The Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center is situated in the awe-inspiring Mojave Desert. Operating through the University of California, Riverside and the Natural Reserve System, the project consists of two additional buildings and includes renovations to an on-site staff residence and lab building. The project adds two single story pre-engineered steel buildings for the Riggs Administration Building and housing cabins. The Riggs Administration Building provides meeting space and office areas while the housing cabins provide short-term camping for visiting researchers.
The buildings are positioned to capture the serene northern views and stunning desert sunsets while mirroring the surrounding elements. The thick side walls of the buildings mimic the weighty nearby granite mountains. Given the research center's remote location, the structures are not connected to a utility grid. This unique challenge requires the project receive all power from photovoltaic panels and batteries. Water comes from nearby wells with limited access. To remain ecologically sensitive to the desert environment and eco systems, no landscaping is added to the project.