Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

Daniel Libeskind

Crystals at CityCenter (2010)

Studio Daniel Libeskind,  Architecture

Rockwell Group, Interior Architecture

CityCenter Las Vegas

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CityCenter Las Vegas (2009)

On the Las Vegas Strip

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CityCenter Las Vegas is a $9.2 billion development on 76 acres on “The Strip” in Las Vegas. It is sandwiched between the Monte Carlo and Bellagio Resorts. (The Cosmopolitian Resort was constructed at the same time as CityCenter and is now open on a sliver of land between CityCenter and Bellagio). The Master Plan was designed by Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Kuhn Architects.

The main buildings in the mixed use development are the Aria Resort and Casino, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel and residential condominium tower, Veer Towers residential condominiums, Vdara Hotel and Spa, The Harmon Hotel, Spa & Residences, and The Shops at Crystals. The Harmon tower, originally designed to be 49 stories, but was only built to the 28th floor due to structural issues.  Although the distinctive multi-toned blue glass curtain wall exterior was installed. the interiors were never built out and the tower’s demolition is pending.

The buildings were designed by internationally known architects – at least the superstructure, building form and exterior curtain wall design. The list includes Cesar Pelli, Daniel Libeskind, Helmut Jahn, William Pederson, Rafael Vinoli, Sir Norman Foster and David Rockwell. The building’s interior architecture was mostly or completely designed within the superstructure by other architects to meet the needs of the hotel, condominium, retail, gaming and entertainment occupants.

I will include images and comments on each of the main buildings in CityCenter with separate posts. For links click on the names here: Aria, Mandarin, Veer, Vdara, Crystals and Harmon.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was one of the architects that worked on the Mandarin Hotel guest rooms, Mandarin residential penthouses, Veer residential penthouses, and Harmon residential penthouses projects.


The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge (2008)

Daniel Libeskind, Architect

Covington, KY

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Visited January 26, 2013

Just across the river from Cincinnati, at the foot of Roebling’s suspension bridge, is The Ascent. This somewhat squatty spiral building is clad in a Tetris like composition of blue glass and white panels. Behind this architectural skin are 19 stories of residential condominiums, with additional space for parking and amenities.

Unfortunately located slightly behind other taller generic brown brick hotel and office buildings from the river, you have to be on the eastern side of the Cincinnati riverfront to see the dramatic Ascent from across the river. Also unfortunately the facade visible from the river has balconies of different widths tacked on to the outer curved face. I believe the inner curved facade facing downtown Covington is the more interesting facade – and the most hidden until you are right at the building.

From Downtown Cincinnati, you can actually walk across Roebling’s Bridge to visit this monument. Roebling is the engineer that also designed the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge Website