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Serving Owners in Strategic Planning and Management of Design, Development and Construction



Evolving technology, sustainability, strict financing requirements,

licensing and regulatory mazes, environmental issues and market globalization - as the rules of business change, project development becomes more complex than ever.

The SMITH ADVISORY GROUP was created to put the essential

qualities of good decision-making at the service of the Client - qualities unique in the industry - qualities targeted to elevate the Client’s effectiveness in all aspects of development.




The success of every development project can be measured by

the following criteria: •








effectiveness. •

On-budget and on-schedule performance. The SMITH ADVISORY GROUP provides advocacy for the Client

at every step of the development process, assuring that these critical criteria are the measure of every aspect of planning, design and construction.

Architects, contractors and construction managers play an

essential role, but their individual expertise is not sufficient to bring about a project’s full potential. It takes the decision-making power of a well-advised Client to unify efforts, integrate solutions and create outstanding results.


The SMITH ADVISORY GROUP is founded on the belief that

in today’s high-stakes business environment, the ability to plan effectively, to tackle complexity with foresight and to respond promptly to unexpected complications is critical to the success of every project. Clients of all types - corporate, private, governmental, institutional or financial - need experienced representation, qualified resources, and expert advice to guide them successfully through the planning, design and construction of development projects.

The SMITH ADVISORY GROUP offers unparalleled insight,

expertise, and resources targeted to fully enhance the Client’s role, and ensures that the Client’s interests are woven into every project decision. The result is project development that meets the Client’s needs at every level.





The SMITH ADVISORY GROUP is affiliated with a wide range

of ancillary professional resources in areas associated with design and development such as project feasibility, design, scheduling, cost controls and operations. The selected input of these professional resources leads to higher project quality, better decision-making, and enhanced operational efficiency.


There is simply no substitute for experience. Even if design is in

progress or construction has started, the SMITH ADVISORY GROUP can enter the process at any point of the development process to analyze emerging obstacles and provide advice.

The problem-solving services of the SMITH ADVISORY GROUP

support the Client’s role in creating effective solutions to seemingly insurmountable project obstacles - solutions that consider cost, schedule and quality.


The SMITH ADVISORY GROUP offers a full range of project

development strategies. We work with Clients to create a package of services tailored specifically to the Project’s - and the Client’s - individual requirements. For an experienced Client with in-house qualified staff, a few hours of targeted advice may be all that is necessary - and we will tell you so. Some Clients might require a full SMITH ADVISORY GROUP project team to oversee every aspect of the project through completion. Others will want to access only a selected type of services. In every instance, all Clients will receive the SMITH ADVISORY GROUP’s total attention to quality.



Bill Smith is President of SMITH ADVISORY GROUP an advisory firm

created to provide Clients with strategic planning and management of design, development and construction for all types of projects worldwide. SMITH ADVISORY GROUP provides development management services including master planning, feasibility, design, construction, cost management, scheduling, occupancy and project closeout.

Bill formerly served as President and Chief Operating Officer of MGM

MIRAGE Design Group responsible for managing the design and construction of CityCenter, a $9 billion mixed-use project located in Las Vegas, Nevada. CityCenter is an 18 million s.f. facility and includes a 4,004-room hotel, a 1,832-seat showroom, two luxury 400-room hotels, a major retail facility, 2,647 residential units, and parking for 16,800 cars. CityCenter was designed and developed in 60 months and opened to the public in December 2009.

Bill joined MGM MIRAGE Design Group in 1995 as Vice President responsible for the design and

construction of Beau Rivage, a $735 million hotel/casino project located in Biloxi, Mississippi. Beau Rivage includes a 1,740-room hotel, 11 restaurants and bars, luxury retail, a 1,550-seat showroom and parking for 3,200 cars. Bill also managed the design and construction of the Spa Tower, a $435 million 928-room tower expansion to the Bellagio Hotel/Casino.

Prior to joining MGM MIRAGE Design Group, Bill served as a Partner with Rouse & Associates, responsible

for the design and construction of Liberty Place, an $810 million mixed-use project in downtown Philadelphia. The project included two 60-story office buildings (Two Liberty served as the world headquarters for CIGNA Insurance), a luxury 290-room Ritz Carlton Hotel, a major retail center, and a 5-level underground parking facility.

Bill participated in two CityCenter case studies released by the Harvard Business School and served as

a guest speaker at the Harvard Business School Workshop - Leading Complex Capital Projects. Bill’s new book “Creating CityCenter” was released by W.W. Norton & Company in December 2013.

Bill is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture

and is a Registered Architect and Member of the American Institute of Architects.





In view of the corporate identity, project function, operating requirements and site limitations, how much of what I want can I accomplish?

Can I clearly identify the Project Objectives and constraints?

Can I fix the budget and schedule and remain within them?

What are the various approaches to accomplishing this project? Which is best?

Can I translate a project strategy into a comprehensive development schedule?

Which architect is best suited for this project?

Can I clearly communicate the Project Objectives to the architect?

Can I assess design, maintain the architect’s schedule, and remain within the budget?

Can I convert the project strategy into clear and manageable contract documents?

Who are the most qualified and responsive contractors for bidding?

Can I ensure that the contractor has committed to a complete scope, a reasonable price and a full understanding of the project prior to selection?

How do I integrate the strict requirements of the lender or financing agency into the design and construction process?

Can I meet the requirements of municipal, state and federal regulatory agencies?

How do I evaluate the detailed aspects of construction in progress?

Can I prepare and implement an effective plan of action if progress falls behind schedule?

How successfully can I resolve disputes during construction without cost and schedule losses?

Can I administer and coordinate the requirements for a successful project opening?

How do I administer project close-out and achieve final completion?

Answers to these questions require foresight, experience and a comprehensive understanding of the

Client’s role in every facet of planning, design and construction. The SMITH ADVISORY GROUP brings a wealth of experience in addressing such critical questions as these - and many others like them.



