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DMV East Sahara Service Center

Project Facts


Construction Complete

Completion Year



40,359 SF


Las Vegas, Nevada


Department of Motor Vehicles


2017. AIA Nevada Citation Award (Built) 

In 2012, TSK was engaged to provide a masterplan for the state-owned land bounded by Sahara Avenue, Atlantic Street, St. Louis Avenue and McLeod Street. The purpose of the masterplan was to review options for constructing a new Department of Motor Vehicles facility that would replace the existing DMV that was at the end of its useful life. The existing facility must remain open and in operation during the course of construction. During the master planning process, multiple options and arrangements were developed and considered. The new DMV facility would occupy approximately 11.5 acres of the overall site, and provide ample customer and employee parking. The zoning of the site would allow the State Public Works Division to strategically plan future development of the campus.


The initial studies determined that the most viable option for replacing the existing center was to relocate the buildings and grounds operations to the existing and abandoned Metro Building, to raze the existing buildings and grounds and construct a new service center in its place.

The proposed building is a 40,359 SF, single-story building with a high-volume lobby space to accommodate 2,000-plus visitors a day and up to 400 visitors at any one time.

Primary considerations in the design of the facility were customer flow, access to services, visibility and safety of employees, and providing a comfortable place for all. The lobby is the centerpiece of the facility with customer service desks, testing and camera functions. The design organized all back of house functions behind the supervisors’ offices. The solution to maintaining high levels of movement, clear visual access to signage and queuing displays was to position the main entrance at one end of the long axis of the lobby space.

This positioning separates queuing lines from the main waiting space and out of the traffic of other functions. In addition, upon entering the lobby space, the customer will quickly distinguish where the customer service windows are located and how busy is the facility. Studies have shown that designing for this immediate understanding reduces stress in customers. Many of the building walls have dedicated program spaces assigned to them, reducing the opportunity to provide natural light and views at ground level. Because studies have shown that views and natural light also reduce stress and provide for a more comfortable space to wait and work in, natural lighting is being introduced into the space from high windows that follow the profile of the curved roofline.

The scope of work included a 10,000 SF customer lobby and waiting area, 7,000 SF of customer service desks and support, 5,000 SF of administrative offices and conference rooms, 5,000 SF emissions testing and training facility, employee break rooms, exterior spaces and mechanical/electrical support spaces.

The center strives to provide clear and simple vehicular and customer service circulation in order to provide expedient customer service and attempt to reduce the perceived anxiety of visiting the DMV. As a replacement to the 1960s era service center, the building uses durable materials to extend its life span and reduce vandalism. These materials project an image of strength that is balanced by a high-level of transparency in strategic spaces. The openness provides customers and staff day lit spaces that maintain connections to the exterior.

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