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Review on Lou Ruvo’s Center for Brain Health Building

The architectural disaster of Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

By Christina MitchellWhen Lou Ruvo’s father died from Alzheimer’s disease, this fueled him to want to open a clinical attraction serving as an awareness for the crippling stages of this disease. He had wanted a great building that would attract people to the clinic. Architect Frank Gehry, who also designed the Disney Concert hall in Los Angeles, is known to tie the structure of the building to its purpose. Gehry, who has claimed in interviews that there was “no symbolism represented,” had carefully designed and built the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health around the patients, helping limit the patients in different stages of illness to certain areas. From Architect magazine, Ruvo pointed out the psychological connection of patients with Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease and why he wanted Gehry to design and build this structure.

There have been two very distinct comparisons to the building structure itself. The first is the melting cake comparison. Some observers thought that the building represented Nevada’s scorching heat. The building itself representing the hot weather in Las Vegas. Others see it as a metaphor for diseases of the brain, like the collapsing cerebellum in the stages of Alzheimer’s. Compared to the highlights of the strip, the crumbling and distorted building is still an architectural genius with or without symbolism. It is another attraction for people to be amazed at, just as the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty serves their purpose. I love this representation of the building and the purpose of the clinic. Those that believe it is a mockery of people with medical issues believe it scares patients with their illness. I believe the illness itself for those that have it are far more scared of the disease than the building’s structure.

In comparison to many buildings, there will always be criticism. Just as there was with architect Alexander Gustave Eiffel. Critic Charles Gounod wrote in the paper how monstrous the Eiffel Tower was on Paris. Once the tower was finished, the criticism burnt itself out, and the presence of the completed masterpiece was greeted with its success. This is a perfect example of what I think will happen to the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. I believe many years from now, the criticism will die out, and this masterpiece will still be standing, waiting to be greeted with its success. Perhaps this is an example of a genius piece of work that is far more advanced for its time to be appreciated.

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