The Residential Environmental Science Campus at Joshua Tree National Park

During the 2015 spring quarter, architecture students at Cal Poly Pomona were asked to design a Residential Environmental Science Campus for Joshua Tree National Park while working with Nature Bridge, the Natural Parks Service, USC, the City of 29 Palms, and the Joshua Tree Science Campus Committee. The students were asked to design a facility that would accommodate 224 high-school students on multi-day science education trips with overnight sleeping accommodations, dining hall, classrooms and ancillary facilities. The project was framed with the request to explore the use of new materials, construction technologies and sustainable design strategies for high-performance buildings that approach net-zero energy use. 

The program for the project included the following:

Four (4) Sleeping cabins @ 1,860 sf each                        7,440 sf

One student bathhouse                                                      2,462 sf

One dining hall                                                                  10,000 sf

One classroom / library                                                      3,553 sf

Three offices for NPS education staff                              1,200 sf

Manager residence                                                             1,500 sf

Maintenance building                                                         1,000 sf

TOTAL Gross Built                                                          26,000 sf

Outdoor Activities: Outdoor Recreation / Activity Area, Outdoor Amphitheater for 224 students, Outdoor study area, Science trail, student drop-off and visitors arrival to accommodate 50 students at one time

Services: Vehicle / bus access, vehicle parking for six buses and 30 cars, solar electric system, and water treatment system