Casaplutonia (Resort) by Artur Nesterenko
2018 - 2019, Golden A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner
Inspired by Joshua Tree's National Park breathtaking vistas, infinite sky, and enigmatic rock formations, we envisioned an architecturally innovative resort to harmonize with this desert panorama. With an arid atmosphere and expansive horizons, we wanted to create a destination for relaxation and self-discovery offering contemplative environments for refreshing both body and mind. The desert ecosystem inspired us to design every aspect of the resort to foster rejuvenation, promote self-reflection, and provide guests with a tranquil respite from their intense metropolitan lives.
CasaPlutonia redefines the more traditional concept of a retreat by inviting guests to restore themselves in a sanctuary that fosters synergy among spirit, nature, and high design. Inside CasaPlutonia's Euclidean Platonic geometries augment an understanding of the desert’s planar dimensions and provide guests with an opportunity to recover their well-being and derive inspiration from the infinite magnitude of a solitary Joshua Tree.
Design Challenges
The challenge was to design a built environment that uses architectural qualities, natural light, materiality, and sound to guide guests on a journey, both intellectually and physically, where the narrative would push and pull at different emotions. During the research phase, our team carefully observed local desert environment for opportunities to use passive energy systems to conserve water, harvest the power of the sun and wind. Liberating these dormant passive energy systems is precisely the position we adopted in our design of a retreat composed of resilient buildings that would function entirely off-the-public-utility-grid.
Production Technology
The layout of CasaPlutonia is made up of volumes symmetrically organized around the central swimming pool. A cast-in-place concrete system with smooth plywood form finish will be used as the primary construction technique to create the atmosphere of modernity, aesthetic beauty, sturdiness, and functionality. The local climate allows for the architecture to have an open configuration where the depth of the concrete walls acts as thermal mass, insulation, and a primary structure at once. CasaPlutonia generates its power from the solar plant installed within the property of the building. During colder months, concrete walls and floors will provide passive solar heat gain.
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