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  • By Mark Meshulam

    Mark Meshulam is a consultant and expert witness for windows, glass, glazing and building facades.

    The Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas has dazzling glass wherever you look!

    Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas

    The Wynn Hotel next to its sister the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas

    Las Vegas rarely provides a truly relaxing vacation – there’s just too much to do and see! Try being a construction guy or a window dude like yours truly, and the mind’s eye never gets any rest whatsoever. My “vacation” last week at the truly amazing Wynn Hotel provided such a visual feast, such a highly refined sense of design, and such an adroit mastery of construction, that the more I looked, greater became my admiration, and the less my relaxation.

    Highest compliments to what must have been an army of architects and designers who worked on the Wynn Hotel. They have obviously expended many man and woman-years creating a wonderfully unique yet coherent hotel experience.

    Whereas a typical Vegas hotel design concept could be described as: “cover every square inch of floor, ceiling and wall with gaudy shmuntz”, the Wynn Hotel carves its own path. Here the design concept seems to be “cover every square inch of floor, ceiling and wall with really beautiful stuff, wonderfully coordinated, to create visually exciting – and welcoming – environments. And make sure there is plenty of glass”

    The Wynn Hotel and Encore Hotel in Las Vegas design & construction team
    General Contractor & Construction Manager: Marnell Corrao Associates
    Architect of Record for Show Venues: Marnell Corrao Associates
    Architecture: Butler/Ashworth Architects and Wynn Design & Development
    Interior Design: Roger Thomas of Wynn Design & Development, Todd-Avery Lenahan of ABA Design Studio, and HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates
    Curtainwall: Enclos Corporation

    Aerial view of the Wynn Hotel and Encore Hotel. I couldn't even rest on the airplane.

    Aerial view of the Wynn Hotel and Encore Hotel. I couldn't even rest on the airplane.

    Given my glassy speciality I could not help but notice the wonderfully varied use of glass at the Wynn Hotel. Let’s start with the exterior facade, an elegant unitized curtainwall segmented at a radius so broad that it reads as one smooth sweeping curve. The two hotels are nearly identical, and they are placed at an intriguing angle to one another, creating warm, glassy spaces interesting from any angle.

    Wynn Hotel curtainwall dancing with the sunlight

    Wynn curtainwall dancing with the sunlight

    The glass at the Wynn Hotel is dark bronze insulated with a high performance Low-E coating on the #2 surface. The color is somewhat chameleon, sometimes reading nearly black, sometimes glowing a rich brown or copper. This is probably due a moderately reflective nature of the Low-E coating. As the sky and weather change, so changes the glass, but subtly. Creme colored slab covers create sleek horizontal lines at every other floor. All other mullion expressions are dark to blend with the glass.

    The glass did a great job of reducing solar heat gain as the afternoon desert sun shone right into my window at the Wynn Hotel. Although it was bright in the room during the afternoon, I would not have traded for a darker glass, agreeing with the glass specifiers that the excellent daytime view should not be obstructed. To that end, the glass runs full height, floor to ceiling.

    Floor to ceiling glass at the Wynn Hotel brings the outside in.

    Floor to ceiling glass brings the outside in.

    I felt somehow proud that glass and metal could be made to express such a broad range of impressions at the Wynn Hotel, especially when artfully coupled with other materials such as fabric, stone and light. Is it weird to feel proud of a material?

    Skylights on the roof at the Wynn Hotel. How many can you count?

    Skylights on the roof at the Wynn Hotel. How many can you count?

    Speaking of light, natural light is arguably one of the most powerful design elements a building can utilize. Sunlight is much brighter than typical electric lighting. Sunlight adds richness by bringing out color, especially for colorblind guys like me. Natural daylight connects people with the outdoors. Designers of the Wynn Hotel took these ideas to heart by creating experience after experience where sunlight is brought indoors through the use of glass.

    The skylight at the Wynn Hotel buffet. With this type of environment, the old, trashy image of a Vegas buffet will be erased from your memory forever.

    The skylight at the Wynn Hotel buffet. With this type of environment, the old, trashy image of a Vegas buffet will be erased from your memory forever.

    Detail at Wynn Hotel buffet skylight. An elaborate birdcage of metal grill-work is built within and beneath the skylight, creating a cascade of light.

