I had the honor of meeting Frank Gehry and Larry Ruvo at the Las Vegas World Market Center this week. Two extraordinary men with exceptional talent. Ruvo approached Frank Gehry to design the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas, also known as the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health that is operated by the Cleveland Clinic.
Ruvo wanted Gehry to design a building for an Alzheimer’s research center on 61 acres, across from the World Market Center. Gehry agreed if Ruvo would stretch the research mandate to include Huntington’s disease, which Gehry has long championed. With Gehry signed on, Ruvo who had lost his father, Lou, to Alzheimer’s, tried to enlist a research institution that would occupy and run the building. “I believe that with a great building, people will come.” Two years after construction started, the Cleveland Clinic signed on.
This 60,000 square-foot complex is composed of two radically different buildings joined by a steel trellis with a clifflike facade of angled glass and cubes with windows. Avant-garde for an expansive healthcare center that features all the amenities of a modern hospital and research facility.
The 100 million dollar project features Gehry’s signature style of modern architecture. Deconstructivism encourages radical freedom of form. The building is draped in a metal-clad skin, and faced in shingled panels with grids of windows. The extensive, large scale four story structure serves as a clinic, research center, and Ruvo’s nonprofit ‘Keep Memory Alive’ foundation headquarters.
Frank Gehry delivered the architectural gravitas that was needed for Larry Ruvo to attract attention to the foundation and the Cleveland Clinic.
“We wanted a statement that would show we were serious about curing a disease and would let the doctors know we were not underfunded. I told Frank that I was going to put his celebrity and talent to use to help cure chronic brain diseases.” – Ruvo
Gehry understood the need. How Extraordinary! How distinctly Gehry!
An informal and sincere discussion between Frank Gehry and Larry Ruvo at the World Market Center in Las Vegas on January 30, 2018.
Frank Gehry accepting the 2018 Design Icon Award at the Las Vegas Winter Market.
The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is a national resource for research, education, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).