Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

Well, construction is on going at the Fontainebleau site, even though they have yet to really announce anything.

site plan shows some of the features of the new casino, including a zen garden - no doubt Schaeffer's contribution as he is into that stuff pretty heavily.

This project will be one to watch, no doubt.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,


Read archived comments (23 so far)
May 6, 2007 10:54 AM Posted by doc_al

Nice! This is the project that interests me, the others seem unlikely to bring much new to the table. It's really a minor thing, but it'll be interesting to see how that valet entrance works out -- seems too close to the intersection, particularly for westbound traffic.

May 6, 2007 5:09 PM Posted by Chris

The street on the North side doesn't currently exist and looking at this plan, it doesn't seem to extend all the way to Paradise Road. My guess is the entire "street" is likely just a two-way private driveway with a U-turn at the end.

This driveway, coupled with the angle of the elevator core and the location of the 2nd valet and the Zen garden, to me suggests a tower that will be perpendicular to the Strip, similar to Encore.

May 6, 2007 5:30 PM Posted by John

Chris, if you look at the site plan a little more closely, you can see the outline of the tower. It looks like it will be quite similar to the angled horseshoe design that has been used in the Palazzo's tower (minus, of course, the rear wing of Palazzo's tower). It looks as though that rear valet you mentioned will be just that, a South Valet. It seems like they have borrowed a very "Wynn" idea of having a second valet area, similar to the North Valet at Bellagio, the North Valet at Mirage, and the South Valet at WLV.

May 7, 2007 12:40 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Let's all just hope that Joel [Bergman/Walls] doesn't end up speciftying another one of his famous, overused, outdated + so 1980's 24-carat GOLD reflective glazing on the Fontainebleau tower! Schaeffer is really holding back on releasing any renderings for the tower. Bergman/Walls' TRUMP Tower is absolutely HIDEOUS, despite its sales success, + to think we will soon we be blessed with yet another twin of this architectural abortion! The complete absense of terraces, balconies or even operable wiindows for a condo tower in our climate is just plain bad design - or rather - a cheap way to cut costs by building a "hermetically sealed" residential tower in order to maximize on per sq. ft. return. However, I digress, there is NOTHING either unique nor spectacular in the Fontainebleau site plan, orientation of the tower, traffic flow + vehicular access that warrants any special mention or distinction.

May 7, 2007 3:55 PM Posted by Dave

Anybody have the plans for level 2? It seems that there's going to be a lot going on up there, including the theater entrance. Seems more vertical than usual, with the escalators in the middle of the casino at several points.

I was thinking this might be a little more reminiscent of the Miami Beach Fontainebleau, with its sweeping cabanas. It looks like this is coming right out to the sidewalk without offering too much to the passer-by, unless those retail/dining areas have doors on the Strip (it doesn't appear so). They're really turning their back on Riviera Boulevard, with what looks like emergency exits from the back of the house being just about the only thing there.

I'd be interested in seeing the entire set of renderings for these, because it could go one of two ways: either its going to be very cramped, or its going to a well-planned counterpoint to the traditional sprawl of massive casino floors. I'd really want to see the project in its entirety before passing even preliminary judgement.

And as far as Leonard's point about the gold glass, I'll say this: so far we have white (and off-white), green, gold, and brown hotel towers on the Strip. We don't have anything that's blue glass (though the Rio is halfway there), and that could work, making the place look different, if nothing else, and keying on the water idea.

Then again, we don't have anything purple or orange, either, and while I'd be happy to see those just of the sake of variety, I'm guessing most other people won't.

All in all, Iit would be interesting to see something that adapts the design and spirit of Lapidus's iconic Miami Beach hotel to the Las Vegas Strip of 2010, if that's possible.

May 7, 2007 5:18 PM Posted by Mark D

Here's a picture of a sample of the facade glass that is on display on the southwest corner of the Font site. Hard to tell what color it is, sort of a cool charcoal color.

Odd they would have the glass on display but not release renderings.

May 7, 2007 6:08 PM Posted by John

Leonard, there was a crop of a rendering that the webmaster over VTAT posted on SSC, that showed a large number of balconies in the center section of the hotel tower. I can't find the link to the rendering, and I apologize, but I do remember seeing it.

