Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gambling-Free Vdara Hotel and Spa Opens in Las Vegas

You've probably heard a lot about CityCenter in Las Vegas opening recently.  One of the signature properties is the Vdara Hotel and Spa.  Interestingly, it follows something that appears to be a growing trend in Las Vegas -- hotels that are as oasis away from gambling.

Check out the press release after the photographs by Brad Feinknopf:


NEW YORK, NY – RV Architecture LLC, under the leadership of Rafael Viñoly FAIA, announces the completion and the December 1 opening of Vdara Hotel & Spa in CityCenter, an extraordinary urban resort destination that will refine and redefine Las Vegas.

The 1.6 million-square-foot, 57-story Vdara is distinguished by its slender profile and curvature, which respond to Harmon Circle and the interlocking arcs of ARIA Resort & Casino located across the shared circular drive.

Three parallel, offset arcs rising to varying heights comprise the crescent-shaped skyscraper.  The volumes are distinguished by the colors of their striped surfaces, and are further articulated by deep recesses between them.  The horizontally-striped curtain wall frames the vistas of Las Vegas and the expansive desert landscape beyond.  Alternating bands of reflective vision glass and light-diffusing, acid-etched spandrel glass in black and white are set off on different planes to achieve a unique shimmering texture on the façade.  Modern, light, and devoid of graphics or ornaments, Vdara presents a distinctive contrast to the themed buildings of the Las Vegas Strip.

A curved pool deck located over Harmon Circle shelters a generous porte-cochere and main lobby.  The lobby’s focal point is Bar Vdara, a lounge and bar with covered outdoor seating that segues into Silk Road restaurant.  Other amenities include the two-level Vdara Health & Beauty - a full-service wellness spa, salon and fitness center.  Sky Pool & Lounge, the south-facing pool deck which enjoys long hours of sunlight exposure, offers private spa cabanas and semi-secluded plunge pools.  The program also includes a conference center with meeting rooms, a sub-divisible 4,000 square-foot ballroom, a boardroom, and a pre-function/registration area – serviced by Vdara’s kitchen.

Vdara’s 1,495 suites are wide and shallow when compared to most hotel rooms and residential apartments, maximizing views and daylight penetration.  An additional benefit of the staggered three-arc floor plan is the creation of six corner rooms compared to four in a more conventional building.

In keeping with the sustainable focus of the overall CityCenter development, Vdara Hotel & Spa was designed to meet and has achieved LEED Gold certification.  Sustainable features include the use of ecologically friendly construction materials (local and low-VOC) and the use of light-colored surfaces on the pool deck and roof, which reduces the urban heat island effect.  Additionally, construction materials were carefully managed to minimize waste.  Because of the project’s Mojave Desert location, measures to reduce water consumption were used, which include low-flow plumbing fixtures and water-efficient, native landscaping.


The 67-acre CityCenter is located on the Las Vegas Strip and Interstate 15, and is bordered by two other MGM properties: Bellagio to the north and Monte Carlo to the south.  Seeking to build a new resort and lifestyle destination, MGM MIRAGE, with a master plan created by Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, decided to forgo the typical theme-based resort, instead choosing contemporary architecture and high-density, mixed-use urbanism as the unifying characteristic of the development. Accordingly, it sought internationally renowned architects, each to design one of the six buildings that comprise the overall plan.  Rafael Viñoly was approached by MGM MIRAGE to design Vdara, and after an RFP submission, the commission was awarded to Viñoly and staff from Rafael Viñoly Architects PC, working under the name RV Architecture, LLC.

In addition to Vdara, the final scheme includes ARIA, the resort & casino by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; Crystals, a retail, dining and entertainment district by Studio Daniel Libeskind;  Veer Towers twinned residential towers, by Helmut Jahn;  Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, a hotel and residences by Kohn Pedersen Fox;  and The Harmon Hotel, designed by Foster + Partners.

CityCenter is a joint venture between MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM) and Infinity World Development Corp, a subsidiary of Dubai World.

About Rafael Viñoly Architects

Founded in New York in 1983, Rafael Viñoly Architects has offices in London, Los Angeles and the United Arab Emirates. Internationally known for architectural projects around the globe, the firm has designed many landmark cultural and civic complexes as well as institutional buildings and master plans. Over the past quarter century, the practice has continually demonstrated its ability to reinvent institutional typologies and integrate the public realm into civic buildings.

The unusually diverse work the firm has completed includes award-winning courthouses, museums, performing arts centers, convention centers, athletic facilities, banks, hotels, laboratories, hospitals, recreational venues, residential commissions, and commercial, industrial and educational facilities. Projects range in scale from laboratory casework to urban design and master planning. The firm has also completed several projects involving the restoration and expansion of large-scale buildings of significant historical and architectural value.

The firm’s staff of over 150 design professionals, including architects, structural engineers, interior designers, computer visualization specialists, model makers, artists, and fabricators, has the capacity, structure, and experience to assume complex projects of any scale.

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