Crystals at City Center | Studio Libeskind

Crystals at City Center

As the retail heart of the MGM MIRAGE CityCenter project, The Shops at Crystals is a 500,000-square-foot retail and entertainment space that serves as the connective tissue of the otherwise vertical “city within a city.”

Crystalline stainless steel-clad volumes house the flagship retailers along The Strip while the spiraling roof structure animates the public arcade internally. Visible in a 180 degree-sweep from along the legendary Strip, the structure is a work of architecture read from many different angles. The dramatic form and skylights of its spiraling roof soar over luxury retail and dining and accommodate a public space that features a water feature at the entry and grand staircase leading to the adjoining Casino.

Photography by © Scott Frances

The dramatic design was achieved by way of environmentally conscious practices and materials. In 2009, the complex achieved LEED® Gold Core & Shell certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), making it the world’s largest retail district to receive this level of recognition.

Crystals’ sustainable highlights include: radiant floor cooling that uses less energy for air conditioning by chilling the air specifically in occupied areas rather than cooling the entire space; sourcing wood products that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified; highly efficient water fixtures that will save an estimated 1.8 million gallons of water; skylights that allow for abundant natural light to illuminate the space and reducing the need for electric lighting; and guests arriving with alternative fuel vehicles will have access to preferred parking.

Photography by © Alexander Garvin

“Libeskind managed to make this 500,000-square-foot space feel like it’s not really a shopping mall at all. It’s open and flowing, with high ceilings, sloping walls and an abundance of desert sunlight filtered through crystal-shaped skylights.”—Alaistar Gordon, Wall Street Journal Magazine (June 2010)

Photography by © Scott Frances

“Jagged, crystalline shapes are characteristic of Libeskind… here they inject the normally dreary precinct of a shopping mall with a shot of adrenaline; they also provide some unexpectedly grand spaces, which accommodate interiors designed by David Rockwell.”—Paul Goldberger, New Yorker (October 2010).

Photography by © Scott Frances

Project Info
Architects: Studio Libeskind
Location: Nevada, USA
Year: 2009
Building Size: 500,000 sq.ft
Type: Retail
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