The resources of SMITH ADVISORY GROUP are available to augment the experience of the Client and

to provide expert advice in all categories of project development. The result is effective Client decision-making at every stage of project development. MARKET FEASIBILITY


1. Market Assessment

1. Project Risk Analysis

2. Feasibility Study

2. Coordinate with Insurance



1. Confirm Site Conditions

1. Tenant Design Management

2. Program Confirmation

2. Retail Tenant Manual

3. Vision Statement/Positioning

3. Tenant Construction Coordination

4. Preliminary Master Plan

4. Coordinate with Retail Leasing



1. Development Budget

1. Residential Design Management

2. Financial Modeling



1. Contractor Procurement

1. Develop Staffing Matrixes

2. Contractor Management

2. Project Master Schedule

3. Subcontractor Procurement

3. Project Delivery Method and Strategy

4. Project Schedules and Updates 5. Schedule Management


6. Cost Estimating

1. Consultant Procurement

7. Permit Coordination

2. Design Management

8. Quality Control Procedures

3. Design Schedule Establishment

9. Quality Control Implementation

4. Entitlement Process Management 5. Design Standards Management

PURCHASING 1. FF&E Purchasing Coordination


2. OS&E Purchasing Coordination

1. Establish Accounting Procedures 2. Select Cost Management System


3. Manage Cost Controls and Reporting

1. Certificate of Occupancy

4. Requisition Review and Approval

2. Design Team Closeout 3. Construction Team Closeout

LEGAL 1. Contract Scope Management 2. Legal Services Coordination





DEVELOPMENT Pre-Development


OPERATIONS Construction


Project Opening





61-story, 4,004-room AAA Five Diamond award-winning resort 300,000-sf convention center 80,000-sf spa 16 extraordinary restaurants and 10 upscale bars, lounges and nightclubs 1,840-seat showroom Largest resort to receive LEED Gold certification from the USGBC




• • • • • •

57-story AAA Four Diamonds award-winning hotel 1,495 modern hotel suites and condo-hotel units 10,000 sf of meeting space 18,000-sf spa, salon and fitness center Casual dining and lounge LEED Gold certification from the USGBC


• • • • • •

Two 37-story residential towers inclined at opposing angles 669 contemporary condominium residences Roof-top infinity-edge pools, hot tubs, sun decks and bars Recreation rooms, private media rooms and fitness centers Private boardrooms and business centers LEED Gold certification from the USGBC




• • •

500,000-sf retail and entertainment district Luxury retailers, gourmet restaurants and fashionable pubs and clubs Largest retail district to receive LEED Gold certification from the USGBC


• • • • •

Mandarin Oriental - Las Vegas, Nevada 55-story tower with 392 hotel rooms 227 branded residences 12,000 sf. convention area 27,000 sf. spa and salon




• • • • •

The $435 million spa tower was completed in 2004 928 rooms and suites 60,000 square feet of meeting and convention space Sensi Restaurant and European Pastry Shop for Jean Philippe Patisserie


• • • • •

Beach front location on the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, Mississippi. The $735 million Beau Rivage facility was completed in 1999 1,740 guest rooms and suites, 11 restaurants, nightclubs and bars 1,550-seat theatre, 12 store upscale shopping promenade Includes Fallen Oak, a world-class golf course designed by Tom Fazio




• • • • • • • •

Landmark that changed the skyline of Philadelphia Nearly an entire city block, the $810 million Liberty Place was completed in 1990 Two 60-story office buildings 290 room Ritz Carlton hotel and luxury retail shopping on two levels 4,500 employees of CIGNA relocated from 14 locations into Two Liberty Place


• • •

The $190 million resort was completed in 1980 22-story, 595 room hotel tower 600 seat theater, six restaurants, health club with pool

Design Update

MGM MIRAGE’s urbane and sustainable “city within a city” redefines Las Vegas

CityCenter is for people who want the Las Vegas they’ve never seen before. Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO, MGM MIRAGE

This is the future of Las Vegas—CityCenter is in an entirely different category. Bobby Baldwin, President and CEO, CityCenter

CityCenter is the best example anywhere of a collaborative design process. Art Gensler, Founder and Chairman, Gensler

12/16/09 CityCenter Grand Opening

REINVENTING LAS VEGAS Once a generation, Las Vegas reinvents itself. In the Rat Pack era, it embraced midcentury modernism. Then, The Mirage and Bellagio remade The Strip as an entertainment resort destination. Early in this new century, MGM MIRAGE envisioned a “city within a city”—a new symbol of Las Vegas that, in the words of CityCenter’s Bobby Baldwin, combines “the vitality of Las Vegas with the experiences tourists seek in great cities around the world.” In 2005, master plan in hand, MGM MIRAGE asked Gensler to join it and make CityCenter a reality. How our team helped reinvent Las Vegas is a case study in design leadership.

Contents The vision


Making it happen


The challenge


Greening CityCenter


Design leadership


The vision realized


Catalyst for ideas


Project and team information


Branding the destination


Gensler Design Update



Gensler Design Update



CityCenter aims to transform Las Vegas as a new symbol at its core. Bobby Baldwin, President and CEO, CityCenter

A CITY WITHIN A CITY THE VISION It took strong design leadership to bring the initial plan and building program to a fully realized vision of an urbane and dynamic place, the heart of a new world city of entertainment.


Bobby Baldwin on CityCenter: “This is one of the few places in the world where we had a completely clean canvas—and the resources for the best of everything possible. There is no such development anywhere in the country. There’s going to be Las Vegas and there’s going to be CityCenter—it’s in an entirely different category: the largest, the highest density, and by far the longest list of amenities. We offer the best entertainment and the best accommodations, with unparalleled access to Las Vegas. It’s only eight minutes from the airport. Unlike other would-be world destinations, CityCenter combines leading-edge design with an overall vision, well-conceived and executed. It will stand the test of time.”



CityCenter gives The Strip an urban core—a new city-scale development that supports a rich, full, 24/7 life. Calibrated to a Manhattan density, CityCenter encourages people to cover longer distances using the three-station PeopleMover and then explore each neighborhood on foot. Of the major projects on The Strip, only CityCenter connects directly to adjacent resorts—Monte Carlo and Bellagio—to create a walkable, accessible urban district. CityCenter is a whole greater than any of its distinctive parts, a world-class destination for leisure and entertainment.







