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Behnisch, Behnisch Designing Ambitious Park in Las Vegas

Images Courtesy Taylor & Company

A new urban oasis may soon be coming to the Las Vegas desert. Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner is designing a 150-acre mixed-use park in Las Vegas, Nevada, that combines toy galleries and entertainment venues with landscaped gardens and children's playgrounds. The project, dubbed "Senscity Paradise Universe," envisions a sustainable, energy-efficient environment consisting of terraced greens areas, an artificial lake, and meandering paths. There will also be family oriented restaurants, theatres, and auditoriums.

Natural barriers will be used to separate the lush development from its dry surroundings. Giant flower-like structures will line the park paths creating a comfortable microclimate for long outdoor stays. The towering flowers are iconic park fixtures that provide shade and cool air relief from the intense desert sun. The structures, which measure up to 120 feet tall and 300 feet wide, will be built from prefabricated lightweight metal frames and post-tensioned fabric. The flowers will have evaporating water on their leaves in order to cool the park's air while creating downdraft airflows. The leaves can additionally be used as energy collectors, transforming radiation into electricity or heat during winter months. Vertical axis wind turbines may also be placed at the flower stem to create wind electricity. Although the European development consortium is still finalizing the project's site location, the park has already received several letters of intent to occupy gallery space. The sustainable project has received preliminary approval from Clark County, says Christof Jantzen, principal of Behnisch's Venice office. Construction is expected to take three years to complete.

Tony Illia