May 7, 2007 7:25 PM Posted by detroit1051

When South Florida really opens up gaming (my guess is by 2010), the Miami Beach Fontainebleau will be all set to capitalize on the synergy between the Las Vegas and Miami Beach properties. I've got to drive to Miami tomorrow, so I'll check on the progress. I stayed at the Fontainebleau with my parents in the 1950's...God, that's a long time ago.
"Fontainebleau Miami Beach is being recreated by Las Vegas-based Fontainebleau
Resorts, Inc. The company is led by Chairman Jeffrey Soffer, who also serves as chief executive
officer of Turnberry, Ltd., one of the country�s leading creators of luxury condominium and
condominium-hotel developments, and President and Chief Financial Officer Glenn Schaeffer,
former chief executive of Mandalay Resort Group."

May 7, 2007 8:03 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Dave: The late Morris Lapidus designed the original Fontainebeleau, Miami way back in 1954, if you can imagine that. Athough it was highly criticized + ridiculed at the time, Lapidus is single-handedly responsible for creating the future design for literally ALL future contemporary resort hotel architecture, including (not just limited to Miami but Las Vegas as well) + was clearly an inspiration for my father's own 1950-1960's Las Vegas projects. Turnberry Assoc. is restoring + updating the original Lapidus Fontainebleu tower as well as building new associated condominium towers as well. I cannot think of a SINGLE major resort hotel, based on the origial exterior design, that can hold its own 52 years later other than Lapidus' Fontainebleu Miami!

May 7, 2007 8:52 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Dave: One other point, there have been MANY high rise towers here in Las Vegas (currently under construction or already built) that at least spec BLUE reflective + non-reflective glazing, outside of Marnell's outdated Rio. They include, but are not limited to, the as-built multi-phase Panorama Towers, use of partial blue glazing on both Palms Place + the Fantasy Tower, Allure (Tower I), Sky Las Vegas, + Turnberry Towers (not to be confused withy Turnberry Place). BLUE is the new GOLD, and any architect that hasn't figured this out by now, should have their architectural license permanently revoked!

May 7, 2007 9:51 PM Posted by mike_ch

Leonard: "I cannot think of a SINGLE major resort hotel, based on the origial exterior design, that can hold its own 52 years later other than Lapidus' Fontainebleu Miami!"

Del Coronado CA is almost 120 years old and other coastal hotels are still ripping off it's design.

May 8, 2007 1:10 PM Posted by detroit1051

Mark D, I did stop at Fontainebleau Miami Beach today. All of the windows in the original hotel have been replaced and are installed in the new hotel tower as well as the suite tower. The glass is very similar to your photo, but it may be slightly lighter in color. It's hard to tell. The property won't be finished until 2008, but it will be magnificent with huge ocean frontage. It fell on hard times when Hilton managed it. It's going to be world-class again.

June 10, 2007 10:38 AM Posted by detroit1051

I am excited about the Fontainebleau and hope that Glenn Schaeffer can do it right. Here's an update from the 6/10/07 LV Sun.

June 10, 2007 8:13 PM Posted by Brian Fey

This sounds like a really exciting project, but having seen some of the basic plans, it just does not look life changing. I realize interior design can make or break a hotel, so I guess i'll just have to wait until I see the finished product before I can make a fair judgement.

June 19, 2007 2:44 PM Posted by phil

i am coming to miami in july will the construction effect my stay in the bleau

June 20, 2007 6:43 AM Posted by detroit1051

Phil, you'll be in a construction zone. The tower that's open is fine, but the entire property won't be completed for another year. I didn't see the beach when I was there last month, but I'm sure it will be pleasant for guests.

July 11, 2007 7:08 PM Posted by detroit1051

This article is in disagreement with Leonard's comments on May 7th in this thread regarding balconies in Las Vegas:

"Increasingly, luxury properties such as CityCenter's Veer Towers, twin 37-story buildings designed by Chicago architect Jahn, are dropping the balcony to add value to the interior space of a condo or apartment.
"We've made more use of the balcony space in the closet and bathroom, which is more meaningful to the home buyer and gives the exterior face of the building a polished, unobstructed look," Dennis said.
He pointed out that the project's developer, MGM Mirage, chose not to put balconies on any of the four high-rise buildings expected to house some 2,049 condominium units when CityCenter opens in November 2009.
"Balconies aren't part of the Strip aesthetic or traditional Las Vegas design, which plans for strong Santa Ana winds," Dennis explained.",1,7319644.story?coll=chi-newslocalnearwest-hed

July 12, 2007 5:29 AM Posted by Jason Robar

I think I'm missing something, but doesn't the article somewhat agree with Leonard?

