Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

City of Shoes: Is Urbanism Scalable?

For my class this week I assigned Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s “A Significance for A&P Parking Lots or Learning from Las Vegas,” a 1968 chapter that sets out their Las Vegas project in bite-size form. In re-reading it, I remembered the description of the typical exterior Vegas form (road, sign, parking lot, building), but not their pointed analysis of the casino interior, or their distaste for the single, bewitching idea modernists take from the past: the piazza. In Vegas, to their joy, unnamed casino architects have managed to make the piazza their own in the form of the patio.