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Desert Recharge

This project is an integrative ensemble of treatment buildings and a lively landscape sprinkled with episodic recreational elements rich with promenades and portals defining syncopated grains and cross grains. A near three-acre expansion of an iconic desert hotel's spa facilities, it is a combinatory playground of the constructed and natural worlds. Sensitively positioned in a robust and delicate context, the project extends a larger chain of symbiotic technological desert armatures and arrays that harness, farm, and channel wind, sun, and subsurface mineral water networks to charge and recharge life support systems in a scorching and arid environment.

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Sharif, Lynch: Architecture with Studio MAI and TERREMOTO Landscape

S,L:A Team

Todd Lynch (Principal in Charge)


Ben Gourley (Project Leader)


Casey Knudsen

Jena Meeks

Nicholas Miller

Sunay Rajbhandari

Chris Rancourt

Markus Russell

Mohamed Sharif

Peiwei Zhang

Civil: Feiro Engineering

MEP: Integral Group

Structural: Thang Le Engineering

Precast Concrete: StructureCast

General Contractor: DiVita Builders

Photography: Steve King Architectural Imaging

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In this particular situation - a mere 50 feet from the San Andreas Fault - buildings, visitor paths, and sun bathing and soaking elements are carefully situated on minimally graded topography tapping deep underground into a confluence of mineral wells that fill communal and private tubs and rinsing showers adjoining wet treatment buildings. Outdoor spaces are shaped and shaded by buildings and structures strategically placed near Tamarisk, ficus, and majestic palms to create cooler microclimates. Gently see-sawing in plan and section, the serially arranged buildings form a dancing dashed line demarcating the immediate northern horizon of the expanded hotel grounds. Constructed of sand blasted and board-formed tilt-up precast concrete panels with inset Douglas Fir wood windows, trellises, and discrete millwork, they are contemporary primitive huts with embedded environmental controls whose self-similar economies of construction and minimally inflected expression form a calm back drop on which shadow calligraphies dance echoing the energetic graphic choreography of the southerly landscape.

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