Convention Center expansion marries ‘cool’ styling and function

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority via AP

This artist’s rendering shows the entry to the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The project is expected to be completed by January 2021, in time to welcome the annual CES gadget show.

The ribbon-style roof of the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion doesn’t only look “cool” but helps define the spaces beneath it — lower where people are circulating and cresting where they will congregate, the designer said.

“The design is defined by this wavy roof structure, which basically traces the circulation of the building,” said Robert Svedberg, principal at tvsdesign, who presented the design today to the board of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Click to enlarge photo

This artist's rendering shows the entry to the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The expansion will extend the convention center to the Las Vegas Strip.

“It acts as a natural wave line,” Svedberg said. “So, when you see this roof ribbon, it’s where you’re going to circulate. As people congregate in certain areas, the roof lifts up to represent a place of activity.”

The $860 million expansion, which includes 600,000 square feet of exhibition space, is expected to be completed by January 2021.

Coupled with the renovation of existing exhibition halls, the entire project has a price tag of $1.4 billion and will be finished by 2023.

Linking the new and existing convention space, the main entrance of the center will be located off Convention Center Drive, with a secondary entrance off Las Vegas Boulevard. The atrium will feature a replica of the Las Vegas welcome sign.

The expansion includes a 25,000-square-foot outdoor events terrace on the third level, which drew the most excitement from convention planners consulted on the project, Svedberg said.

“They are excited to have events out there or different kinds of receptions, customer events, or whatever else,” he said.

Steve Hill, the authority’s president and chief operating officer, cautioned that the design is not final and things could still change, such as signs and color schemes.

Rossi Ralenkotter, the authority’s chief executive officer, said the magnitude of the project really hit home after seeing renderings of the design. “This is a turning point for our destination,” he said.