The riotously sculptural $100-million Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, the story is about the depths — and ultimately the limits — of the human mind.
While the signature steel forms of the Lou Ruvo Center may at first suggest the building is just another Gehry project, think again. What distinguishes this Gehry design from the rest is that it is the only one for hire, not to mention that the building has received critical praise from the Los Angeles Times architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, as having the most impressive Gehry-designed interior space since the architect’s Disney Concert Hall in 2003.
The complex comprises two wings connected by an open courtyard: a dedicated research center, located at the northern end of the building, and a ‘for-hire’ event space, dubbed the Life Activity Center, located at the southern end. Architecturally, the two spaces are dramatically different and yet together they form a cohesive whole. The four-storey clinic, which houses medical offices, patient rooms and research space, is rational.
Clad in stucco and glass and resembling a series of stacked white blocks, it takes on a conventional, rectilinear geometry. By contrast, the Life Activity Center is a soaring sculptural volume tucked beneath a signature Gehry stainless steel roof. Designed as an event space, it can be rented out for parties, weddings and special occasions with the proceeds going to fund the center’s research.
While the first blush reviews of the building have been good, the expectations for the Center are high and exceed garnering architectural accolades.
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