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Case Studies

Joshua Tree Residential Education Discovery Center

University of Southern California




Yuan Yao, Architecture


Client Program

The program is a student residential discovery center in Joshua Tree National Park. It is used for students to stay in Joshua Tree National Park for about a week and have classes. It also has public programs for visitors.

Why i choose precast for the project

Joshua Tree has plenty of sunlight and has a big difference of temperature during the day and the year. Precast concrete is a high thermal material that can maintain the interior temperature steadily. It also minimizes the construction influence to the nature.

Project Details

Precast concrete can be done in different panels and is able to create desired patterns of the facade.

Significant Lessons Learned

I learned different kinds of precast concrete and their construction details. Precast concrete can reduce the construction time, energy, and material. It also increases the precision of the construction. I will definitely use it in other projects. I noticed how large a precast panel can be and how complex it can be.

Precast Used

The precast concrete I used in this project is Light Transmitting Concrete. But this LT concrete is special because it uses fiber optics to change the direction, density, orientation, and other attributes of the light. By arranging the fiber optics in special ways, the precast LT-concrete panels can create infinite patterns. The patterns of light and shadow is affected by the natural light, artificial light, and people's movement. Fiber optics doesn't transmit heat, so it is an ideal way to illuminate the interior in Joshua Tree national park.





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