How Do You Out-Vegas Las Vegas?

April 1, 2016 / Kurt Amundsen

Las Vegas, the city of bright lights and the entertainment capital of the world, can be a challenging place to stand out. With many of its iconic buildings modeled after global landmarks, we knew we wanted T-Mobile arena to be something for Las Vegas, of Las Vegas.

We pulled our design inspiration from all aspects of the city, not just the strip, to really capture the spirit of Las Vegas as a whole. Sitting off the strip, the arena is connected to neighborhoods and the mountains to bridge experientially and visually. It is inspired from the desert and canyons, but with the flash and glamour of the strip.

The new T-Mobile Arena is the largest the city has ever seen, combining many first-of-their-kind features to create an authentic diamond in the desert. Materials were locally sourced, helping to authenticate the exterior design modeled after the Spring Mountains and desert terrain. The activity of the strip and its evolving light and energy also inspired a 9,000 square foot LED video mesh overlay that covers the glass facade.

We knew we wanted T-Mobile arena to be something for Las Vegas, of Las Vegas.

All the components came together in a perfect storm, allowing the arena to function as a nexus of the strip and desert. Sitting just off the strip, the location presents a great opportunity to entice strip-goers from Las Vegas Blvd. while not taking anyone too far out of their way. The park development also offers glimpses of the action and activity.

To be a truly Las Vegas entertainment venue, we knew the arena needed to include a club or two. High rollers can relax knowing there will be plenty of opportunities for bottle service and premium spaces. A first for arena design, two tower clubs offer event floor-view balconies and sit near the top of the bowl. Connecting the two tower clubs is the Hyde Lounge, an area giving visitors a view of the event floor on one side, and a scenic view out of the glass facade on the other. The goal here was to capture the “see and be seen” aspects of exclusive Las Vegas clubs and make it available for anyone to experience.

Carrying this theme past the interior, the arena has an expansive elevated outdoor stage facing the plaza. Building the exterior space out further, there is also a 1,000 person balcony and layers of exterior spaces with views of the strip, enabling those inside the arena walls to soak up outdoor events as well. This outdoor space is a huge development, carrying the functionality of the design beyond the bowl and furthering the cool factor of the arena.

Everywhere in Las Vegas, you find recreations of famous cities: Paris, Venice, and New York City, just to name a few, but nothing grand and authentic to the city itself. With T-Mobile Arena, we took the energy and excitement of the Las Vegas experience and anchored it to the landscape and made it truly of Las Vegas.

Meet the author

Kurt Amundsen

Senior Architect, Senior Principal / Kansas City

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