Friday, March 26, 2010
I took a tour of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health the other day in advance of a feature about the project. The media has largely ignored the actual science and medicine that the project represents, obsessing instead over the seemingly blasphemous notion that Frank Gehry designed something for Vegas. My piece, I'm hoping, will put those parts into balance.
But, since this is a blog and so many of you are design-obsessed, I thought I'd share a little. Above is the not-yet-done events room under the swoopy Gehry dome that looks like this from the outside:
The project is just west of downtown, across from the World Market Center and up the street from the outlet mall. Even as we walked around it, there were people on traffic islands taking photos. Quite a draw.
The events center will be home to symposiums, meetings, concerts, fundraisers, that sort of thing. They'll rent it out -- it's got a full kitchen and, of course, the liquor support of founder Larry Ruvo's Southern Wine & Spirits -- to help fund the research and patient care operation.
Lest you're worried that addled brain-disease patients will be confused by such a busy design -- and I've had one editor so far who was convinced that was an issue -- here's what the place looks like from the parking lot.
See? It's just a four-story building. Patients come in, they're greeted by volunteers who take them to the second floor where they are taken directly into patient suites. They've cut out the waiting room because they don't want early-stage Alzheimer's patients to be freaked out and horrified by the often unruly behavior and physique of late-stage patients. Kinda brilliant, really.
Anyhow, the inside of the building is also Gehry's design. I thought these lamp fixtures, for instance, fit really well into the overall inside-the-head concept going on around here.
I'll be working on this one next week. Will post when it's published. I believe the events center will be opened in a month or two.