November 24, 2008

Buildings as Black Holes

Competition among surrounding luxury resorts and casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada has created an environment where each building attempts to "out do" their neighbor. The facade of the new Tropicana Casino in Vegas has been branded as a "WOW" experience by the architects, utilizing interactive media graphics on a glass facade to lure people into the casino. The interior rooms are, by contrast, very generic and not significantly important. The goal is to lure people in, thus creating a massive "black hole effect" on the Strip. As money continues to be pumped into the facades of such buildings, one has to wonder how far the "black hole" concept could be taken. Driven to the extreme, a superior building on the Strip would invest so much money in it's facade, that not enough money would be left for the interior, creating unsafe, and uninhabitable spaces. The very purpose of architecture - to create shelter - becomes threatened in this extreme case: luring in unsuspecting customers only to provide no way out. Black Hole Architecture.

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