Taken together, CityCenter and Gehry’s Alzheimer’s project suggest a fresh direction for Las Vegas, one that has nothing to do with the 20th-century iconography imported from other cultures and which has largely defined Strip tourist aesthetics over the past 15 years.
Make no mistake: These buildings are very much about marketing. But instead of hawking fake identities borrowed from New York, Paris or Venice, this new generation of glass-encased buildings parlays Nevada’s most obvious natural resource, the unblinking sun, into nature-based spectacle.
Frank Gehrys design for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
Setting aside the question of whether Las Vegas actually needsan additional 6,300 rooms, Gehry and CityCenter are gambling that fine art, brilliant light and lofty purpose might contribute to the city’s lifeblood every bit as much as blackjack, Blue Man Group and really awesome sushi.