Secrets of Sense, a project by Tasbeeh Alaqtum and Sara Ghaemi, stimulates human senses to better appreciate the serenity and beauty of the Vulture Mountains Recreation Area in Maricopa County, Arizona. Inspired by the mountain ranges surrounding the site, a butterfly-like roof is designed to float above the building to serve five major purposes: shading, natural ventilation, water collection, acoustical performance and renewable energy generation. It also creates a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces. This relationship gives visitors a sense of harmony with the natural desert while protecting existing native species.
By coupling sensory experiences with passive environmental strategies, the design educates visitors on water and shading importance in the desert. Strategically, the project’s location is located above a water stream (arroyo) allowing rainwater harvesting to become a celebration in the Sonoran Desert. The site is also not connected to the grid; therefore, achieving crucial net-zero plus is achieved by embedding passive environmental strategies and integrating photovoltaic panels on the roof.
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All images are by Tasbeeh Alaqtum and Sara Ghaemi and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission of their creators.