Cesar Pelli / Pelli Clarke Pelli, Architect
CityCenter Las Vegas
4,000,000 SF, 4,004 rooms, 61 stories, LEED Gold
This casino, resort, hotel and convention center is quite unique in Las Vegas. In a sea of casino buildings trying to replicate other buildings, other cities, other cultures, and other centuries, Aria’s crisp clean, contemporary architecture is , well just really really good crisp, clean, contemporary architecture. It is honest through and through.
Cesar Pelli has taken the 4,000 rooms, arranged them in gently curving towers of unequal height, and given each of them a corner window. Inside, the lobby’s long registration counter is in front of a wall of glass overlooking a small vest-pocket park featuring a large Henry Moore sculpture. Hanging above the registration counter is one of my favorite art installations. It is a glistening silver casting of the Colorado river flowing across the space by Maya Lin. It is beautiful.
Outside the main entrance, edging the circular drive is a fascinating and wonderful water wall. The sloped wall with a textured surface has an ever-changing waterfall flowing over it. From a trickle to a deluge, the water creates a display that is visually, sensually, and audibly soothing.
The more I walked around it and through it, the more I appreciated this building and casino. The casino has a more masculine feel than most others on the strip. Aria does not try to be anything other than what it is, a great contemporary resort and casino, arguably the best on the strip.