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Water + Life Museums and Campus / Lehrer Architects + Gangi Architects

  • Architects: Lehrer Architects, Gangi Architects
  • Location: Hemet, California, USA
  • Mep Engineer: IBE Consulting Engineers
  • Structural Engineer: Nabih Youseff & Associates
  • Civil Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
  • Landscape Architect: Mia Lehrer + Associates
  • Solar Power Consultant: Vector Delta Design Group
  • Lighting: Prudential Lighting
  • Leed Consultant: Zinner Consultants
  • Contractor: Lehrer, Gangi Architects
  • Owners: Metropolitan Water District, Western Center for Archaeology & Paleontology
  • Area: 70000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2007
  • Photographs: Fotoworks, Michael Lehrer

© Michael Lehrer © Fotoworks © Fotoworks © Fotoworks

From the architect. The Water + Life Museums and Campus celebrate the infrastructure of water and its central role in the evolution of life and development in California.  The first LEED Platinum Museums in the world, the design aims to place beauty and sustainability -- an inseparable couplet -- at the center of its agenda as an environmental showcase.   The 15 acre campus houses two museums, Water - The Center for Water Education and Life - The Western Center for Archaeology & Paleontology.

sustainability diagram
sustainability diagram

The Water and Life Museums are born of the construction of Diamond Valley Lake (DVL), the largest man-made water storage lake in North America.  Set in the semi-arid Southern California desert near Hemet, DVL is an integral part of the state’s water infrastructure. The lake provides a 6-month emergency supply of water for all of Southern California.

© Fotoworks
© Fotoworks

Situated between 2 mountain ranges, the Diamond Valley Lake was created by damming the Valley’s open ends with two 300‘ high dams.  The construction of these dams is the largest earthwork project in American history.

© Michael Lehrer
© Michael Lehrer

The Museums are located half way between Hoover Dam and Los Angeles, and are near the base of the East Dam of Diamond Valley Lake.  The design of the buildings draws inspiration from the honorific architecture of Gordon Kaufman, Parker Dam, its pump houses, and the serial turbines and machinery that bring us water.

© Michael Lehrer
© Michael Lehrer

There were numerous challenges, including the harsh climate with extreme temperature fluctuations daytime, nighttime, and season.  The daunting scale and form of the 300' high and 2.5 mile long East Dam, made from rock mined from the surrounding mountains, also had to be considered.

elevation
elevation
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Water + Life Museums and Campus / Lehrer Architects + Gangi Architects" 26 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/106666/water-life-museums-and-campus-lehrer-architects-and-gangi-architects/>