We had a new vision for Las Vegas. Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO, MGM MIRAGE

A CITY WITHIN A CITY THE CHALLENGE MGM MIRAGE is no stranger to large-scale development. The company previously led the design and delivery of The Mirage and Bellagio, two projects that redefined The Strip and made the city’s reputation as an entertainment resort destination. CityCenter is exponentially bigger. The world’s largest LEED-registered development, planned from the outset for a December 2009 opening, CityCenter posed unprecedented challenges for its design leaders, MGM MIRAGE and Gensler.

67 acres

18 mil sq ft

5 years


CityCenter is essentially an urban district, 67 acres (27.1 hectares) or about 12 Manhattan blocks in area. This made compact, high-density development possible. Connecting CityCenter by transit with the adjoining Bellagio and Monte Carlo properties, also owned by MGM MIRAGE, creates an even larger setting that residents, guests, and visitors can experience on foot, without ever having to use cars or cabs to get to their destinations. This is part of what makes CityCenter a true “city within a city.”

In late 2004, MGM MIRAGE committed to opening CityCenter in December 2009—from concept to completion in just five years. Accomplishing this meant leading multiple teams of architects, designers, engineers, specialists, and—with the construction leaders—an army of contractors and subcontractors. The leadership had to be seamless—MGM MIRAGE and Gensler were joined at the hip, with the expertise and resources to guide a development of unprecedented scope and scale to an on-time finish.

Gensler Design Update



CityCenter is a remarkable mix of uses, 18 million square feet—1.67 million square meters—of high-end residential, hospitality, entertainment, shopping, and recreational buildings and settings. These uses are connected not only by a PeopleMover system, but also by underground circulation and infrastructure, minimizing the impact of parking and servicing to ensure a walkable experience. Integrating these individually stunning buildings as a rich, compelling whole was one of the main design challenges.

CityCenter is the single largest development in the world to pursue LEED—six LEED Gold projects in one. MGM MIRAGE is committed to sustainability, so design leadership meant defining the green opportunities and then creating the framework to ensure that every project and every participant worked to accomplish them. The Gensler-led sustainability effort addressed the entire development, from site clearance and methods of construction to design and materials, and the operation of the buildings and settings.

As a Harvard Business School case study notes, CityCenter reflects Jim Murren’s global strategy of reinventing MGM MIRAGE as a real estate–focused company leveraging its development expertise in concert with partner companies, and expanding its brands in Las Vegas and around the world.


I-15 Frank Sinatra Drive


Caesars Palace

Bellagio NY– Monte NY Carlo

Las Vegas Boulevard

The Mirage Treasure Island

CityCenter Residential Sales Pavilion



Planet Hollywood

Paris Bally’s Flamingo


MGM Grand


Roa d

Circus Circus

Wynn Encore

Flamingo Road

Twain Avenue

Koval Lane

Harmon Avenue

McCarran International Airport

Tropicana Avenue


Fashion Show Mall


I-15 Frank Sinatra Drive

Hotel & Spa PeopleMover Resort & Casino

Residences Retail Hotel

Harmon Avenue

r Pla Cen te

Hotel & Residences




CityCenter Residential Sales Pavilion

Monte Carlo Rue de Monte Carlo

Tropicana Avenue

New York–New York

Las Vegas Boulevard 5

Sahara Avenue


East Desert Inn Road

THE hotel

Spring Mountain Road

Mandalay Bay

CityCenter is about world-class architecture forming a complementary whole. Bill Smith, President, MGM MIRAGE Design Group

In 2004, MGM MIRAGE Design Group was given the assignment of assembling the team of leading architects, interior designers, and specialty consultants that would create CityCenter. After traveling around the world, conducting hundreds of interviews, MGM MIRAGE Design Group realized it would need to partner with a global design firm that could seamlessly reinforce and complement its in-house capabilities to orchestrate a project of unprecedented size and complexity, to meet a challenging, fast-track schedule. At 5:00 p.m. on January 3, 2005, MGM MIRAGE asked Gensler to join the CityCenter design leadership team as its partner. At 8:00 a.m. on January 4, Gensler senior design-delivery leaders were on the job. Drawing talent from 12 different offices across its global network, Gensler mobilized a core group of 50 design professionals at MGM MIRAGE’s CityCenter project office. Among them were specialists for such specific assignments as brand strategy, development

Bobby Baldwin President and CEO, CityCenter

Bill Smith President, MGM MIRAGE Design Group

of tracking tools and databases, and LEED guidance and research. Gensler set to work on the most pressing priorities: get the full CityCenter design and implementation team in place; establish an upfront sustainability strategy; infuse the initial master plan for CityCenter with a design vision, brand strategy, and pragmatic rigor; and put methods and systems in place to help simplify this complex project and expedite its completion.

CityCenter design leadership MGM MIRAGE and Gensler formed the CityCenter design leadership team to oversee the architects, designers, engineers, and specialists responsible for the different blocks and their projects. The block structure simplified the task of managing this massive, 18-million-square-foot development.

Delivering CityCenter in just five years required a fullthrottle, fast-track process. To give CityCenter a more manageable scale, the design leadership team redefined CityCenter as three blocks plus common areas—each with distinct programs and uses. This framework made everything that followed simpler, from choosing the project teams to developing building concepts and branding, updating the program, controlling project documentation, providing data to support financial and operational models and analysis, and accelerating procurement to offset spiking materials prices.