    Detail at Wynn Hotel buffet skylight. An elaborate birdcage of metal grill-work is built within and beneath the skylight, creating a cascade of light.


    Time after time, the designers of the Wynn Hotel don’t stop at simply providing skylights. They then go on to add one or more layers of texture, color or pattern to further play with the light. They squeeze every last photon out of the natural daylight for environmental effect.




    Complex, beautiful details like this abound at the Wynn Hotel. This skylight extends up and over a soffit wrapping the perimeter of the Parasol Up bar. The effect is amplified by the use of mirrors at the perimeter of the skylight.

    Complex, beautiful details like this abound at the Wynn Hotel. This skylight extends up and over a soffit wrapping the perimeter of the Parasol Up bar. The effect is amplified by the use of mirrors along the borders of the skylight.

    At the Wynn Hotel, flawless execution of difficult geometric shapes rendered in glass and stone appear effortless. I know from experience that this is anything but effortless to create

    At the Wynn Hotel, flawless execution of difficult geometric shapes rendered in glass and other materials appear as if they were created effortlessly.

    Another example where natural light is the starting point, then other elements are added to enrich the visitor experience at the Wynn Hotel. Skylight glass is patterned, a trellis diffuses the light while allowing the glass pattern to be seen, and deeply colorful glass and also clear glass lamps punctuate the space.

    Another example where natural light is the starting point, then other elements are added to enrich the visitor experience at he Wynn Hotel. Skylight glass is patterned, a trellis diffuses the light while allowing the glass pattern to be seen, and deeply colorful glass and clear glass lamps punctuate the space.

    Glass and metal combine to create an exciting private enclosure for the losing of ones life savings at the Wynn Hotel.

    Glass and metal combine to create an exciting private enclosure for the losing of ones life savings at the Wynn Hotel. If you are going down, do it in style!

    Private gambling area at the Wynn Hotel. Interest is added through the use of tassles, and the omission of glass in the area immediately surrounding the urn shape.

    Private gambling area at the Wynn Hotel. Interest is added through the use of tassles, and the omission of glass in the area immediately surrounding the urn shape.

    A stroll down any corridor at the Wynn Hotel yields surprises in decor and color.

    A stroll down any corridor at the Wynn Hotel yields surprises in decor and color.

    Wynn Hotel corridor. Mirrors used in cabinets amplify colors and textures.

    Wynn hotel corridor. Mirrors used in cabinets amplify colors and textures.

    Draperies, mirrors and glass ornamentation provide for an entertaining stroll at he Wynn Hotel promenade.

    Draperies, mirrors and glass ornamentation provide for an entertaining stroll in the Wynn Hotel promenade.

    A near-infinite array of light fixtures at the Wynn Hotel make free use of glass and mirrors to further shape the appearance of light.

    A near-infinite array of light fixtures at the Wynn Hotel make free use of glass and mirrors to further shape the appearance of light.

    A grand portal to a glorious outdoor space at the Wynn Hotel is graced with a point-supported curtainwall with structural glass mullions and highly polished chrome fittings.

    A grand portal to a glorious outdoor space at the Wynn Hotel is graced with a point-supported curtainwall with structural glass mullions and highly polished chrome fittings.

    The Louis Vuitton storefront in the Wynn Hotel retail esplanade. The highly stylized glass wall appears to be composed of hundreds of glass cylinders suspended in holes in a vertical sheet of glass. One wonders if illegal substances were utilized in the creation of this design.

    The Louis Vuitton storefront in the Wynn Hotel retail esplanade. The highly stylized glass wall appears to be composed of hundreds of glass cylinders suspended in holes in a vertical sheet of glass. One wonders if illegal substances were utilized in the creation of this design.

    The Dior store in the Wynn Hotel retail esplanade. Here, a pattern screened onto the back of the glass is repeated on a background a few inches behind the glass, producing a changing Moire pattern as you walk by. In this case, the designers seem to want the visitor to feel as if he is using illegal substances.

    The Dior store in the Wynn Hotel retail esplanade. Here, a pattern screened onto the back of the glass is repeated on a background a few inches behind the glass, producing a changing Moire pattern as you walk by. In this case, the designers seem to want the visitor to feel as if he is using illegal substances.

