Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh has recently invested $350 million dollars of his own money into downtown Las Vegas, where the new Zappos’ headquarters will soon call its home. Working in the vein of companies like Google and Apple, Hsieh and the head developer of the new campus, Zach Ware, have worked together on making a workspace environment in which creativity – and, consequently, inconvenience – is built into the design itself:
“‘Our goal is not to create an office space that you take photos of and you say ‘Wow, that’s beautiful,” says Ware. ‘We’re incredibly function-oriented.’ Zappos’ core focus is on company culture and the relationships between employees. To enhance that, as odd as it sounds, parts of the office are deliberately inconvenient.”
Read Max Nisen’s article on Zappos’ “inconvenient,” new headquarters after the break…
In an age where almost every conceivable subject has spawned its own reality series – be it Dancing On Ice or Hillbilly-Hand-Fishing - PBS’s new show, Cool Spaces!, aims to stimulate the public’s curiosity by engaging us in the story behind some of North America’s most interesting public buildings. The AIA sponsored show, which is hosted by Boston-based architect Stephen Chung, departs from usual architecture-related television shows, which tend to focus on makeovers of private homes. Not only will this show look at public buildings, but it will also examine the people whose lives it has affected, the places that have shaped it, and the mind of the architect who brought all of these things together to design it.
Read more about the series and see a sneak preview after the break…
It began with the relocation of the Zappos Headquarters, now owned by Amazon, from its offices in Henderson, Nevada, to the former city hall in downtown Las Vegas: an idea to transform the struggling part of downtown Las Vegas into a vibrant community with economic opportunities for young professionals along with an incentive for a variety of companies to build their foundations providing jobs and income for the city. Despite America’s association with the Las Vegas strip, the downtown has a metro area dominated by unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy. Zappos CEO Tony Hseih saw this area, filled with vacant lots, liquor stores and motels, as an opportunity to develop something new and enriched that could foster an economy, bring young professionals and inspire natural growth of community and industry. Hseih’s Downtown Project aims to develop a community by listening to what people want and need from their physical environment, that is also dense, diverse and inspires economic growth.
Join us after the break for more.
assemblageSTUDIO recently won the AIA Nevada unbuilt Award for their project, Qlab. A communal atmosphere of open collaboration and interaction has replaced the typical open cubicle office to create a new generation, which has energized downtown Las Vegas. The desire to be all consumed and surrounded by likeminded organizations with a rekindled attitude towards downtown. This spirit is captured in the project by combining a café, lounge, residential and open bay modular office spaces. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Chosen for its outstanding construction management techniques and environmental sensitivity, the North Las Vegas City Hall and Civic Plaza was recently named 2012 Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). Designed by Fentress Architects, the project was completed $17 million under budget in 2011 and as a result of a downtown revitalization effort, North Las Vegas’ new City Hall successfully consolidates the city’s departments into a one-stop-shop offering convenience, efficiency and ease of navigation for both city staff and residents. More architects’ description after the break.
USA Today has put together a list of city neighborhoods which are satiated with activity, areas which offer a “great slice of urban life.” These districts trend from the urban vicinity to its very core, each in itself exemplifying the revitalization of the American city. The list includes regions which have been influenced by deliberate urban revitalization projects, such as High Line Park in Chelsea; while other neighborhoods have experienced an influx of a younger populace which has contributed to its growth, such as Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh.
See the 10 Up and Coming Urban Neighborhoods after the break.
Architect: Line and Space, LLC
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Completion Date: 2011
Project Area: 52, 700SqFt
Client: US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management
Contractor: Straub Construction
Structural Engineer: Holben, Martin, and White Consulting Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: GLHN Architects and Engineers
Exhibit/Interpretive Consultant: Hilferty and Associates
Photography: Robert Reck, Henry Tom
At the peak of the modern era, a meshing of car culture and the Space Age brought about the gaudy and garnished Googie architecture. The signatures Googie style lie in sweeping arches and hard angles, cantilevered roofs and bold colors, and, its most relative homage to the Space Age, the starburst. The first of the Googie style, and its namesake, was a coffee shop designed by architect John Lautner by the name of “Googies”. With its place on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles the new style caught the eye of many passersby who began to associate the style with the glamour of Hollywood. The spread of this movement from Southern California went most notably north and south along the shore to become a symbol of west coast futurism.
