McDowell Mountain Preserve is an extension of the existing nature around it. Blending in with the natural flora of the landscape, it frames the experience while becoming an element of the natural world itself. Utilizing and embracing the site, 3D printing technology allows this building to emerge from the landscape by reusing the excavated Earth material as it’s form. Using nature as it’s model, the Preserve extends its own arm into the natural world grasping the surrounding serenity and grounding guests with the world around them.
Strategies included within this design allow for the Preserve to behave like a part of nature. The bio-mimic elements of the shape, form, and material of the building provides an avenue of existence that bridges the gap between constructed and natural. The ribbed texture of the building mimics the ribbed structure of the Saguaro Cactus in which the very form itself protects and shades the building’s surface from the extreme sun exposure of the Arizona desert. By reusing the earth material from where the building is located to produce the form of the building, a circular flow of resources is constructed allowing for maximum efficiency and it also allows the building to perform as naturally as possible. Taking this further, the earth material allows for native flora to grow from the building form and photosynthesize resulting in the building becoming a true natural extension. The photosynthesis process used by native cacti captures CO2 while also sequestering it, not allowing for it to be re-released into the atmosphere.