I offer a heartfelt thanks to Dr. Al Katz, a volunteer at the Center, for giving us a special private tour of the facility.
For some years Frank Gehry had refused to design a building for Las Vegas but the mission of the center (outpatient treatment and research facility with a focus on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington 's Diseases, and ALS [Lou Gehrig's Disease]) as well as the influence of its founder, Larry Ruvo, changed his mind.
On the location: "Gehry said he liked the challenge of designing a building on a corner of a big 61-acre former railroad yard west of downtown Las Vegas. It is also flanked by a massive wholesale furniture exposition and convention center, a retail outlet shopping mall and a concert and performing arts center due to open in 2012" (Huffington Post: 05/21/2010) . Google map is on the left. Aerial view on the right was photographed from the inside of the Stratosphere, the tallest structure in Las Vegas.
A controversial buildingCalling this building his "Eyesore of the Month," architecture critic James Howard Kunstler finds the building's design inappropriate for its purpose: "If I had a problem with my brain, I would not be reassured arriving at this place. The implicit sadism is impressive." Others see the building as effective in calling attention to the work the center does--as a spectacular marketing tool. This sculptural wing, the Activity Center, available for rent, is a single-room event space with an undulating stainless roof (so-called "canopy"). It has 199 windows, none of which are alike! See interior views here.
Views from the south side of the buildingThe center is comprised of two separate wings connected by an open courtyard.
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