Keep Memory Alive Event Center Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

    Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

    Photo Credits: Jack Valencia

    Visual impact highlights an important cause

    Keep Memory Alive, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness and raising money for fighting brain disorders, was first conceived by Larry Ruvo in February 1995 to honor his father, Lou Ruvo, who had died from Alzheimer's disease the year before. With encouragement from Lou's doctor, Leon Thal, Larry spearheaded a project that ultimately became the Las Vegas-based Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, a cutting-edge facility that integrates treatment and research to benefit patients with Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, and other brain disorders.

    From the beginning, Keep Memory Alive has served as the clinic's fundraising hub, collecting donations to advance treatment, clinical trials, social services, and educational programs designed to promote brain health. One of the organization's most vital sources of fundraising is its whimsical event venue — an architectural marvel designed by Frank Gehry that can accommodate up to 700 guests. It's stainless steel façade seemingly defies the laws of physics, with sloping, flowing, and twisted volumes layered haphazardly atop one another. To complement the building's unique architectural features, Ruvo called on acclaimed lighting designer Jack Valencia, who had an inventive design strategy of his own: He would illuminate the center from the inside out, integrating colorful LED lighting into the very structure of the building. The result is a lighting system as breathtaking as the architecture that incorporates it.

    Valencia required a robust lighting system that could create beautiful interior scenes tailored to the center's changing roster of events. The lighting had to be intense enough to illuminate the building's façade through its 199 windows, and it had to integrate seamlessly with the architecture. Valencia selected an array of dynamic LED luminaires from Color Kinetics.

    After articulating design nuances using advanced CAD and visualization software, Valencia set to work illuminating the physical space, installing a total of 54 ColorBlast Powercore luminaires flush against beam structures, the building's main truss, and lighting pipes, which can accommodate extra luminaires for special events. Valencia used a combination of clear and frosted lenses to create texture and depth. Lighting schemes are programmed and controlled with a combination of an iPlayer 3 DMX lighting controller from Color Kinetics and third-party controllers. "The project was a great marriage of design form and functionality," Valencia said. "It's a true joy to be a part of this piece of art."

    Valencia's lighting schemes transform the center's interior for each event, bathing the space in effects ranging from rich, solid hues to rainbow arrays. The light also pours through the building's windows, glinting off the steel façade and exterior profile, embodying the vibrancy of Lou Ruvo's legacy.
    Project credits

    Lighting Designer:

    Jack Valencia


    Frank Gehry

    LED Programming:

    Joel Spurgeon and Jack Valencia

    A/V & Lighting:

    Spurgeon Design and Development

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