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Old February 14th, 2006, 06:54 AM   #1
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Lou Ruvo Alzheimer's Institute - Gehry's Design

Architect Gehry unveils design for Las Vegas medical center
13 February 2006

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Architect Frank Gehry presented his design for a new Alzheimer's research center in Las Vegas over the weekend, unveiling an uneven stack of blocks anchoring a swooping trellis made of Gehry's signature contorted steel.

The latest work from the celebrated architect will house the Lou Ruvo Alzheimer's Institute, a proposed center for the research and treatment of neurological disorders funded by Las Vegas liquor distributor Larry Ruvo.

Backers are hoping the building also will become the city's first architectural icon not to feature slot machines.

"I know (tourists) are going to come down to downtown Las Vegas to take a look at this phenomenon," said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

The building will sit in a corner of a 61-acre (24-hectare) site in downtown Las Vegas, the epicenter of the mayor's efforts to create a cultural hub in a city struggling to establish its highbrow credentials.

As he unveiled his model for the 55,000-square-foot (5,110-square-meter) facility, Gehry called the design a "mouse that roars," in part because the five-story building will likely be dwarfed by planned high-rise developments on the downtown site and a boxy nearby furniture market -- not to mention the Las Vegas Strip, five miles (eight kilometers) south.

Gehry said he didn't consider the glitz of the Strip when creating the design and he didn't intend the building to be a riff on the complexity of the human brain that will be studied within its walls. Some have suggested the more ordered geometric medical office and research building that anchors the design represents the right side of the brain, while the chaotic steel and glass canopy enclosing a banquet hall is the left.

Instead, the 76-year-old architect said he envisioned Italian Renaissance painters' renderings of a mother's arms cradling a child.

"It's always about the fold," he said. "That is the metaphor. It's a comforting image."

Gehry decided on steel for canopy instead of the titanium used in one of his best known creations, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Gehry also designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles and many other buildings all over the world.

Ruvo, senior managing director for Miami-based Southern Wine and Spirits, named the project after his father, who died of Alzheimer's disease. He's compiled a well-funded group of supporters and honorary board members, including first lady Laura Bush, former first ladies Barbara Bush and Nancy Reagan and California's first lady Maria Shriver.

The price tag for the construction is currently $60 million (euro50.1 million), said Lynette Boggs McDonald, president of the Keep Memory Alive, the foundation raising money for the institute. Boggs McDonald said about $30 million (euro25 million) had already been raised and the foundation hopes to finance a portion of the project with tax-free economic development revenue bonds.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 01:05 AM   #2
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any renderind or pix on this project>>???
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