City Center Las Vegas: 6 LEED Gold certifications

CityCenter Crystals Veer Aria and Harmon

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.

City Center

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.

CityCenter commenced in 2004 as a blank canvas 67 acres in size, imagined by a diverse group of people with the energy, foresight and talent to create the most ambitious and visionary development ever conceived in one of the world’s most dynamic cities.

It began with a master plan developed by New York’s Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut and Kuhn Architects (EEK) for a high-density destination with interesting places and experiences, smooth public circulation and regard for its surroundings.

To realize this plan, MGM MIRAGE executives traveled the world and met with numerous architects to review their work and understand their approach. When the search concluded, MGM MIRAGE had assembled a dream team of the world’s foremost architects and two of the country’s foremost builders, Perini Building Company and Tishman Construction, to begin the ambitious 20-month design phase.

CityCenter overall view at night

Gensler, the world’s largest architectural firm, was chosen to lead the design process, managing seven world-class architects, 45 interior designers and hundreds of consultants to take CityCenter from merely an idea, to a reality.

Soaring to 61 stories, ARIA Resort & Casino was designed by the New Haven, Connecticut firm of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Pelli Clarke Pelli has created four of the world’s largest private developments: World Financial Center, New York; Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Malaysia; Canary Wharf, London; International Finance Center, Hong Kong.

ARIA will set a new global standard for gaming and leisure. The sophisticated, contemporary design will be demonstrably different from any building that has preceded it, contributing to the breathtaking Las Vegas skyline and providing a rich variety of experiences at the street level. The 4,004-room resort will deliver the unprecedented dining, entertainment, shopping and spa experiences for which MGM MIRAGE is renowned. It will feature an extraordinary new Cirque du Soleil production celebrating the legacy of Elvis Presley and approximately 300,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Solidifying CityCenter’s commitment to sustainability, ARIA is one of the first Las Vegas hotels to achieve LEED® Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. ARIA is currently the largest hotel in the world with Gold LEED status.

For Vdara Hotel & Spa, MGM MIRAGE felt RV Architecture, LLC, led by principal Rafael Viñoly, was ideally suited to design a building that would complement the nearby resort casino properties. Viñoly also designed the Cleveland Museum of Art, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Carrasco International Airport in Montevideo, Uruguay.


In creating this soaring 57-story hotel deep within CityCenter, RV Architecture used a disciplined design approach to remarkable effect. Vdara’s distinctive crescent shape and unique skin of patterned glass will create one of the most provocative design statements in Las Vegas. Vdara also has achieved LEED® Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Vdara is an internationally inspired all-suite hotel and spa designed for those who love the excitement of Las Vegas but prefer to enjoy it in an exclusive, non-gaming, smoke-free and sustainable environment.

Located between two of the world’s finest casinos, Bellagio and ARIA, Vdara’s approximately 1,495 suites will feature open floor plans and horizontal windows delivering expansive views of the city and mountains. Acclaimed designers BBG-BBGM will create stylish, contemporary environments infused with comfort. At Vdara, guests will enjoy amenities commensurate with the world’s most elite resorts. Vdara Health & Beauty, its 18,000-square-foot, two-level wellness spa, salon and fitness complex, will soothe and rejuvenate its guests with treatments focusing on holistic health that use quality ingredients derived from herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables and essential oils. Martin Heierling, the internationally acclaimed innovator behind Bellagio’s AAA Four Diamond restaurant Sensi, will serve as executive chef for all of Vdara’s food and beverage offerings. Silk Road, a modern trans-ethnic restaurant, will transform as the day evolves, from fresh and vibrant at daybreak to hip and sexy at nightfall. Bar Vdara, an eclectic lobby lounge, will be a setting inspired by nature that works as well for a morning espresso as it does for a late-night cocktail. Vdara’s luxurious Sky Pool & Lounge will feature fully appointed retreat and spa cabanas with semi-secluded plunge pools, and a high-energy bar and lounge open day and evening. Additional amenities will include 24-hour concierge service, state-of-the-art conference and meeting facilities for groups of 10 to 400, in-suite dining, housekeeping and valet parking.

For Veer Towers, Chicago-based architect Helmut Jahn was a natural choice – an artist whose buildings were certain to look unlike any other. Jahn’s signature projects include the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels, Munich’s Kempinski Hotel and Sony Center Berlin.

