You know how some buildings look so unusual, you just can’t figure it out…well, when I looked at photos of Frank Gehry’s Cleveland Brain Center in Las Vegas, I couldn’t understand how it could be a building for a medical clinic where real work happens and I couldn’t understand why it has to look so crazy.
So when we went to Las Vegas for the International Builders Show, we took a few hours and went to see it for ourselves. We asked the staff at the visitor’s desk of our hotel, and the bus driver how to get there. I was surprised that everyone seemed to know the building, felt proud that we wanted to go and see it, and they could tell us how to get there. I thought that said a lot!
We arrived by bus, and walked to the site….rather an unusual approach for a town designed for cars. And I fell in love! This is not your typical looking medical clinic, but I think it really fits the site, and according to the staff it is a great building to work in.
So what do I like about this building?
I like how the corner of the site is filled with a large hall, which is rented out for various functions. On the outside, the curved shapes suit being on a corner, with cars zipping past.
On the inside, the Hall is a beautiful sun filled room. It is absolutely magnificent. Who wouldn’t want to hold their event in such a magnificent room?
At the back of the site is a 4 story office building. This is the Cleveland Brain Center. I like how the planes of the Center walls and the large irregular blocks of windows remind me of the mountains surrounding Las Vegas, and I like how the angular forms are a perfect counterpoint to the curves of the rental Hall.
In between the Brain Center and the rental Hall is a gently curving courtyard. Las Vegas is a sunny, hot, dry place, and the folded twisted shape of the screen perfectly shades the courtyard. I like the addition of some color in the courtyard, with turquoise, green and yellows added to some of the planes of the Center’s walls and the columns. I like the views through the courtyard to the Memory Garden beyond. And I like the changing shadows on the wall as the sun moves through the day.
Each part of the building adds to the whole, and each part feels like a beautiful little gem in it’s own right. I love everything about this building!