    The Chanel at the Wynn Hotel doesn't try to provide a psychadelic experience, but rather the experience of wealth, however vicarious that might be. The storefront glass is backed by a rich, golden (what else?) fabric seen enlarged at the upper right. Interior partitions consist of two layers of a beautiful open weave fabric, sandwiched between three lites of glass. The separation between the fabric layers give the pattern life as you walk by.
    Intimate apparel purveyor Black & Satin strives for an intimate, sexy look. It fits the Wynn Hotel's sexy vibe. They use a grapevine pattern deeply etched into the front and back of the glass doors. I found these doors...um... stimulating.

    Intimate apparel purveyor Black & Satin strives for an intimate, sexy look. It fits the Wynn Hotel's sexy vibe. They use a grapevine pattern deeply etched into the front and back of the glass doors. I found these doors...um... stimulating.

    The Wing Lei restaurant at the Wynn Hotel used the same idea - etch a pattern into the glass doors. This time, the effect was different. By adding a brass color into the etching, the pattern became an extension of the other brass portions of the door frames and handles.

    The Wing Lei restaurant at the Wynn Hotel used the same idea - etch a pattern into the glass doors. This time, the effect was different. By adding a brass color into the etching, the pattern became an extension of the other brass portions of the door frames and handles.

    This elaborate and beautiful entrance to the Alex Restaurant in the Wynn Hotel uses a diamond pattern cross hatching cut into the glass. This simple treatment greatly enhances the overall design.

    This elaborate and beautiful entrance to the Alex Restaurant in the Wynn Hotel uses a diamond pattern cross hatching cut into the glass. This simple treatment greatly enhances the overall design.

    Interior of the Alex Restaurant at the Wynn Hotel. The cross-hatch pattern is also used on the exterior glass, unifying the design and further gracing the space with a patterned glow of light. Couldn't afford to eat here.

    Interior of the Alex Restaurant at the Wynn Hotel. The cross-hatch pattern is also used on the exterior glass, unifying the design and further gracing the space with a patterned glow of light. Couldn't afford to eat here.

    In the Encore Hotel retail corridor, the In Step store kicks up its heels with a curved, rolling, heavy glass pair of doors.

    In the Encore Hotel retail corridor, the In Step store kicks up its heels with a curved, rolling, heavy glass pair of doors. This simple-looking design actually takes a lot of engineering and careful installation.

    Next door, the Botero Restaurant uses a stylized laminated glass interlayer in the doors, sidelites and revolving door leafs and enclosure.

    Next door, the Botero Restaurant uses a stylized laminated glass interlayer in the laminated glass, in doors, sidelites and revolving door leafs and enclosure.

    Across Sands Avenue, in the Palazzo, Barneys creates an upbeat and uplifting environment by placing colorful backlit patterns behind the glass in display walls and counter bases.

    Across Sands Avenue, in the Palazzo, Barneys creates an upbeat and uplifting environment by placing colorful backlit patterns behind the glass in display walls and counter bases.




    Want to do something unusual with glass?

    Mark Meshulam, Chicago Window Expert enjoying the Wynn Hotel experience

    Mark Meshulam, Chicago Window Expert enjoying the Wynn Hotel experience



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    3 Comments

3 Responses to “Wynning in Glass Vegas”

  1. MARK, YOU’VE DONE A REALLY PROFESSIONAL JOB, WITH A FEW COMFORTABLE SIDE COMMENTS. SHOULD BE INTERESTING TO MANY ARCHITECTS AND CONTRACTORS AS WELL AS OWNERS. I THINK IF THAT RESTAURANT YOU COULDN’T AFFORD HAD SEEN THIS TOUR, YOU WOULD HAVE RECEIVED A FREE MEAL.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    GERRY

  2. Thank you very much Gerry for your kind comments!

    Gerry Goldman, the author of that comment, is the founder of Builders Architectural Products, Inc. He started the company in 1960 – we have a 50 year anniversary coming up.

    I, along with my partners Janice Weber and Lori Sward all worked in the company under Gerry. We bought the company from him in the early 90’s.

    Great to hear from you, Gerry!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Imad Naffa and heatherwestpr, Panus Dejkoonchorn. Panus Dejkoonchorn said: RT @heatherwestpr Interesting blog on the elegant glass features of Las Vegas’ Wynn hotel, http://tinyurl.com/yh9cvyd […]

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