Veer Towers

Helmut Jahn’s design for the two residential high rises known as Veer Towers will be a masterful translation of energy and excitement into physical form; its two 37-story glass towers will shimmer day and night. With approximately 335 modern condominium residences in each tower, Veer will soar above the city and put residents close to Crystals, CityCenter’s retail and entertainment district. Inclined at five-degree angles – a feature celebrated by the development’s name – the towers will seem to dance with each other. Lobbies and public spaces will be developed by notable designer Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido* to showcase impressive works of glass and metal with plenty of natural light. In the residences, the renowned team of Dianna Wong Architecture & Interior Design, Inc. will create modern spaces that impart a sense of openness. Atop each striking tower, residents will enjoy an amenities floor featuring an unequaled view of Las Vegas complemented by an infinity edge pool, cabanas, hot tubs, a sun deck and a patio for outdoor entertaining. Within, Veer will feature recreation rooms for special events or casual celebrations, private media rooms with panoramic windows, a fitness center with men’s and women’s steam rooms, and business centers. Upscale dining, lavish shopping and electric nightlife – with entertainment as only Las Vegas can offer – will be only steps away.

CityCenter Aria and Crystals at night

For the design of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, MGM MIRAGE turned to Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. The New York-based firm is recognized for the excellence and innovation of its buildings in cities around the world.

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas will be a sophisticated sanctuary of modern elegance prominently located at the entrance of CityCenter. The 47-story, non-gaming and non-smoking hotel and residences will deliver fine dining, a relaxing spa, spectacular accommodations and the personalized service of the world-renowned hotel group to Las Vegas. Situated on the 23rd floor will be the city’s first Sky Lobby offering an unparalleled check-in experience. Featuring expansive views of Las Vegas, the Sky Lobby will boast multiple food and beverage offerings including Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, the first US restaurant of the world-renowned chef; an intimate Tea Lounge; and the boutique Mandarin Bar. Located on the 3rd floor will be 12,000 square feet of advanced meeting space with spectacular Strip views, as well as MOzen Bistro, serving fresh preparations of world-class cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Amore Patisserie, located directly on Las Vegas Blvd., will be a gourmet bakery serving pastries, sandwiches, coffee and teas. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas will be a 27,000-square-foot oasis for serenity and rejuvenation inspired by the glamour and fusion of 1930s Shanghai. Additional amenities will include stunning elevated pools and accompanying cabanas; a top-of-the-line fitness and wellness center and a distinguished salon. Public spaces were designed interior designer Adam D. Tihany; residential interiors were crafted with meticulous care by the distinguished design and architecture firms of Kay Lang & Associates and Page & Steele Interior Architects. Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas will set a new standard of style with stunning suites, amenities and architectural design.

CityCenter view from Strip looking south

New York’s Studio Daniel Libeskind is the exterior architect of Crystals, a faceted-roof retail and entertainment district at the heart of CityCenter. Crystals will be an international gathering place and premier shopping and dining destination combining art, design and experience. Libeskind became a household name in 2003 when he won the World Trade Center competition and was named master plan architect for the site. Other celebrated works include the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building.

For Crystals’ interior architecture, New York’s Rockwell Group will introduce a series of striking environments designed to invite and engage, intrigue and relax. Noted for designs of cultural, hospitality and retail projects, Rockwell’s celebrated work includes the Elinor Bunin Film Center at Lincoln Center, the Kodak Theatre, sets for Broadway’s Hairspray and the W New York. The CityCenter Tram will connect Crystals to Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts.

Crystals also has received LEED® Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the world’s largest retail district to receive this level of recognition.

Sustainable highlights

CityCenter pocket park wtih Henry Moore sculpture

· First energy-generation on The Strip through its 8.5 megawatt natural-gas co-generation plant, providing efficient electricity on site, reducing emissions and using “waste heat” to provide domestic hot water

· World’s first fleet of stretch limos powered by clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG)

· Water conservation technology and programs that will save between 30% and 43% of water within the buildings and 60% in outdoor landscaping, for an overall savings of approximately 50 million gallons annually

· Energy-efficiency initiatives providing a savings equivalent to powering 8,800 households annually

· Development of slot machine bases that serve as floor air-conditioning units, efficiently cooling guests from the ground up, rather than wasting energy on empty space by cooling from the ceiling

· Creation of a large-scale recycling operation that enabled the recycling or reuse of more than 260,000 tons of construction waste, more than 80% of the imploded Boardwalk Hotel

About this author
Cite: David Basulto. "City Center Las Vegas: 6 LEED Gold certifications" 25 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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