Las Vegas architecture

“If people want it, Las Vegas will deliver it.”

—99% Invisible, episode 302

There’s often a stigma surrounding Las Vegas architecture, but why? This 113-year-old city is a fascinating microcosm of America, and its ever-changing design landscape reflects decades of trends. Las Vegas, argues Stefan Al, an architect, urban designer, UPENN professor, and the author of The Strip: Las Vegas and The Architecture of the American Dream, has become a global pioneer in design.

Decades earlier, Denise Scott Brown, Hon. FAIA, and Robert Venturi, FAIA, had already fallen in love with the place, which led to the publication of the seminal Learning from Las Vegas, a book that continues to be taught in architecture history and theory classes and has influenced generations of architects.

In a 2013 interview with ARCHITECT Magazine, Denise said this about the inspiration for the book: “We are all very cognizant of architect-designed places. And then there’s Las Vegas. Everyone’s flocking there. So I said, why aren’t we looking at it?”

Although Las Vegas has tens of millions of visitors each year, Bloomberg reports that visitors are gambling less and experiencing more. Architecture is responding accordingly—and that’s yet another reason to take a second look.

Here are 16 reasons, both off and on the Strip, to fall in love with Las Vegas architecture. Don’t see your favorite? Post it to our Facebook page!

16 Reasons to fall in love with Las Vegas architecture

ARIA Resort & Casino
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Chanel boutique, Bellagio Hotel & Casino
Peter Marino, FAIA

Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
Frank Gehry, FAIA

Crystals Retail & Entertainment District
Studio Daniel Libeskind and Rockwell Group

Greenspun Hall, UNLV
Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Harmon Hotel
Foster + Partners

Hoover Dam
Gordon B. Kaufman

Guardian Angel Cathedral
Paul Revere Williams, FAIA

La Concha Motel shell at the Neon Museum
Paul Revere Williams, FAIA

Las Vegas Library & Lied Discovery Museum
Antoine Predock, FAIA

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas
Kohn Pedersen Fox

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort Visitor’s Center

The Park

The Smith Center for Performing Arts, Las Vegas
David M. Schwarz Architects

Vdara Hotel & Spa
RV Architecture

Veer Towers
Murphy/Jahn Architects

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