The Guggenheim Las Vegas and the Guggenheim Hermitage, at The Venetian Hotel-Casino of Las Vegas, opened in 2001 and closed in 2003 and 2008, respectively. The first one, a ‘large box’ of 6,000 square meters, with a stately central staircase in a lime-green tone, walls of 18 x 36 meters and a huge crane that made any assembly possible, was conceived as a big container for temporary shows (it opened with ‘The Art of the Motorcycle,’ designed by Frank Gehry). Referencing Las Vegas’s kitsch style, the skylight unfurled a print canopy with a facsimile of the Sixtine Chapel frescoes.
Adjacent to the gallery that connects the hotel lobby with the casino, the second space, of 700 square meters and known as the ‘the jewel box,’ was a hermetic cor-ten steel box, whose oxidized surfaces evoked the velvet that used to cover the the gallery walls, and whose sober character contrasted with the overwhelming decoration of the Venetian. The gallery included rotating walls, allowing curators to change size and proportion of the four intermediary spaces within seconds, and was devised to house exhibitions based on the collections of the two large museums: the Guggenheim and the Hermitage.
The Venetian Resort Hotel and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Principals: Rem Koolhaas, Joshua Prince-Ramus (partner in charge)
Project Architect: Christian Bandi. Team: Lotte Adolf, Bina Bhattacharya, Alexandra Bub, Brandon Cook, Mark Frohn, Christian Kronaus, Peter Müller, Sebastian Reusch, Natasha Sandmeir, Sibylle Wältly, Mark Watanabe, Victoria Willocks. Associate Architect: Stubbins Associates. Consultants: Martin & Martin / Martin & Peltyn / Arup / MSA Engineering / Syska & Hennessy / Rolf Jensen Associates. Contractor: Taylor International
D. Heald/S. R. Guggenheim Foundation; VIEW; Lara Swimmer/Esto; Michael Moran