Sven Van Assche Vice President, MGM MIRAGE Design Group

Tony Dennis Executive Vice President, CityCenter

Bill McBeath President, ARIA Resort & Casino

Bill Ham Vice President, Facilities

Cindy Ortega SVP, Energy & Environmental Services

J.F. Finn III Project Executive/ CityCenter

Walter Hunt, Jr. Managing Director/ CityCenter

Hunter Clayton Project Director/ CityCenter

Bob Stefko Technical Director/ CityCenter

Nellie Reid Sustainability Director/ CityCenter

Gensler Design Leadership

Art Gensler Chairman and Founder

Andy Cohen Executive Director

Gensler Design Update



Construction Management

Design Leadership Team

Tishman Construction

General Contractor Perini Building Company


Block A

Block B

Block C

Common areas

10,350,000 sf

1,615,000 sf

5,220,000 sf

ARIA Resort & Casino

Vdara Hotel & Spa and Bellagio Employee Garage

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

The Harmon Hotel

Veer Towers

Crystals Retail and Entertainment

Planning/ Infrastructure/ Common Areas

61 stories, 4,004 guestrooms, casino, restaurants, bar/ lounges, Cirque du Soleil theater

57 stories, 1,495 suites, restaurants, bar/lounges, health/beauty spa, pool, conference space, landscaped park, connection to Bellagio Hotel

57 stories, 392 guestrooms, 227 residences, restaurants, bar, tea lounge, bakery cafĂŠ

26 stories, 400 guestrooms and suites, restaurant, bar/ lounge, salon, fitness center

2 towers, 669 residences, adjoining Crystals; towers have rooftop pools

500,000 sf total retail center, with exclusive flagship stores and restaurants

Streetscape, landscape, wayfinding, people mover, branding, sales pavilion

Design Architect

Design Architect

Design Architect

Design Architect

Design Architect

Design Architect

Design Architect

Architect of Record

Architect of Record

Architect of Record

Architect of Record

Architect of Record

Architect of Record

30 Interior Designers + Specialty Consultants

6 Interior Designers + Specialty Consultants

Specialty Consultants

7 Interior Designers + Specialty Consultants

5 Interior Designers + Specialty Consultants

Specialty Consultants

I-15 Frank Sinatra Drive

Block B Block A PeopleMover Casino/Hotel

Block C

Harmon Avenue

r Pla Cen te

Block C




CityCenter Residential Sales Pavilion

Monte Carlo Rue de Monte Carlo

Tropicana Avenue

New York–New York

Las Vegas Boulevard 7

Our first priority at CityCenter was to orchestrate design collaboration. Andy Cohen, Executive Director, Gensler

CATALYST FOR IDEAS Design leadership takes a vision and makes it real. MGM MIRAGE saw the need—the opportunity—to reinvent Las Vegas as a world-class city, with CityCenter as the catalyst. What was envisioned was much bigger than anything the company had done before. A master plan established its initial scope. Design leadership orchestrated the rest. Gensler helped MGM MIRAGE identify leading designers around the world, meet them and see their work, explore the potential for sustainability in every aspect of the new development, and—once a short list of global talent was identified—engage them in a uniquely collaborative, idea-generating introduction to CityCenter.

Gensler led the charrette process including vision briefings, brainstorm sessions, and design discussions, capturing the ideas in play and feeding them back to the design architects and their teams.

Gensler Design Update



Leading designers usually focus on individual signature projects. Only rarely are they called on to work together to create a city. There are famous instances of forced marriages that produced acrimony and mediocrity. To counter this, Gensler’s Andy Cohen proposed a design charrette that would spur collaboration and innovation. Invited teams spent time in Las Vegas understanding the plan and vision for CityCenter. They returned to their home cities, came back a second time to collaborate and learn, left again, and then reconvened to present to the CityCenter design leadership team and each other. The energy and synergy the charrette process generated resulted in a rich and seamless set of overall design ideas for CityCenter that transcended any one building concept.

MGM MIRAGE’s Bobby Baldwin (below right), Bill Smith (below left, on left), and Sven Van Assche (above, with tie), and Gensler’s Art Gensler (top left) and Andy Cohen (left, holding drawing) are shown leading the CityCenter design charrette in Las Vegas. Over seven weeks, the invited design architects alternated between Las Vegas and their own studios in the US and abroad, spending a total of three weeks working with and learning from each other. Besides elaborating the vision, this let the design leadership team finalize selection of design teams for the CityCenter projects. 7-week schedule Week 1

Kick-off, Charrette 1

Las Vegas

Week 2

Elaborating the vision

Home studios*

Week 3

Charrette 2

Las Vegas

Week 4

Elaborating the vision

Home studios*

Week 5

Charrette 3

Las Vegas

Week 6

Elaborating the vision

Home studios*

Week 7

Final presentation

Las Vegas

*: In Asia, Europe, and North America


Gensler’s design of the CityCenter Residential Sales Pavilion settings immerses prospective owners in MGM MIRAGE’s vision of a new Las Vegas and introduces them to each of its world-class offerings. Gensler Design Update



Las Vegas is ripe for a new paradigm. CityCenter provides it. Sven Van Assche, Vice President, MGM MIRAGE Design Group

BRANDING THE DESTINATION Gensler helped MGM MIRAGE capture its vision of CityCenter—so big, bold, and brilliant that it will transform Las Vegas for generations. Part of the challenge, as MGM MIRAGE’s Tony Dennis explains, was to “establish a hierarchy of brands to differentiate CityCenter’s business units and residential properties from each other and from all non-CityCenter offerings” to create a complementary whole. To achieve this, the Gensler brand design team analyzed CityCenter’s market segments and then developed strategic positioning for the residential and retail properties. This included naming many of the buildings and creating the look and feel—words and visual language— to attract prospective owners and support MGM MIRAGE’s multistep sales process.

In just five months, MGM MIRAGE and Gensler developed strategic positioning for CityCenter and the majority of its components, all of the collateral material, scripting of the film that introduces the development, and the planning and design of the sales pavilion settings that would introduce prospective owners to MGM MIRAGE’s vision of Las Vegas as the world’s leading urban entertainment destination. Drawing on its global experience in planning, positioning, and designing high-end mixed-use development in a world city context, Gensler was able to assemble a team of brand strategists, designers, and writers to help MGM MIRAGE create everything needed to bring CityCenter and its unique properties to market.

A series of museum-like galleries, like this one for Vdara, allows people to familiarize themselves with the different CityCenter properties.

