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Zappo's Headquarters

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Las Vegas City Hall
1973, Daniel, Mann, Johnson, and Mendenhall; 2012-2013 renovation, KMD Architects. 400 E. Stewart Ave.

The monumental city hall provides a strong contrast in style and form to the Beaux-Arts post office and other buildings on Stewart Avenue. The marble-and-glass-clad structure has two components: a wedge-shaped office tower and, behind it, a round, three-story office wing surrounding an open plaza. Set on a corner lot, the wedge presents a curving blank wall to downtown, enlivened only by a large abstract sculpture made up of colorful translucent plastic strips applied to the building's face in a rainbow pattern. The main entrance is located in the back of the tower in a wall of bronze-framed smoked glass.

By the early 1970s Las Vegas had become Nevada's largest city, and the new city hall reflected this preeminence. Unfortunately it was erected at a time when urban renewal wiped out entire city blocks to accommodate large civic structures or apartment houses. Though the city hall is eye-catching, it rejects the scale of the older downtown grid and can hardly be called welcoming.

When Zappo's, an online shoe and clothing company, leased the former City Hall building in 2010, CEO Tony Hsieh seized the opportunity to create a workplace that reflected his freewheeling yet collaborative corporate culture while simultaneously stimulating downtown development in Las Vegas. Previously the company had been located in a suburban cororate park in nearby Henderson. Hsieh toured several corporate headquarters, but thought they were too insular and isolated from their communities. So when the company moved to downtown Las Vegas, he added "community" to the company values of culture, company service, and clothing. In 2012, Hsieh commissioned San Franciscobased KMD Architects (Kaplan Mclaughlin Diaz) to upgrade the infrastructure and completely redesign the interior of the government complex to accomodate up to 2,000 occupants; it originally held a maximum of 600. Hsieh wanted to encourage interaction among the employees and the building's focal point is the courtyard, which has become a gathering place. Brightly colored interiors feature workspaces exuberantly decorated by employees, lounges that foster collaboration, and a roof deck with views of the neighborhood. The result is a reinvigorated urban complex that has helped to enliven the company and its surroundings. The building is certified LEED Gold.

References

Brass, Kevin. "Creating Positive Community Collisions in Downtown Las Vegas." Urban Land Magazine, May 7, 2018.

Schoenmann, Joe. "Joe Downtown: Historic Day for City’s Center as Zappos Makes Itself at Home." Las Vegas Sun, September 9, 2013.

"Zappos Headquarters." KMD Architects. Accessed January 24, 2020. https://www.kmdarchitects.com/.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Julie Nicoletta
Updated By: 
Ann Gilkerson (2020)
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Data

Timeline

  • 1973

    Built
  • 2012

    Renovated

What's Nearby

Citation

Julie Nicoletta, "Zappo's Headquarters", [Las Vegas, Nevada], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/NV-01-SO04.

Print Source

Buildings of Nevada, Julie Nicoletta. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 211-212.

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