"We've made more use of the balcony space in the closet and bathroom, which is more meaningful to the home buyer and gives the exterior face of the building a polished, unobstructed look," Dennis said.

matches Leonard's

"The complete absense of terraces, balconies or even operable wiindows for a condo tower
in our climate is just plain bad design - or rather - a cheap way to cut costs by building
a "hermetically sealed" residential tower in order to maximize on per sq. ft. return. "

pretty well, with a different interpretation on why balconies are not included.

The difference seems to come from the part about balconies not being a part of the Strip asthetic and not a consideration because of the Santa Ana winds. (Not knowing that much about residential Las Vegas, are balconies less common than most major cities?)

July 12, 2007 1:45 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Jason Robar: (detroit; you are absolutely wrong it's all about cost). The climate here in Las Vegas, with the exception of the hot summer months, literally dictates that residential condo towers incorporate either recessed terraces (which are partially enclosed + can therefore take advantage of the HVAC system which services the unit itself, extended balconies or at a MINIMUM operable windows. CityCenter is a unique "urban experience" based on its density + would be considered atypical. ALL of the condo towers, designated solely for residential occupancy here offer at least one of these three design features (visit VT+T and see for yourself). The ONLY exception is TRUMP which, IMO was a very big mistake. If anyone can name ANY residential high rise tower in L.V. (outside of C.C.), that either is going to be built, any that are currently under construction, or already completed that DOESN'T incorporate the "hermetically sealed" environment that TRUMP has, please let me know. Whether it be the original Turberry Place/Turnberry Towers or Panorama Towers, etc., all of which have terraces/balconies or operable windows. Take a look at Panorama's design (all phases), you will see that even the smallest of units that they offer have at least operable windows. TRUMP Tower(s) are an absolute architectural abortion + as P.T. Barnum allegedly said: "There's a sucker born every minute". I really can't blame Trump for building + selling out this reflective gold piece of crap, a 64 floor monolith, it certainly paid off since the inclusion of terraces, operable windows or exterior balconies would have most certainly boosted the construction cost significantly. Trump is so CHEAP that he actually PERSONALLY negotiates maximum not-to-exceed contracts with individual subcontractors on his projects, which normally is the responsibilty of the GC. And, to add insult to injury, all of us here in Las Vegas will soon be treated to a yet a second clone of this design disaster (sorry Joel).

mike_ch: I totally agree 100% with your 'evaluation' of the late Morris Lapidus' 1954 design of the original Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami. Even his later, subsequent designs for projects like Eden Roc pale in comparision! At the time when Fontainebleau was constructed, it was criticized as being overly "modernistic" + unsightly since nothing even resembling the Fontainelbleu had ever been built in Florida before. Turberry are doing a great job at updating + restoring the property while still keeping much of Lapidus' concept like the fake stairway, etc. It's too bad that Lapidus' contribution by completely changing the paradigm for resort architectural design wasn't fully appreciated until he was in his early nineties. If there were ever a reason to "clone", albeit an updated design for a 21st century resort hotel named after the Fontainebleau, it would be be Morris Lapidus' masterpiece of 53 years ago. Unfortunatley Bergman/Walls' design will be yet another pile of relective curtain wall crap with no connection to the character of the original resorts history + root's. So much for owning a name!

July 20, 2007 10:31 AM Posted by Mike P.

Vegastodayandtomorrow has some higher quality renders up:

July 23, 2007 7:57 PM Posted by detroit1051

Fontainebleau construction is moving right along, much to the disappointment of some Turnberry Place residents. The two photos accompanying the LV Sun story show the convention center going up

February 21, 2009 11:08 PM Posted by Raul

The Fountainbleau Tower in Las Vegas is nowhere near completion but in nonetheless a hideous monolith on the North side of the strip. I predict this project will fail badly. Almost 4,000 rooms in the far North Strip in an immense overbearing building with no appeal--a recipe for disaster. I visit Vegas often and I am angered every time I see this eyesore.

November 23, 2009 4:57 PM Posted by mino

I really want to another floor plan. This semester, I study casino. I think this one is main issue in the world. Somebody know how to get another plan? Please tell me...