When I saw the Word a Week Challenge for this week with the word METALLIC, I remembered something that caught my eye this past January.
I was driving from the Las Vegas Strip on I-15 to a school in Clark County, Nevada, one morning when the sun glinted off a building near the World Market Center. Of course, I didn’t get a good look at it, but I thought it resembled the undulating curves of a Gehry building.
After work that day, I returned and exited onto Bonneville Avenue. There it was. It had to be a Gehry! Sure enough, I walked around and discovered the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
The unmistakeable shiny metal forms swerving, curving, caressing whatever lay inside were indicative of the architecture of Frank Gehry, designer of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; and the Experience Music Project in Seattle — all with that characteristic metallic motion and form.
Later, I read an article from the Los Angeles Times by Christopher Hawthorne dated May 19, 2010 (Click here) who added this information. Gehry had become friends with Lou Ruvo, a Vegas liquor distributor, whose father had struggled with Alzheimer’s. Ruvo wanted Gehry to design a neurological research center for the treatment of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Gehry agreed but only if the center would also include research/treatment for Huntington’s disease since Gehry’s longtime friend and analyst, Milton Wexler, had seen his own wife and three sisters-in-law suffer with Huntington’s.
And so it is that this $100 million center came to be — with its seemingly movable walls and bending metal layers that reflect the Nevada sun artfully. Although I could not go in, I was able to snap these pictures. And I also noticed a sculpture in the rear enclosed area that bears Gehry’s name. Perhaps it was a gift of the architect. Does anyone know?
I’d love to return on a sunny day so as to capture that same metal gleam that caught my eye the morning I drove to work. But for now, I just smile knowing I’ve checked off seeing another Gehry!
A Word a Week Challenge: http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/a-word-a-week-challenge-metallic/
Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
888 W. Bonneville Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89106