Thu, Oct 9, 2008 (midnight)
“How do you bring the desert into the casino?” asks architect Drew Gregory, of the firm assemblageSTUDIO, led by Eric Strain. The answer? One thin piece at a time. Working with Benchmark Development, the firm has managed to turn the eco-friendly rammed-earth wall—a wall composed of about 94 percent ordinary dirt, 6 percent cement and a hint of water—from a three-foot behemoth (see: Springs Preserve) to a svelte three-inch work of art. The layered sand-colored wall—as thin as you’ll find anywhere—hangs, in dozens of square-sized blocks, outside the Border Grill at Mandalay Bay. It’s as solid as concrete, and as whimsical as a painting.