Dec 2010
Travel by Design
Vegas and Vegas of the Far East

Las Vegas is the best example of the postmodernism culture, where the buildings’ ornamentation are as diverse and unapologetic and forms are adopted for its own sake, not necessarily because they follow function.  It is a variation of Disneyland, with theme parks housed in hotels. Nothing is too extraneous or ridiculous here. Vegas even billed itself as “The Entertainment Capital of the World.” But Las Vegas started in a free economy–no one owned everything at the same time.

Macau’s version, on the other hand, began with a government-issued monopoly franchise to Stanley Ho in 1962.  The gambling industry only opened to operation concessions from Las Vegas in 2002.  From then on, development has continued with a few bumps during the world crisis.

Today, if one is shown pictures of the real Vegas and that of Macau, it will be difficult to tell them apart. Many of the casino franchises in Nevada are now present in Macau so architecture-wise, the image is kept. The more minute details, like Chinese letters on the signage, are your only clues as in the image above (right).

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