is especially important here in Las Vegas because 15 of the 20 largest hotels in the world are located in our city. With a total of about 150,000 hotel rooms. An average of about 31% of all rooms in the strip are in the shadows, and have no exposure to sunlight over the year. Studies reveal that being in rooms facing north or with poor lighting brings negative effects to its inhabitants like depression, increased stress, gives people little energy and buildings spend more electricity. Good amount of daylighting helps improve sleep, mood, body temperature, overall health, decreases depression, improves indoor and thermal and visual comfort.
In order to understand the proposed coupled system, there must be an understanding of each component and how optimal performance of the system depends on sustainable architectural design. The basics of each component, a brief history and applicable case studies will be explained and presented starting with ground source thermal loops and then thermal mass (concrete walls). This will be followed by a more detailed explanation of how the components couple to form a functioning energy efficient system, how research can prove energy efficiency and how architectural design concepts can merge to influence sustainable hospitality design.
The study delves into three main properties in The Strip. Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, and The City Center. These areas of study looked into the possibilities of incorporating an autonomous vehicle system in multiple scenarios. Each study was analyzed individually in hopes to develop claims based on the observations made in each property.
Las Vegas is the place where every famous iconic building is in the same place. The tourists don't have to go to every iconic building in the world to experience. In Las Vegas, they can experience it through iconic hotels such as Luxor, Wynn, Caesars Palace, etc. They have great interior and exterior designs. But, the problem of these buildings doesn't accommodate a place for quick changes. In other words, their design is the static form which requires a lot of time to change. The big portion of the building needs to be stopped for new renovations.
Access to food is being implemented in newer and more convenient forms now more than ever before. However, many of the methods that people utilize to purchase food may have substantial adverse health effects. Markets were once centered around a direct exchange of locally grown food and intimate social gatherings. Major developments like the industrialization of agriculture, rapid urbanization, and technological advancements introduced a shift in food market settings. Redefining the design of the market environment can transform a routine task into a valuable experience that nurtures human health and well-being.