Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health / Frank Gehry

© Matthew Carbone, Photographer

A few weeks ago we introduced you one of the latest built projects by , the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. The center is supported by Keep Memory Alive, and it is planned to become a national resource for the most current research and scientific information for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington ‘s Diseases, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) as well as focusing on prevention, early detection and education.

The two buildings together, along with the Reflection Garden © Matthew Carbone, Photographer

On our previous feature we got a glimpse of the project, which at first sight might look like just another Gehry project. And now, thanks to these new photos by Matthew Carbone, we can get a better look at it.

The center features three main spaces:

Medical building © Matthew Carbone, Photographer
Medical building © Matthew Carbone, Photographer

- Medical building for patient care and research. Featuring simple, functional interiors and a lego like exterior of slightly disorderly blocks.

Breezeway © Matthew Carbone, Photographer
Breezeway © Matthew Carbone, Photographer

- A breezeway between the medical building and the higher profile stainless Life Activity Center. The breezeway provides a shaded seated area to enjoy the Las Vegas weather while avoiding direct sunlight. There is also a small cafe and it is method to experiencing the reflection garden to the east.

The Life Activity Center © Matthew Carbone, Photographer
The Life Activity Center © Matthew Carbone, Photographer

- The Life Activity Center – this is the portion of the project that has and will receive most of the attention. It is also the most misunderstood. Patients are not treated in the space, nor do they ever really interact with it except for the facade. The LAC is simply an event space meant to host all sorts of events and occasions. Profits from these events help fund additional research in the medical building. The interior features normal lighting and also LED lights that can provide dramatic lighting both for the interior and for those seeing the LAC from the exterior or the high profile cross roads in Las Vegas.

Cite: Basulto, David. "Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health / Frank Gehry" 22 Jun 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    Rather than helping with neurological disorders, this building is enough to make one go insane.

    Yet more proof that Gehry is a one trick horse with little more constructive to contribute. Bilbao was good, but please stop while you are ahead.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      for all prospect patient that will see it Isn’t that better for the hospital business ?

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      seriously. wtf is going on with gehry? he cant escape his building on lsd that has gained him fame. it works for creative use buildings but for a mental health clinic? its like hes f ing with the patients.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Mr Gehry has drifted from the baroque to the bizarre, and is now egding into self parody.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    he made a living doing what he loved. call him whatever you want, but he’s still a success.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      A success? In what category? If in the category of financial and career success, then sure. However, he is doing society a disservice with his work as clients continue to lap up to him for sculptural “starchitecture” rather than buildings beneficial to society.

      This is narcissism. This is his way of stamping “I, Gehry, was here” all over the world.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    My question would be – apart from the style, what kind of impact will this environment have on the patients? What rationale was there around the design in terms of health impacts? The use of color? Lighting? The building seems to be discussed in relation to its environment (Las Vegas) and its architect (Gehry) but what does this building do for those who inhabit it??

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      i’d say, that you are too deep into preconceived ideas about “patient-friendly” or “healing” or “therapeutic” environments being splashed around the world by healthcare and some design magazines etc.
      if ur never there to experience it for urself, ur not fit to discuss it in those terms.
      have u ever thought of the forms that stimulates? is it not the same intention/effect as the beautiful scenery/painting that hangs on the walls of traditionally “therapeutic” spaces that the patient cant access to?
      cud the sculptural form not jar the senses of the inhabitants so that the sculpture in which they dwell, the space in which they inhabit, invigorate them and promote their healing process?
      how do you know for sure that this is not possible?

      rock music has been shown to promote wellbeing in people, just as much as classical music does. avid listeners of heavy metals are shown to have similar psychological profiles as those of classical music.

      so, how do u know for sure that, this will never work?

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        To correct the misstatement about heavy metal,

        I’ve been here- whimsically idiosyncratic. Typical Gehry. The building’s sculptural form does not come across as jarring- just trite. There’s no depth to this p.o.s., literally and figuratively speaking. Any amateur first-year arch. student can jam a few warped surfaces together in Maya, but there’s no dimensionality to those shallow and chintzy planes. As an end result, we see poorly designed space- look at that sweet breezeway. And the hallways with the random splashes of color– The entire design comes off patronizing toward the user.

        Designed space vs. designed shell. The two should go hand in hand, Gehry always struggles with this.

        icon icon icon vegas vegas vegas money money money

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    …History will not remember you at all – awesome…very funny.

    On to Gehry. I just don’t get this building…Is it a calling card or is it a research facility? Because if they had spent half of what they did on the exterior this might actually have turned out half decent. Its all skin and no content – shame really, especially since this is supposed to be a world-class facility researching brain health. Instead its promoting brain injuries.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Common haters,
    Its Vegas baby……Besides theres a fricken pyramid built next to it.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I love how the main area behind the curved outer wall is just one big empty space,and pretty much unuseable for anything else other than “breakout space” (architect bull for leftover space. Not getting your $’s worth there

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I agree. I love all types of architecture and this is fantastic. The space inside the Life Activity Center is fun and outer worldly. I would love to experience it during a major event. Too bad there are no pics with an event or party on.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Gehry seems to have real trouble dealing with openings. Their either morphed and distorted, or heavily framed and oddly sized.

    Having said that the better photos do lend the project a sense of dynamicism. It’s still boxy spaces with a ribbon around them, however.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I we use it as an electronic night-club, will be better.
    We wont need pills, hehehe

    Come on Frank, stop drawing and start thinking.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    for me…this building is soberer edition of gehry collections…comparing to his beekman tower, i m totalli out!At least [without considering the building is a centre for brain health], the building is cheerful and look happy..!

    the building is happy!

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    gehry landed at his perfect location. Vegas is where he really belongs.

    not sure if he was aware of such an amazing impact he made in Bilbao while he was sketching the guggenheim.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It just bothers me that the wavy facade has almost nothing to do with the program and that the two are two entirely separate entities visually.

    But i do agree that the spectacle contributes to the vegas aesthetic.

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I can see why this piece of theatre is in Vegas. Yes, it does seem unrelated to the interior, but as the main portion Function Centre is to raise money for the medical Centre, I can see it working. People expect extremes here. It is Architectural theatre simply drawing in people to the box office. More people who are hooked in the better. Clearly something as extreme as this will have an audience as expected in Vegas, and I am sure the Client and Architect have done their sums and calculated the payoff. It is a kind of Salvadore Dali sculpture . I think there might have been room for a melting something somewhere inside with the more everyday fixtures to complete the window dressing.
    I feel sure it is Gehry’s intention to have the melting, or if you prefer collapsing facade, to symbolize the state of mind of the sufferers this project is aiming to study and research. I feel this has been achieved. So although initially I was dismayed, on further reflection I have a respect. Especially if it is a Box Office success!

  15. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Common haters on this blog! Hyper critical architects are so annoying sometimes. I live in Vegas and everyone here welcomes star architects to build here. Modernist aesthetics are so boring! It’s nice to have an architect that knows how to have fun and express himself. I’m no architect but from a regular Joe on the street, I think this is great and exciting.

  16. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    this is one of the finest acts of sarcasm in history of architecture. i’m even enjoying this horrible project.

    gehry’s horrid architecture + brain health + las vegas = LMFAO

  17. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I agree with Joe. Designs like this make architecture relevant to people who don’t know about architecture. Modernism is lame, boring, and old fashion. The wavy facade is amazing, futuristic, and inspiring.! Go frank!

Share your thoughts