The undulating walls and movement of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health are a vast departure from other health physicalities. Designed by renowned architect, Frank Gehry, he feels the center represents hope.
The Center treats patients with Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease, among others. Started in 2009 the Center came about as a partnership between Las Vegas philanthropist Larry Ruvo and the Cleveland Clinic. Ruvo’s mission is to raise awareness and funding to combat brain disease.
In 2006 Ruvo enlisted the help of Gehry to design the new building with the desire that his eminent status would help to advance their cause. For Gehry, this project had personal meaning as a close friend’s wife and family have Huntington’s disease. The Center was chosen as the cover image for a 2014 exhibition in Paris from the works of Gehry’s 50-year career.
It features 199 unique windows, 18,000 unique shingles, and a kitchen designed by Wolfgang Puck. About 65,000 hours of engineering and over 3 years were required to complete the project. The Center was designed in Los Angeles, engineered in Germany, fabricated in China, and built in Las Vegas.
A high degree of precision was required in the assembly. The latticed trellis pieces had to fit within 1/16 inch of each other. If they didn’t 544 pieces of steel would have been disassembled then reassembled.
The undulating surface acts to diffuse sunlight. A grid was overlaid on the structure and barcodes were attached to each piece to aid in the construction. While the pieces were put together, the engineering team in Germany monitored and tracked the progress for precision.
Gehry’s unique style is causing an effect. Visitors are intrigued by the unusual building and ask questions. They are educated on the Center’s mission and get information on how to address and prevent brain disease.
This unique partnership is the best kind, using an uncommon and sought after style to promote a beneficial cause. Hopefully, more such partnerships can be formed.