Our studio had the field trip in Las Vegas over the last weekend and I feel more motivated than ever to start our design now that we visited our sites and had the chance to get so much valuable information.
Overall, I think that both sites are really interesting and still haven’t decided which one I would like to focus on more. Site 1 is the site that has the Victory Hotel, the oldest hotel in LV. In terms of identity and character, it’s definitely more complex than site 2, which is more spread out and has no real landmarks close to it. Site 1 has so many constraints attached to it that right now seem intimidating. However, I think a positive thing is that we can relate to so many things around, the Art trail, the prison, the Golden Nugget Hotel, the Main Street frontage. I would feel that the old hotel should still have some presence down there, whether we transform it in something else or we just maintain the footprint or the street facade. I would be opposed of tearing it down. The thing that is the most present right now in my mind is the idea of reconditioning the old hotel into a homeless museum or a veteran’s memorial. I really resonated with the stories that we’ve been told about the less fortunate people that live in this city that I feel I should do something about it. The presence of a memorial or a program that helps people in need would raise some awareness within the neighbors, the prisoners of the jail and the residents of the hotel. A sculptural memorial building could be an interesting end for the Art trail too.
Site 2 has a big challenge attached to it, how to bring people from the strip to the downtown area safe, fast and perhaps even entertained by the time they get there. How to make them enjoy the walk through this area, while feeling safe and having various options in terms of programs. The Veterans Village is another major component, and extending it and helping the initiative there spread more throughout the neighborhood is another great intention of my design for this semester. At this moment, I am thinking about linking some key elements that are already there or need to appear there with a playful and relaxing pedestrian walkway. The traffic on the inner streets of the site is nowhere near as dense as it is on Main St or Las Vegas Blvd, so why not taking the pedestrians away from the busy streets and take them on a tour with coffee shops, restaurants or wide and shaded sidewalks.