Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

Norman Foster

The Harmon (2009)

Sir Norman Foster, Foster + Partners, Architect

CityCenter Las Vegas

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The Harmon designed by Foster + Partners is part of the CityCenter Las Vegas Development on the Strip. Officially “The Harmon Hotel, Spa & Residences”,  it was planned to be a 49 story tower with a 400 room boutique hotel and 207 residential condominiums (including 3 floors of luxurious penthouse condominiums). During construction, defects in the steel reinforcing were discovered by inspectors. The superstructure of the hotel’s 28 stories was completed, but the interiors were not built out. The residential condominiums above were cancelled altogether (which coincided with the crash of the residential real estate market in Vegas).  After many engineering studies and litigation, demolition of the unfinished tower is pending.

It currently is arguably the most expensive billboard ever built…


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.