frank gehry: the cleveland clinic lou ruvo center for brain health
may 28, 2010
frank gehry: the cleveland clinic lou ruvo center for brain health


the cleveland clinic lou ruvo center for brain health by frank gehry
AP photo / isaac brekken

the cleveland clinic lou ruvo center for brain health, designed by architect frank gehry
officially opened last friday. the building which consists of the architects signature steel forms
is a leading research centre for degenerative brain diseases.

after years of  refusing to design a building in las vegas,  gehry agreed to design the cleveland
clinic lou ruvo center after forming a bond with founder larry ruvo, a las vegas liquor distributor
who was compelled to start a neurological research facility after watching his father, lou, struggle
with alzheimer’s.

gehry has his own personal interest in research on brain disorders. his longtime friend and analyst,
the late milton wexler, saw a wife and three sisters-in-law succumb to huntington’s disease.
at wexler’s request, the architect joined the board of the hereditary disease foundation more than
30 years ago.

gehry told ruvo he’d design the building only if ruvo added huntington’s to the list of diseases
the new center would treat and study. the complex further expanded its offerings when the cleveland
clinic, the multidisciplinary healthcare research and treatment center in ohio, reached an agreement
with the ruvo center to operate the las vegas facility.


photo © etslee

the 100 million USD complex comprises two wings connected by an open
courtyard:
a dedicated research center, located at the northern end of
the building, and a ‘for-hire’
event space, dubbed the life activity
center, located at the southern end. the four storey
clinic to the
north, which holds medical offices, patient rooms and  the research
space,
is relatively straightforward consisting of  a collection of
stacked boxes in white stucco and glass.
the office wing, is not a pure
geometric shape but a jumbled, unsettled collection of boxy forms,
stepping back as it rises and tracing a subtle arc along the
streetfront.


photo © etslee


photo © etslee


photo © etslee


the road leading to the cleveland clinic lou ruvo center for brain health
photo © etslee


photo © etslee


the structure dividing the two wings
photo © etslee


the four-storey clinic
photo ©
etslee


the entrance
photo © etslee


the life activity center
photo © etslee

the life activity center is a soaring sculptural volume tucked beneath a signature gehry stainless
steel roof. designed as an event space, it can be rented out for parties, weddings and special
occasions with the proceeds going to fund the center’s research.


architect frank gehry stands in front of the cleveland clinic lou ruvo center for brain health
AP photo / isaac brekken

at the opening, the cleveland clinic announced its intentions to expand
its focus and its presence
in las vegas beyond the ruvo center, perhaps
adding cardiology services next with the future
promise of growing a
full service hospital there.

for more images of gehry’s lou ruvo center for brain health see etslee’s flickr photostream.

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