The CityCenter is an urban complex situated on the Las Vegas Strip in the US state of Nevada. The complex, built on 67 acres, is the largest privately financed development in the US. Situated between the Monte Carlo resorts and the Bellagio, the CityCenter complex is a mixed-use development.
The $8.5bn complex is built on the former site of the Boardwalk Hotel and Casino, the parking space of the Bellagio and other commercial structures. The complex consists of the ARIA Resort and Casino, Vdara Hotel and Spa, the Harmon Hotel and Spa, the Mandarin Oriental, Veer Towers and the Crystals. Construction of the complex started in June 2006. It opened to the public in December 2009.
The project is executed by a joint venture consisting MGM Mirage and Dubai World subsidiary Infinity World Development. Gensler was the executive architect for the design process. The project will create about 12,000 jobs.
Plans for CityCenter were started in 2004. A masterplan for the complex was developed by Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut and Kuhn Architects.
Design and facilities
MGM Mirage appointed seven architects to design each element of the complex. Several consultants and 45 interior designers worked on the 20-month design phase of the complex.
The ARIA resort and casino was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The 61-storey tower offers gaming, spas, restaurants and bars, and shopping and leisure facilities. The resort has 4,004 rooms and features the Viva Elvis music programme, 300,000ft² of convention and meeting areas and 150,000ft² of casino space.
RV Architecture designed the Vdara hotel and spa. The Vdara is located between the ARIA tower and the Bellagio casinos. The 57-storey hotel was designed as a crescent-shaped building. It has 1,495 suites designed with open floors and horizontal windows which offer expansive views of the city and mountains. The Vdara has facilities such as a two-level wellness spa spread over 18,000ft², a fitness complex, a salon, bar, sky pool and lounge, conference and meeting facilities, and valet parking.
The Veer Towers were designed by architect Helmut Jahn of Chicago. Each tower has 335 condominium residences and is close to the retail and entertainment district, Crystals. The Veer Tower’s interiors were designed by Dianna Wong Architecture & Interior Design. The residences feature a fitness centre, recreation rooms, private media rooms and business centres.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is establishing new residential assets on a 24-acre former apartment complex. The site, originally bought for $86 million, is part of an expansion plan costing $1.2 billion.
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates designed the Mandarin Oriental. The 47-story hotel building is located at the entrance of the CityCenter. The Mandarin Oriental has 392 hotel rooms and 225 condominium residences. The non-smoking and non-gaming hotel and residences have features such as spas, accommodation, dining outlets and a sky lobby on the 23rd floor.
The ARIA, Vdara, Veer Towers, Crystals and the Mandarin Oriental achieved LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council for sustainable design and construction in November 2009.
Foster & Partners designed the Harmon hotel and spa. The 25-storey building with 400 rooms will be a non-gaming boutique hotel. The building was originally planned to be 49 storeys but was reduced due to building defects. The building is designed as an elliptical layout with a reflective exterior facade.
Construction on Harmon Tower was suspended at 26th floor in 2008 after defects were found in the built structure. Misplacement or missing of reinforcement bars was found, which could cause the building to collapse. The court case regarding the demolition of the building will begin trail in 2013.
The modern design of the CityCenter incorporates $40m of public art collections. CityCenter has hidden parking structures with a garage containing about 6,900 spaces. The complex also has its own on-site power plant, Clark County fire station and a lot of public walking space. The complex is connected by a tram system with 26 custom-built vehicles. The system connects Crystals with the Bellagio to the north and Monte Carlo to the south. The trams operate on compressed natural gas and thus reduce emissions.
The CityCenter incorporates green technology and is the largest sustainable development in the world. About 85% of the old Boardwalk hotel’s construction materials were recycled and reused. Around 50% of the wood used for ARIA and Crystals was certified by Forest Stewardship Council. The environmental footprint reduction is followed by setting up a waste management plan. The complex also adopts water conservation technology which reduces water consumption by about 39%.
The landscaping of the project is made through native and drought-tolerant plant species. The species are low-water and heat tolerant. Moisture control sensors maintain the water level required for irrigation, saving 60% of water in comparison with traditional landscapes.
Perini Building Company was the lead contractor. Tishman Construction was the construction manager. The architect of record for the CityCenter Casino and Resort and surrounding facilities was HKS. The AOR for Vdara was Leo A Daly while it was Adamson Associates for the Veer, Harmon, Crystals and Mandarin structures.
Tooles Contracting Group was the general contractor for auxiliary structures such as the fire station and car garage at the CityCenter. Tishman Construction was the construction manager and the AOR was Winston Henderson Associates.
Siemens was the contractor for the 8.5MW central power plant which supplies energy for the entire complex. The value of the contract for design and building the plant was $100m. The tram runs on cable liner technology supplied by DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car.