The Richard J. Heckmann International Center at University of California, Riverside
The design of The Richard J. Heckmann International Center for Entrepreneurial Management celebrates the concept of entrepreneurship as opportunity recognition and thereby transforming the environmental context by creatively utilizing internal and external forces. The Coachella Valleys desert environment provides that opportunity in the harsh presence of its natural elements: the textured surface of the earth, the poignant impact of the sun, the precious value of the water, and the demanding movement of the wind.
The circular forms of the building represent universality and community, stability and continuity, as well as dynamism and change. These spaces embody and actively facilitate the kinds of dynamic interactions and innovation needed to thrive in todays business world.
An earthen roof system, planted with native vegetation, provides insulation and allows the building to appear to emerge from the natural terrain. Natural building materials such as stone, wood and metals are used to harmonize with the environment.
The buildings orientation, fenestration and insulation deal with the suns presence creating energy efficient spaces and celebrating the pristine natural light of the desert. The conservation and recycling of water, organized in a continuous cycle of aqueducts, ponds and canals, will assure the efficient cooling and comfortable environmental humidity.