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Architects as developers create a new vision for Downtown Las Vegas

The redevelopment of Downtown Las Vegas has been an ongoing endeavor. Here is one designer's vision for what is possible.

Project Description

This mixed-use project, located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, aims to continue the revitalization of the area around Fremont street. This development will add to the residential options of the neighborhood while activating the street as a continuation of the Fremont Street Experience. The design team has created a development proposal that aligns with the goals of the Vision LV: Downtown Revitalisation Plan.

An existing surface parking lot, located on the junction of two arterial streets, was chosen as the site for the development. This prime site is located next to Downtown Container Park and is a mere 3 blocks away from the Fremont Street Experience. The design of the development is in dialogue with Downtown Container Park, creating a wider, shaded plaza that provides amenities like shopping, food, and access to a new market/deli. This highly urban ground floor plaza forms an active hub for visitors and residents alike. 

Site Selection

We analyzed 8 sites, all in close proximity to the Fremont Street Experience. In the end, we selected site 5 because of its reasonable size, corner location, and proximity to Downtown Container Park.


After the site analysis, we discovered a few key opportunities for the development. Most notably how it could be a dynamic mixed-use building in an expanding neighborhood. We aimed to connect it to the liveliness of the street while still offer areas of rest for residences on the upper levels.


The massing scheme generates an interplay of cubed solids and voids. This volumetric approach is similar to Downtown Container Park, where the units are perceived as large containers stacked over one another. The volume is punctuated with green terraces, which act as private patios for residences. These terraces form a buffer between the vibrant Fremont street and the quieter interior spaces. 

The ground floor serves as a communal public space and the upper floors feature spacious private residential units. A double-height extended plaza is articulated on the corner of the ground floor, which ties the building with the container park, creating an easy flow of people within the two. The plaza opens up into a shaded courtyard, which visually connects all the food, drink, and retail spaces on the ground floor. We would aim to feature a diverse range of food options from a casual café to a fine dining experience. 

The project comprises of three types of residential units- 1-BHK, 2-BHK and 3-BHK, configured across 7 floors.  Each unit is uniquely designed to achieve optimum ventilation and sunlight, without compromising privacy. Along with dispersed private terraces, the design proposes a roof garden, which would not only lower the direct heat gain from the roof but would also provide a resident's community space for larger gathering and private events.

Material Palette

Fremont street is a diverse array of facades, styles, and materials. The material palette chosen for the project tries to bring this variety into the building, creating an montage of uniquely-Vegas experiences. 

The plaza ceiling is studded with mirrors, which reflects the vibrancy of the street into the courtyard. The subtle exposed concrete is contrasted and complemented by bright murals. The ground floor is made translucent using channel glass, which visually connects the communal spaces to the street. This glass is place deeper into the building, allowing the upper floors to shade any exposed glazing. This "activated cavern" approach fully recognizes the harsh heat that Vegas is known for my providing huge shaded areas that are formed by the architecture itself.

Want to learn more about being an architect and developer?

If you are interested in learning more about how to develop your own projects, join M-RAD CEO, Matthew Rosenberg, in his first DesignClass. He will reveal how he got started and the lessons he has learned from creating one of the most dynamic architecture and development firms in Los Angeles.

You'll learn about architectural design, real estate development, partnerships, hiring the right team, and how to find your voice in a stressful and competitive industry. His lessons are practical and based on real experience with clients, employees, and projects. Learn more at DesignClass.

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