The Sales Pavilion’s settings preview the experience of living at each CityCenter property. Shown here is the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas.


DELIVERING THE BRAND The Gensler brand design team extended the CityCenter vision to many of its residential properties and to the “connective tissue” of environmental graphics and signage. Services included naming several of the residential properties and designing their identities; creating collateral to support their marketing and sales; and leading the design of landmarks, directional signage, and other environmental cues to make CityCenter easy to navigate and give each of its areas a distinctive character. Even the PeopleMover’s trackway, as a ribbon of light, contributes to this.

Part of the extension of the CityCenter brand was to name the CityCenter projects, design their identities, and create the collateral material to support their marketing and sales.

Brochures like this one for the Veer Towers express the look and feel of the property in a way that’s immediate and compelling to its audience.

Gensler Design Update


A series of short films present CityCenter and its properties. The overview is an important feature of the Sales Pavilion, to introduce people to an entirely new way of looking at Las Vegas. The individual films can be packaged with a viewer for serious buyers.


The renowned Mandarin Oriental brand was applied to the CityCenter hotel’s collateral materials.

The brand identity for Crystals and other CityCenter properties was applied to everything that supported the sales process, even the bottled water.

Gensler designed the bundled “metal and light” stanchions that are an important part of a program that ranges beyond more conventional directional and

wayfinding signage (bottom) to provide visual landmarks that can hold signage in some instances and become part of the visitor’s experience in others.

Keep Left Through Traffic

Casino Hotel Vdara Casino Hotel Vdara

Service Vehicles Only

Vdara APM Bellagio

Vdara APM Bellagio

Keep Right Vdara Valet / Taxis

Vdara APM Bellagio


The challenge was to meld all these great design concepts into a cohesive whole. J.F. Finn III, Gensler Principal and CityCenter Project Executive

MAKING IT HAPPEN MGM MIRAGE has an enviable track record for effective design and construction leadership, proven on such landmark developments as The Mirage and Bellagio. Led by Bill Smith and Sven Van Assche, MGM MIRAGE Design Group had standards, systems, and controls in place to generate high-quality, high-performance buildings and settings, but never at this scale and with such diversity of projects and participants. When Gensler joined the CityCenter design leadership team, it brought its global design and delivery expertise, honed on comparably large mixed-use developments in China, the Gulf, the US, and the UK. Gensler took the process to a whole new level.

When the cost of steel and other materials and products went through the roof, Gensler helped MGM MIRAGE accelerate procurement and tap suppliers and manufacturers on a global basis. The team also set up the organizational framework for directing, managing, and coordinating the work of all the different project teams. This made it easier for them to document, report, and share information digitally in a consistent and timely way. Gensler continually updated project data to support MGM MIRAGE’s program and procurement decisions and inform key negotiations with public agencies, utilities, and others—efforts that helped CityCenter stay on track, despite its complexity.

The leadership team constantly updated the CityCenter plan (below) and program during design and delivery. The photo (opposite) shows the massive development’s urban scale and complexity.

CityCenter posed numerous challenges to its builders. Gensler expedited the owners’ response to requests for information, working closely with the different project teams.

Gensler Design Update





10/28/05 CityCenter becomes the largest-ever LEED-registered project

MGM MIRAGE chooses Gensler as design leadership partner

01/04/05 Gensler’s core design leadership team joins MGM MIRAGE in Las Vegas

08/21/05 Opening session of 7-week design charrette for CityCenter Block C

04/21/06 New CityCenter project office opens

11/09/05 MGM MIRAGE Board reviews final master plan, approves CityCenter

03/15/05 First eco-charrette convened

11/15/05 Construction starts on CityCenter project office 11/30/05 MGM MIRAGE approves CityCenter PeopleMover

04/04/05 Groundbreaking for Bellagio employee garage

04/12/06 Groundbreaking for ARIA Resort & Casino


09/11/06 Brands unveiled for Vdara Hotel, Veer Towers, and Harmon



12/19/06 Executive LEED Manual rolled out

04/27/06 First CityCenter LEED Summit held

06/05/06 Groundbreaking for Vdara Hotel & Spa 01/02/07 CityCenter Residential Sales Pavilion opens

06/17/06 First CityCenter Brand Summit held 08/30/06 LEED Project Plan addresses new LEED requirements

02/07/07 LEED team meeting and MEP briefings begin

2006 07/01/06

Gensler Design Update

11/30/06 Partnering sessions with Clark County officials begin

2007 07/03/07


12/01/08 Gensler is engaged in design/delivery of common-use areas

FACT: CityCenter used 78,000 tons of structural steel (enough to build 10 Eiffel Towers)

FACT: CityCenter used 1,000,000 cubic yards of concrete (enough for a sidewalk from LV to NYC and back)

10/15/07 Building permits issued for all projects

FACT: CityCenter used 32 tower cranes at the peak of construction

FACT: CityCenter used 2.7 million sq. ft. of glass for the curtain walls (enough to enclose 12 Luxors)

05/14/08 The 57-story Vdara is the first CityCenter tower to top out

11/15/07 MGM MIRAGE and Dubai World form a 50/50 joint venture to develop CityCenter

01/12/09 Central Plant comes online, with two Cogen units, each at 4.6MW capacity

11/17/09 Crystals Retail and Entertainment District complete 10/14/09 Veer Towers complete 09/17/09 First CityCenter projects certified LEED Gold

08/10/09 Mandarin Oriental complete 06/17/09 ARIA Resort & Casino complete

09/01/08 Gensler is engaged in design/delivery of CityCenter PeopleMover

05/11/09 Vdara Hotel & Spa core/shell complete

2008 07/05/08

CityCenter celebrates grand opening—designed/ delivered in 5 years

2009 12/06/08




led by Gensler’s Nellie Reid and Jim Oswald, established goals for sustainability in design, construction, and operation, and created a framework for achieving LEED Gold certification for the CityCenter projects.

