Populous, formerly known as HOK Sport, has been named architect-of-record for an eagerly anticipated new arena on the Las Vegas Strip. The 30-year-old Kansas City-based architectural firm, specializing in sports facilities and convention centers, has completed over 2,000 projects worldwide, including Coors Field in Denver, Houston’s Reliant Stadium, and United Center in Chicago.
MGM Resorts International and AEG are jointly developing a $350-million, 20,000-seat indoor events venue between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts. It will anchor a $100 million under construction open-air entertainment promenade that links the two Strip properties between Las Vegas Boulevard to Frank Sinatra Drive. The promenade will open in the spring of 2016.
Meanwhile, arena project costs are being underwritten with equity contributions from each partner as well as third-party private financing. The facility will have expansive glass and a LED video overlay, with sweeping balconies, an outdoor performance stage and a 145-ft-tall elliptical façade. The undulating exterior will provide solid shade on the south and west facades, while evoking the color and sedimentary layering of the surrounding mountains. The skin extends to ground level to conceal and cover the ground level VIP drop offs.
A light-weight perforated aluminum screen serves as an outdoor protective shell from the entry path to the arena, providing shade and wind protection while serving as an architectural transition. Screen frame openings allow west views to the neighboring Spring Mountains.
“The design ensures we will create a truly striking entertainment venue representing the color, drama and excitement the city,” said lead arena designer Brad Clark in a statement. “The arena will be an authentic extension of the Strip’s high energy.”
The project is being designed to LEED Gold standards as outlined by the U.S. Green Building Council. Construction will begin next summer and finish in spring 2016. ICON Venue Group is the project manager.