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The New Materialists

Part 2 Project 2003
Chris Bolland
George Thatcher
University of Westminster, UK
The project is a hotel and bar resort development, situated on the Las Vegas strip. In common with much recent resort architecture, it develops the automobile strip and the pedestrian sidewalk as part of the development: the strip begins to oscillate as it passes the hotel, allowing automobile access under the resort. At a pedestrian scale, the resort provides an abstract park, occupied by a field of motel towers. Across this field cuts a leisure zone of bar and club ‘craters’, that are orientated to view a series of sky-based events: a synthesis of both the artificial day/night rhythms of Las Vegas interiors, and the local culture of UFOs, During the day, satellites regularly eclipse the sun, at night, a new stellar choreography emerges: a visual spectacle best experienced from within the haptic environments of the three dimensionally patterned surfaces.

Chris Bolland
George Thatcher


"The senses become theoreticians in their immediate practice"
Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic manuscripts of 1844

Extending longstanding interests of the studio, this work explores the possibilities of an architecture generated out of the parallel pursuits of 1:1 formwork casting experiments, CADCAM milling technologies, and computer animated, dynamic spatial pattern and morphology studies.
Following a field trip to Nevada, an analysis of current developments in Las Vegas highlighted upward shifts in the clientele and cultural aspirations of resorts in the city. This project explores the thesis that this city is ripe for an affirmative and modern resort development, which avoids the cultural cowardice of recent thematically generated architecture. It is resolved as the ultimate Las Vegas spectacle of an immersive and decorative architecture, that extends from patterned tiles to satellites in orbit around the planet!


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2003
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