Gensler Design Update



We aimed to create a vibrant destination to demonstrate that a community can be both beautiful and sustainable. Cindy Ortega, Senior Vice President, Energy and Environmental Services, MGM MIRAGE

GREENING CITYCENTER CityCenter is the world’s largest LEED development. How do you certify six LEED Gold projects at once? It takes a motivated client and a committed, collaborative team. In March 2005, MGM MIRAGE and Gensler convened an eco-charrette with the construction leadership and the ARIA design team. The charrette confirmed goals, explored options, and created the road map to move CityCenter from concept to final LEED certification. Gensler then assembled a 40-person LEED team— including sustainability experts for every project—to ensure that CityCenter met its ambitious goals.

The LEED team briefed every project’s consultants— 700 people in all—on LEED goals, design credits, and submittals. To set a high sustainability baseline, Gensler provided green “master” specifications for all eight projects; convened annual LEED summits with the experts; held weekly calls to resolve problems; and helped fine-tune the process with the US Green Building Council (USGBC). This spirit of collaboration led to new strategies and innovative solutions. And it paid off in LEED Gold—as MGM MIRAGE’s Cindy Ortega notes, “We achieved every design certification point we went for.”

HOW WE DID IT 1 Setting the stage for LEED. Gensler helps MGM MIRAGE assemble a 40-person LEED team of experts and develops LEED tools and procedures, including green master specs.

4 Analyzing LEED strategies. After analyzing potential LEED credits, the 40-person LEED team selects the most appropriate for CityCenter and records them in a LEED scorecard.

7 Preparing the LEED design phase submittal. The LEED team works with each project’s architect of record (AOR) to assemble the LEED design phase submittal to obtain design credits.

2 Holding the eco-charrettes. The two eco-charrettes make the case for sustainability, explore strategies, define LEED goals, get contractor buy-in, and provide initial cost/ benefit analysis.

5 Developing LEED manuals. With buy-in from the entire CityCenter team, the LEED team develops LEED manuals outlining detailed compliance strategies for all LEED credits pursued.

8 Preparing the LEED construction phase submittal. Working with the general contractor and CM, the LEED team assembles the construction phase submittal to obtain construction credits.

3 Registering with USGBC. Gensler registers the CityCenter campus with the US Green Building Council (USGBC), making it the largest single project ever registered.

6 Presenting the LEED project plan. The LEED team meets with USGBC to discuss CityCenter’s unique challenges and gain agreement on the logistics of its complex certification process.

9 Achieving LEED Gold certifications. Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) reviews and certifies each submitted LEEDregistered project, resulting in six LEED Gold certifications. 19

RESULTS THAT MATTER—LEED GOLD From the start, CityCenter was envisioned as a transformative development. MGM MIRAGE viewed sustainability as a crucial way for Las Vegas to meet the challenges of a new century. This reflects a widely shared concern with global warming and resource shortages, as well as a consumer preference for environmentally safe, healthy settings. MGM MIRAGE also saw sustainability as a huge source of added value for CityCenter and its owners, guests, and visitors. As part of the design leadership team, Gensler worked closely with the company and its construction partners to achieve sustainability at CityCenter in every aspect of its development: demolition, design, construction, and operations.

MGM MIRAGE and Gensler agreed on the sustainable strategies for CityCenter at the eco-charrette, and then set them out as performance criteria for every project. The goals were to optimize energy performance, reduce water use, and improve indoor air quality. Construction and demolition waste was almost entirely diverted from landfill, and construction waste was minimized. Among the sustainable design measures are highperformance façades with low-emittance insulating glass and sunshades, cool roofs, and the pervasive use of materials with locally sourced and/or recycled content. Achieving LEED Gold at CityCenter was by design—and Gensler helped make it happen.

5% >30%

Added cost to achieve LEED Gold:

Energy savings due to LEED Gold:

The US Green Building Council launched the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system in 2000. Six CityCenter projects are LEED Gold-certified, a remarkable achievement that reflects an unwavering commitment to sustainability.

Wood products in ARIA and Crystals that are Forest Stewardship Council certified:

Reuse of demolition and construction waste:

Reduction in water use for landscaping:

Reduction in building potable water use:

33 % 60 % 87 % 94 %

Gensler Design Update




An important development in urban sustainability is the recognition that higher-density development served by transit can dramatically reduce traďŹƒc congestion and pollution by encouraging people to leave their cars behind and walk. The Gensler-designed Las Vegas Monorail introduced this concept to the city. The size and density of a typical district in Manhattan, CityCenter provides transit access to its major destinations. This allows people to experience the entire area on foot, including the adjoining Bellagio and Monte Carlo properties, without having to use taxis or their own cars. This sustainable pattern is the future of Las Vegas.


To open CityCenter in December 2009, as we predicted in 2004, is a remarkable feat. Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO, MGM MIRAGE


Gensler Design Update



MGM MIRAGE teamed with Gensler to lead seven worldclass architects, 43 interior designers, and over 200 consultants to deliver this game-changing development. Together with our esteemed MGM MIRAGE colleagues, we celebrate its opening. CityCenter’s completion achieves Jim Murren and Bobby Baldwin’s vision of a new and urbane Las Vegas, reinvented for the 21st century.


A TEAM OF THOUSANDS DESIGNED AND DELIVERED CITYCENTER Design Leadership Team: MGMinformation MIRAGE and Gensler Scope & Team Construction Management: Tishman Construction


