WinStar World Casino attracts gambling fans with a woven media facade
Las Vegas is renowned the world over as a gambling metropolis. However, the territories of the Indian Nations are also big players on the American casino scene. On the Chickasaw Nation reservation in Thackerville, Oklahoma, stands one of the largest casinos in the world - the WinStar World Casino. Spread over more than 46,000 square metres, gambling fans will find everything their hearts desire in eight themed playing areas. The casino’s location right on Interstate Highway 35 is intended to attract people passing through. With two large MEDIAMESH® facades from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG on the adjoining multi-storey car park, it invites travellers to stop off from afar at any time of day or night.
As the land of unlimited opportunity, the USA is a popular destination for gambling tourists from around the world. Around ten years after the famous one-armed bandit was invented here in 1899 though, gambling was banned nationwide. During the 1930s, gambling was eventually permitted again in a very limited number of states. Since then, the state of Nevada, with its tourist magnet of Las Vegas, has been one of the few states to enjoy this special status. The casinos run by the Indian Nations, however, are virtually unaffected by state regulation. Since the 1970s, their reservations have been excluded from the general gambling ban. There are far more than 400 casino complexes on the territories of the Indian Nations spread throughout the country. They offer fans of poker, blackjack and the like a real alternative and can certainly hold their own against the entertainment temples in Las Vegas. The casino of the Chickasaw Nation is one of these Indian casinos. The tribe, originally from Mississippi, was relocated to the territory in Oklahoma during the Indian removal in the 19th century, and most members of the tribe still live there today. The WinStar World Casino was opened there in 2004 and was very well received. That’s why, just five years later, the Chickasaw started work on a major renovation and expansion of the casino and its infrastructure. With 6,700 electronic games and 76 gambling tables, there has since been virtually nothing you can’t play in Oklahoma’s largest casino, from wheel of fortune to blackjack. In addition to a twelve-storey hotel with 400 rooms, there is a concert hall with around 3,000 seats, a spa, shopping mall and a four-storey car park to provide the right infrastructure for the complex.
Architectural voyage around the world
The WinStar World Casino takes its name from the overall design concept. In eleven stations, approaching visitors are taken on an architectural voyage around the world by way of the facade design - taking in everything from Big Ben and the Colosseum to the Great Wall of China. The facade is really a homage to the world’s most famous architectural projects. This concept by the architects from Stromberg Architectural based in Greenville, Texas, is continued inside. Eight themed playing areas represent the cities of Paris, Beijing, Rome, Madrid, London, Vienna, Cairo and New York. From the statue of liberty to the sphinx, global tourist attractions in miniature format provide the appropriate atmosphere.
Illuminated car park facades
The good strategic location of the casino on Interstate Highway 35, a 2,500-kilometre-long central north-south axis through the USA, also draws many guests from farther afield. That meant that the parking facilities had to be expanded during the casino renovations. A new four-storey car park for up to 1,400 cars provides the additional spaces needed. The functional building is only partially clad by the themed outer skin of the casino. The two sides of the facade facing the highway are used as advertising space. The solution of choice was an optical continuation of the overall creative concept that could be used for advertising purposes, while also meeting functional requirements as a facade covering for the parking levels in the long term. Michael Huff, architectural officer of the Chickasaw Nation, designed two transparent media facades constructed from MEDIAMESH® by GKD. They display moving images, graphics and videos to alert drivers coming from both directions of the casino’s offering from far away. With six LEDs per pixel, the MEDIAMESH® solution fulfils the special requirements on site perfectly. Compared with the usual design that uses five LEDs per pixel, this variant offers the greatest possible luminosity with up to 11,000 Nits. Even in blazing sunshine and when viewed from far away, it provides excellent picture quality. Fourteen rectangular panels each measuring 3.9 metres wide and 10 metres long were attached to the building using a special steel substructure. They form a facade covering spanning more than 500 square metres, full of visual messages.
The MEDIAMESH® facade on the WinStar World Casino is based on GKD’s Tigris type stainless steel mesh. Integrated rows of LEDs enable the tailor-made arrangement of pixel spacing and transparency. Vertical pixel spacing of 60 millimetres with horizontal spacing of 50 millimetres (V60H50 mm) allows a lot of daylight to penetrate into the car park through an open area of 59.4 percent. So, unlike conventional billboards, the mesh enables natural ventilation and lighting of the car park and an unobstructed view outside, which were significant criteria in the officers’ decision. Light sensors lower the brightness of the LEDs, which makes the system particularly energy efficient. The moderate energy consumption of around 100 W/m² that this produces was another significant aspect when choosing this media facade system. The basic characteristics of metallic mesh as a facade covering also apply to MEDIAMESH® facades. With its weather-resistant, durable and self-cleaning properties, opting for stainless steel mesh has a positive effect on operating costs. At the end of its service life, the building material can also be recycled without any quality compromises. The mesh can easily withstand wind speeds of up to 235 km/h and will therefore prove its worth in this hurricane risk region over the long term.