Metal made the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health located in Las Vegas one of the most remarkable metal construction projects in recent history, draped and wrapped with a “mountainous metal-clad skin, faced in shingled panels and punctured with a grid of windows,” states Architect Magazine. The amazing building was designed by none other than Frank Gehry, who has truly “reinvented the art of metal cladding.” Now 92, Gehry has work spanning decades, perhaps most known for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.

For the Lou Ruvo Center, Architect Magazine explains, “The composite 60,000-square-foot complex is basically composed of two radically different buildings joined by a partially clad steel trellis shading an outdoor patio. Guests and patients park in front of the clinic, with its clifflike façade of angled glass-and-stucco cubes that steps back at each story. A breezeway through the base of the clinic leads to its entrance and out to the courtyard and the activity center beyond.”

Gehry usually wraps buildings in a skin, but here he separates the wrapper from the understructure to create a freestanding structure that envelops a vaulting, cathedral-like space with swooping lines and deeply coffered windows. Having separated the wrapper from the main clinic structure, Gehry ties them together with a trellis, but the web of steel is awkward. The side elevations reveal that the clinic remains a closed form that resists the wrapper. Neither invades the other.

According to clinic founder, Lou Ruvo, he said, “We wanted a statement that would show we were serious about curing a disease.” Selecting Gehry for the design, the venue accomplished the organization’s two main goals:

  • Preserving memory: With both administrative offices and medical research and clinical operations, Keep Memory Alive and its medical partner, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, provide a full-service approach towards preserving memory.
  • Creating memories: Housed under an undulating stainless steel canopy, illuminated by natural light from 199 windows, our event space or Life Activity Center is available for rental—a truly unique space in which to host a wedding, bar mitzvah, business meeting, and create memories for your friends, family, and colleagues.

Dezeen Magazine reports, “While Gehry’s design incites varied reactions from observers, the one consistent response is a desire to come inside its walls and learn more. In this respect, the building is an unwavering marketing tool, driving awareness to the work conducted by those inside. His design of Keep Memory Alive’s headquarters at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health has been nothing short of remarkable. The Gehry teams have created a masterpiece of architectural design, blending strong visual impact with superior efficiency in patient care.”

For a look at Gehry’s top work, check out this list by SLEEK.


To learn more about working with metal cladding, specifying, how to work with designers, and more — learn from industry experts at METALCON 2021! This year’s show will feature The Architect’s Experience, a “show within a show” where you can see, touch, and discuss the latest advances in metal, and the IMP Pavilion, a rare opportunity to see six major brands that produce 85% to 90% of all IMP’S (insulated metal panels) shipped in the US and Canada, all in one location. REGISTER by August 27 for early bird pricing to join us October 6-8 in Tampa, Florida.

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