ĂĽ $5,$5HVRUW &DVLQRĂœÄşÄľVWRU\1RUWK7RZHUDQG 54-story South Tower, with 4,004 guestrooms total, including 568 suites; ĂĽ ĚĽĚĽĸĺVTIW&LUTXHGX6ROHLOWKHDWHU ĂĽ ľĽĺÄ´Ä´Ä´VTIWFDVLQRġĝĺĺğVTIWRIUHWDLOĜľĽĸĴľ sq ft of restaurants, 42,520 sq ft of bars/lounges Design Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; Architect of Record: HKS; Interior Designers: Hotel Tower: MGM MIRAGE Design Group / BBGM; Sirio Ristorante: Tihany Design; Union: Tihany Design; Salon Prive: Peter Marino Architect; Sage: Jacques Garcia / Hamilton Anderson; Back of House: McKee & Carman Design Group / Hamilton Anderson; The Buet: Lewis. Tsurumaki.Lewis; Pool Bar: Graft LLC; Main Casino: Remedios Siembieda; Club Lounge: Franklin Studios; CafĂŠ Vettro: Bentel & Bentel; Convention Center: Remedios Siembieda; Jean Philippe Patisserie: NODA / Westar Architects; Blossom: studioadesign; Lemongrass: AvroKo; The Roasted Bean: Jacques Garcia; Sweet Chill: Karim Rashid; Breeze Cafe: Graft LLC; Jean Georges Steakhouse: Dupoux Design; Bar Moderno: Jacques Garcia; The Crossings: McKee & Carman; Executive OďŹƒces: Brayton Hughes; Carta Privada: Peter Marino Architect; BARMASA / Shaboo: Richard Bloch Architect; View Bar: Richardson Sadeki; Retail Mall: Gabellini Sheppard; Haze Nightclub: ICRAVE; Poker Room: Jacques Garcia; Papillon: Nakaoka/Roberts; Radiance: Peter Marino Architects; Salon Prive: Peter Marino Architect; The Spa at ARIA: SUPERPOTATO / Flewellyn & Moody; Sky Villas–Presidential Suites: Peter Marino Architect; Julian Serrano: Gente de Valor; Gold Lounge: CLEO Design; American Fish: SLDesign LLC; Skybox: Remedios Siemedia; The Deuce: Franklin Studios; City Bar: Remedios Siembieda; Liquid: Graft LLC; Spin: Peter Marino Architect; Lighting Designers: Fisher Marantz Stone; Derek Porter; Horton Lees Brogden; Brandston Partnership; HE Banks; L’Observatoire International;

General Contractor: Perini Building Company

Gensler Design Update

CityCenter Project Teams: Block A:


ALG; Illuminating Concepts; Domingo Gonzalez; Engineering Consultants: Jaee Holden; ADA– Accessibility: Access by Design; Audio Visual: PMK; Acoustical Design: PMK; Baggage Handling: Lerch Bates; Commissioning: TestMarc; County Coordination: R.D. Weber & Assoc.; Curtain Wall Design: Israel Berger; Door Hardware: Consolidated; Fire–Life Safety–Code: RJA; Food Service: Romano Gatland / Culinary Design + Fixture; Fountains–Waterfeatures: WET Design; MEP: Flack & Kurtz; MEP (Sinatra Garage): Aguirre Corp; Kitchen–Food Service: Romano Gatland; Landscape: Field Operations; LEED: Green Building Services; Parking: Walter P. Moore; Peer Review–Structural: Saiful/Bouquet; Peer Review–MEP: SH Nevada; Pool Equipment: Aquatic Design; Roofing–Waterproofing: D7 Consulting; Security: PMK; Security–Construction Revisions: Con Tech; Signage: Selbert Perkins / Hunt / Gensler; Structural Engineering: Thornton-Tomasetti; Structural (Sinatra Garage): Jessen Wright / Walter P. Moore; Telecommunications: Flack & Kurtz; Theater: Auerbach; Vertical Transportation: Lerch Bates; Vibration Planner: Tacet; Waterscape: Aquatic Design; Wind Engineering: RWDI; Window Washing: Citadel

Design Architect: Rafael ViĂąoly Architects; Architect (Bellagio Employee Garage): HKS; Architect of Record: Leo A. Daly; Associate Architect (Fire Station): Winston Henderson Architects; Associate Architect (Residential Units): Hamilton Anderson; Interior Designers: Hotel Tower: BBGM; Back of House: Leo A. Daly; Fitness Center: Dumbell Man Fitness Equipment; Bar Vdara: Therese Virserius Design; Retail: Karim Rashid; Spa– Salon: Robert D. Henry Architects; Silk Road: Karim Rashid; Engineering Consultants: Acoustical Design: PMK; Accessibility: Equal Access / Access by Design; Audio-Visual: Network / PMK; Civil Engineering: Lochsa; Commissioning: Glumac; Curtain Wall Design: Curtain Wall Design & Consulting; Energy Modeling: Syska Hennessy; Environmental–Air Quality: TRC; Environmental: PBS&J; Fire–Life Safety–Code: RJA; Food Service: JEM / Romano Gatland; Geotechnical: Terracon Consulting Engineers; Hardware: Assa Abloy; IT–Telecom: Network; Wireless Reinforcement Project: Flack & Kurtz; Landscape Architect: Melendrez; LEED Consultant: Viridian / Steven Winter; Lighting Design: Cline Bettridge Bernstein; MEP Engineer: Cosentini Associates; MEP (Bellagio Employee Garage): Cosentini / TJK; MEP (Fire Station): TJK; Pool–Spa Engineering: STO Design Group; Pool Design: Kinsella; Quality Assurance: Capri; Security: PMK; Signage (Bellagio Employee Garage): HKS; Signage: Two Twelve Harakawa; Structural Engineering (Harmon): Lockwood Andrews & Newman; Structural Engineering: DeSimone; TraďŹƒc: Kimley-Horn; Vertical Transportation: Lerch Bates; Wind Engineering: RWDI; Window Washing: Entek Engineering

