In a town full of themed buildings, faux pyramids and rollercoasters, refined modern architecture is hard to come by. The new CityCenter, which opened this past summer, diverges from the standard Las Vegas fare with some more sophisticated buildings that make significant green strides. Six of the CityCenter buildings have been awarded LEED Gold certification, including the Veer Towers residential development, designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy Jahn. Fortunately, Jahn's residential towers aren't burning guests like the Death Ray building located directly behind, otherwise known as the Aria.
One reporter has appropriately described the twin condominium buildings as leaning “across one another like a pair of drunken revelers.” Others may see the 37-story glass towers as a welcome departure from the city’s flashing neon lights, but they still retain a bit of Las Vegas flair due to their glittering facades. Jahn describes the concept for the eco towers, saying “We wanted to do real architecture, which tips its hat towards this entertainment culture. No ‘theming’ but architecture based on urban responsibility, functional efficiency, simple and elegant form, technical refinement and environmental responsibility.”
The towers, which have already been awarded LEED Gold certification, include retail space on the lower floors and 335 condominiums per tower on the upper floors. Yellow checkerboard sunscreens shade the buildings on the east, south and western facades, limiting solar gain and providing privacy for residents. About 50% of the glass used in the project’s facade is color frit-coated vision glass, which further reduces solar gain.
The entire development at CityCenter generates its own power with a natural gas cogeneration plant and reduces energy use through energy-efficient appliances, lighting, mechanical and HVAC systems, and a high-tech energy monitoring system. A development-wide recycling program along with water-efficient strategies, environmentally-friendly materials and construction management helped the development achieve LEED Gold.
Images © Rainer Viertlboeck/Murphy Jahn