As the largest privately-funded project in U.S. history, the MGM CityCenter in Las Vegas is a sizable urban development within the larger city, complete with a futuristic second-level light rail transit system. Weaving between CityCenter’s six buildings and connecting two name casinos—the Monte Carlo and Bellagio—as well as the Crystals Retail Center, the light rail system is a dynamic link that ties the new complex to the city. Of special note along the light rail system are two fabric-clad station canopies that mark the terminals for Monte Carlo and Bellagio. Gensler Architects, with FabriTec Structures, designed these structures “to be visually as light as possible in order to give them the appearance of clouds floating over the stations,” says FabriTec’s Sanjeev Tankha, designer of the fabric structures.
Floating at more than 30m above ground, the Sheerfill II HT-PTFE-fabric canopies are pierced at several points with angled truss masts and supported down the center in line with the tracks by transverse trusses that create a celestory for cross ventilation. Gensler Architects project manager Tim Sullivan notes that “the somewhat oval-shaped design of the fabric panels gives the structures a sense of motion.”