Design (Crystals): Rockwell Group; Public Spaces (Veer): Murphy/Jahn; Residential Units (Veer): Dianna Wong; Retail: Deborah Berke; Engineering Consultants: Acoustical Design: Shen Milsom & Wilke; ADA: Access by Design; Audio Visual: Shen Milsom & Wilke / John Lyons; Commissioning: Glumac; Curtain Wall (Harmon): Yolles; Curtain Wall (Mandarin): Front / ALT; Door Hardware: David Sissom; Exterior Energy: Flack & Kurtz; Fire–Life Safety–Code: RJA; Geotechnical: GeoDesign; Acoustical Design: Shen Milsom & Wilke; Civil Engineering: Lochsa Engineering; Curtain Wall (Veer): Werner Sobek / Israel Berger / ALT; Curtain Wall (Retail): Israel Berger; Façade (Veer): Israel Berger; Food Service: Romano Gatland; Fountains and Water Features: WET Design; IT–Telecom: Flack & Kurtz; Kitchen–Food Service: Romano Gatland; Landscape (Harmon): Martha Schwartz; Landscape (Mandarin): Hargreaves Associates; Landscape (Crystals): Dirt; Landscape (Veer): OďŹƒce of James Burnett / Martha Schwartz; LEED Consultant: The Fore Group; Fire–Life Safety–Code: RJA; Lighting (Harmon): Focus / Illuminating Concepts; Lighting (Mandarin): Isometrix / Illuminating Concepts; Lighting Exterior (Veer): AIK / Illuminating Concepts; Lighting (Veer): L-Plan / Illuminating Concepts; Lighting (Crystals): Focus; MEP Engineering: Flack & Kurtz; OSHA (Crystals): Cal Nev / Ranch; Parking: Rich / WPM; Pool–Fountain: STO Design Group; Spa–Salon (Harmon): S. Russell Groves; Security: Flack & Kurtz; Signage (Mandarin): Poulin & Morris; Signage Interior (Crystals): Gensler; Signage Interior (Veer): Hunt Design; Spa (Harmon): Richardson Sadeki; Spa–Salon (Mandarin): Tihany Design / Deckleman; Structural Engineering: Halcrow Yolles; Sustainability (Harmon, Crystals, Veer): Buro Happold; Sustainability (Mandarin): Atelier Ten; Vertical Transportation: Lerch Bates; Waste Management: Cini Little; Wind Engineering: RWDI; Window Washing: ENTEK Engineering, PLLC

Block C:

Project-wide elements:

ĂĽ 0DQGDULQ2ULHQWDO/DV9HJDVĂœÄ¸ÄšVWRU\KRWHO residence tower (1,223,192 sq ft) with 392 guestrooms, including 89 suites, and 227 residences (1,068–3,856 sq ft); ĂĽ 7KH+DUPRQ+RWHOĂœÄśÄşVWRU\KRWHO ĺġĚğĽĝVTIW  with 400 guestrooms, including 102 suites; ĂĽ &U\VWDOV5HWDLODQG(QWHUWDLQPHQW'LVWULFWĂœ (752,442 sq ft) with 62 retail spaces and 12 food and beverage spaces, and PeopleMover station; ĂĽ 9HHU7RZHUVĂœ7ZRġĝVWRU\UHVLGHQFHWRZHUV (857,886 sq ft total) with 335 residences each (486–3,290 sq ft)


Block B: ĂĽ 9GDUD+RWHO 6SDĂœÄšÄťVWRU\KRWHOZLWKÄľĸĽĚKRWHO residences (534–1,623 sq ft)

Design Architect (Mandarin Oriental): Kohn Pederson Fox; Design Architect (The Harmon Hotel): Foster + Partners; Design Architect (Veer Towers): Murphy/Jahn; Design Architect (Crystals): Studio Daniel Libeskind with Rockwell Group; Architect of Record: Adamson Associates Architects; Associate Architect: Hamilton Anderson; Interior Designers: Back of House: Hamilton Anderson; Guestrooms (Harmon): Munge Leung; Hotel Guestrooms (Mandarin): Tihany Design; Hotel Podium (Harmon): SADI; Residential (Mandarin): Page and Steele / Tihany Design / Thomas Schoos Design / Kay Lang + Associates (Mandarin); Interior

Design Architect: Gensler; Conceptual Master Plan: Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn; Architect of Record: Gensler; Executive LEED Consultant: CTG Energetics; Commissioning: SKG; Dewatering: PBS&J; Civil Engineering: Lochsa; Fire–Life Safety–Code: RJA; Geotechnical: Owens; Irrigation and Landscape: OďŹƒce of James Burnett; OSHA: Cal-Nev; Parking: KaKu; Peer Review–Lighting: Illuminating Concepts; Peer Review–MEP: SH Nevada; Peer Review– Structural: Saiful/Bouquet; PeopleMover System: Doppelmayr; PeopleMover Consultant: Lea & Elliott; Permitting: Hyde Consulting; Quality Assurance: Capri; Risk Management: FM Global; Soils: GeoDesign; Sustainability: KMI Associates / Gensler; TraďŹƒc: Kimley-Horn; Fountains–Waterfeatures: WET Design; Wayfinding–Signage: Gensler; Wind Testing: RWDI

Image Credits: Eddie Berman: page 12 top left and middle right; page 16 top second from right Mike Brown: page 15; pages 16-17 bottom (all); page 17 top second from left Nick M. DoGetty/Photodisc/Getty Images: page 20 far right Chris Florin/Gensler: page 12 bottom right John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images: inside front cover (fireworks) Gensler: page 6 bottom row (all); page 8; page 12 bottom left (all 6); page 13 left (all 4) and bottom right; page 14 bottom left; page 16 top second and third from left; page 18; page 21 (all) Mark Gibson/Digital Vision/Getty Images: page 20 middle left Ryan Gobuty/Gensler: page 13 top right Samuel Guerrero/Gensler: page 17 top far left, top middle (both), and top far right Shamus Halkowich/Gensler: page 9 top right and middle left Imagewerks/Getty Images: page 20 far left Raimund Koch/Photonica/Getty Images: inside front cover (skyline) Siegfried Layda/The Image Bank/Getty Images: page 5 middle MGM MIRAGE: page 2; page 4; page 6 top row (all); page 9 bottom (both); page 14 bottom right; page 16 top far left Jessica Peterson/Getty Images: page 20 middle right Michael Rubottom: page 9 top left Jon Schmidt/MGM MIRAGE: cover; pages 22-23 Veer Incorporated: page 3 (all) Michael Weber: page 10; page 11 (both); page 16 top far right

Gensler is a leading architecture, design, planning, and consulting firm with oďŹƒces in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Gensler Design Update is a publication announcing new projects of interest. It is produced by Gensler Publications. Š2009 Gensler.

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