BOOM! Palm Springs


Palm Springs, CA


The Waves emerge out of the ground as an extension of the soft, undulating sand-scapes of the California high desert. Both commercial center and residential district are conceived as a single formal system of undulating and alternating ribbons of pre-cast concrete. The ribbons rise up and dive down into the earth, nurturing programs within their folds - peaks dedicated to interior spaces and troughs cupping private or communal gardens. The waves begin at the town center, launching as large-scale vaults, which alternately shade exterior piazze and form roofs over double-height commercial buildings. Restaurants, cafes, bars and shops share space under this collective canopy, uniting culture, commerce, and entertainment in an intimate, urban environment. Open-air markets, outdoor cafes, restaurants, and impromptu performance areas enliven the scene and attract visitors from both inside and outside the community. At the heart of the town square is a dramatic 100’ high trellis vault covering a second floor outdoor beer garden, supper club and discothèque. During the day, thousands of mist nozzles cool the outdoor terrace and dematerialize the structure, providing an enigmatic, soft landmark that will become the icon of the resort. Taken together, the commercial and housing components of Desert Waves form a man-made mountain range; an alternative ‘nature’ which mirrors the self-made, individualistic exuberance manifest in the LGBT community.

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