Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
Las Vegas, Nevada
- Frank Gehry
- Las Vegas, Nevada
L as Vegas is an architectural phantasmagoria where huge casino hotels deploy spectacular themed designs to compete for the attention of the estimated 37 million visitors who flock to the city each year. Las Vegas Boulevard is the only street in the world where you can encounter a stylized Egyptian pyramid and scaled-down versions of the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower.
Las Vegas has a serious side, too. On its northern outskirts sits a stunning new Frank Gehry-designed building with a far-reaching mission. The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health performs cutting-edge research on cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and offers stateof-the-art treatment for sufferers.
Its striking, thought-provoking exterior is a comment on the work done within. One wing of the building sports a swooping shell of curved stainless steel plates with multiple window-like openings. Inside this metal-clad wing are soaring spaces that include community space and an events center. The other side is a construct of irregularly stacked stucco boxes; this area houses the research and treatment facilities. Together, the two wings seem to embody the hemispherical structure of the brain: one side creative, the other analytical.
The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health exhibits the same thoughtful approach in relation to its environment. Las Vegas is situated in the desert, so the building employs innovative designs to conserve energy and water.
Skylights and windows are outfitted with triplepane glass and motorized blinds to control solar heat transfer. LED lighting and automatic shutoff of air conditioning when the building is idle reduce power consumption. The curved metal exterior shades the outdoor plaza, and drought-resistant plantings do not need much water to survive.
The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s conservationism extends to its three elevators, especially the two Schindler 400A® elevators in the main lobby. The four-level Schindler 400As are machine room-less, which translates to reduced space requirements. Their permanent magnet motors power a smooth, quiet traction drive for up to 40 percent lower energy consumption. Aesthetically speaking, their sleek, modern stainless steel interior has been melded into the overall look of the building with the addition of Douglas fir veneer panels.
A Schindler 330A™ two-level hydraulic elevator transports passengers between the first and second floors of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s community space.
Las Vegas businessman Larry Ruvo conceived of the Lou Ruvo Center as a tribute to his father, who died of Alzheimer’s. He created a charity, Keep Memory Alive, which teamed with the internationally renowned Cleveland Clinic to build an institution to help patients while pursuing a cure for brain afflictions. It’s only fitting that the center be housed in a building that expands the boundaries of architecture in the unique city it calls home.