Clark County Government Center

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Fentress Architects’ design won first place in a national competition by best representing the community values and natural environment of Clark County.

We consider landscape an essential source for connecting architecture with community and the history of a region and its people. Working against type—imposing, classically-inspired government buildings—we envisioned wrapping the program in a unifying embrace to signify a government open and accessible to its people. Natural stone forms and rings of shade trees encircle an outdoor public amphitheater, drawing the community closer the activities of their government.

Materiality and scale borrow from the surrounding desert environment: sandstone walls ascend from the earth, unexpected openings draw visitors in, and geometric shapes translate ancient form for a modern structure. A specially created docent program provides architectural tours to meet community demand to engage deeper with building, view its art installations, attend the art events it hosts, and understand the project’s many unique features. Our design illustrates that built form can emerge from its environs and culture to embrace, connect, and inspire its community.