Northern S.T.A.R.S. Safety Village, designed by assemblageSTUDIO, is a place where children learn real life strategies for dealing with emergencies while developing a positive attitude towards safety. The Northern S.T.A.R.S. Safety Village will combine traditional classroom education methods with unique interactive experiences in a realistic child-sized townscape. The overall design of the facility will also educate people on how to live in this desert region. With multiple sustainable systems people will learn how to live sustainably in the desert. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architects: Rockwell Group
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Founder and CEO: David Rockwell
Principals: Edmond Bakos, Tucker Viemeister
Studio Leader: Gregory Stanford
Project Managers: Robert Vertes
Interior Designers: Penelope Fisher-White, Lauren Farquhar and Emily Morley
Staff: Ray Chuang, Harold Gainer Jodel Narcisse, Nancy Thiel and Rahm Erez
Project area: 10,000 sq. ft.
Photographs: James Medcraft
Las Vegas is our destination for the Architecture City Guide series this week. Some of the most famous hotels and casinos grace the streets of Las Vegas, we’ve included those and much more. We want to hear from you, so take a minute to add your favorite can’t miss buildings in Las Vegas in our comment section below.
The Architecture City Guide: Las Vegas list and corresponding map after the break!
Murphy Jahn approached the Veer Towers design with the intention of exhibiting urban responsibility, paying particular attention to the building’s performance in terms of function and systems. The larger challenge was to make the project an integral part of Las Vegas but also to give its buildings and spaces a unique and strong identity. Following the break are photographs and description about this 2010 LEED Gold Certified building.
Architects: Murphy Jahn
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Lead Designers: Helmut Jahn & Francisco Gonzalez Pulido
Associate Architect: AAI Architects Inc
Structural Engineer: Halcrow Yolles
MEP: Flack + Kurtz Inc.
Client: MGM Mirage Design Group
Project Area: 841,844 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographer: Rainer Viertlboeck
A few weeks ago we introduced you one of the latest built projects by Frank Gehry, 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.
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:
Frank Gehry’s latest project, a $100 million clinic for brain health in Las Vegas, has just opened this past week. For years, many felt Gehry’s signature style would be a perfect match for Vegas’ decked out architecture, yet the starchitect has continually declined offers. However, this request to design a research facilitiy was quite different; Gehry agreed to design the center only if Huntington was added to the list of diseases the new center would study and treat (Gehry’s good friend saw several loved one suffer from the illness).
The building is definitely an aesthetic throwback, as it shares the recurring elements of previous designs. At times, Gehry’s reliance on his ‘typical’ design moves can make his projects “lose their freshness;” and yet, typical of Gehry, he continues to find ways to justify them.
With over 16,797,000 square feet (1,560,500 m2), the recently opened City Center Las Vegas has become one of the largest LEED certified projects in the world. The project included some of the world’s largest firms: Pelli Clarke Pelli, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Helmut Jahn, RV Architecture LLC led by Rafael Viñoly, Foster + Partners, Studio Daniel Libeskind, David Rockwell and Rockwell Group, and Gensler.
Inside the complex we find several towers, with hotels, casino and residences, from which the Mandarin Oriental, ARIA Resort’s hotel tower, ARIA’s convention center and theater, Vdara Hotel & Spa, Crystals and Veer towers have received LEED Gold certification.
More photos and information about each building after the break.
A few weeks ago I went to Las Vegas, and was surprised by the amount of on-going projects in the middle of the crisis. One of those projects was The Harmon Hotel, Spa & Residences at the CityCenter’s gateway to the Las Vegas Strip designed by Foster and Partners, a project that “will push the boundaries of the hospitality industry to new limits with a design strategy that combines a sleek, modern exterior with a highly luxurious interior” according to the architects.
And we just saw the news that the project got “cut”, but in a literal way. It wasn´t because of the economical crisis, but actually due to construction flaws: 15 floors of wrongly installed rebar. This forced the developer to cut down the height -removing the condos portion of the building- resulting on a 28 stories tall building, instead of 49 as planned.
But what´s funny is how the project was -at least on the exterior look, because engineers must been working extra hours redoing shafts, elevators, etc- just scaled down.
Seen at: Adaptation or Disaster? – LV Sun