08-02-21 | News

Red Rock Casino & Spa: A Place of Continuous Discovery

Red Rock Casino in Summerlin, Nevada

At the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa, landscape architecture firm Lifescapes International designed this sandbar pool area with a circular pattern that reflects the curve of the casino low rise that surrounds it, stepping in like rings on a dartboard, with the pool featured in the center. The area is set up to be like a theater, with the stage area directly opposing the entry from the casino across the pool (middle left in the image), creating a theater-in-the-round. Palm trees were used in the central area, since they are easier to see through, and stepped the entire space down to the pool level for better overviews. The central fountain and all other structures are kept low, or movable (like the cabanas) to aid in stage viewing. The restaurants have an overview, then the concentric rows of chaise lounges, and finally a shallow chaise shelf in the pool, all facing the stage area. Finally, a walk-in edge along the stage side of the pool allows for in-water event viewing, and family play and relaxation all other times.
Adjacent to the pool, the patio at T'Bones Chophouse restaurant provides seating surrounding an illuminated water feature/firepit. The Landscape Architects created the circular banquette to provide a communal space part of, but away from the restaurants. The fountain in the middle helps give animation and a cooling sensation when it is hot, while fire in the middle comes on at night to create an inviting centerpiece for guests.
The custom, contemporary black tiled, tiered waterfall that lines the entrance to the casino, with cascading stair-stepped water is terraced to create a visual separation between the restaurant terraces and the parking lot. This way people arriving see the building 'floating' on water, while the people eating on the terraces are not directly bothered with sights of the parking lot. The water movement creates a constant animation, a cooling micro-climate and muffles any street noises. The 'floating' pots with the plants or fire in them are fiberglass. The pseudo pots at the base of each palm tree in the fountain basin are integrally colored concrete walls shaped to resemble a bowl. These bowls actually have open bottoms to plant the palm root balls in. The spikey shrubs in the upper bowls are Weber Agave, and the palms in the planters are Medjool Date Palms with Lily Turf, Star Jasmine, and Petunias.
Water starts from where the upper trough connects to the building and runs through this decorative ornamental pond water feature. The shape and design of this fountain comes from an idea to have a portion of the verticals on the building create a symbolic water source for the pool area. Its water movement and sound can be appreciated from the pool entry and restaurant, while its jogging, rectilinear shape on the ground reflects the stacked rock forms on the architecture that it is flowing from.
Above: A stacked red rock stone sign with the name of the resort is inspired by the stacked Red Sandstone that is featured on parts of the building faA?ade behind it. In this case, it is turned into an abstract interpretation of desert boulders. The fountain gives animation, while the basin of water it sits on reflects the blocks of stone.
The Cabana Club sits on three acres and offers wading pools, chaise lounges, bar seating, cabanas and daybeds. The white color scheme was chosen because it looks fresh and clean, and it is the coolest color to the touch in the heat. The pool reflects the shape of the building it is offset from. It is also long and narrow to offer the most overview of the adjacent main pool area.
Located at the center of the pool, this custom water fountain shoots up from the middle, with arcing jets spilling into the water. It provides an animated centerpiece to the pool, which can be dramatically lit at night (as seen in the picture) but can also be turned off during concerts or events where unimpeded views of the stage are needed.Located at the center of the pool, this custom water fountain shoots up from the middle, with arcing jets spilling into the water. It provides an animated centerpiece to the pool, which can be dramatically lit at night (as seen in the picture) but can also be turned off during concerts or events where unimpeded views of the stage are needed.

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa is a 70-acre, Station Casinos resort, that opened in 2006 at a cost of $925 million. Fourteen acres are devoted to the landscape environment, and it was awarded the 2007 American Gaming Association (AGA) Award for Best Exterior Landscape Design. Because of its location within Summerlin, NV, a thriving, upscale community in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, the design scheme of the resort had to complement the surrounding neighborhood. In addition, the desire to feature drought-tolerant plant material was of paramount importance to Summerlin residents and to Station Casinos. The landscape environment, consisting of nearly 20% of the property, was meant to accentuate the contemporary nature of the resort's stunning architecture, designed by The Friedmutter Group, and is a compendium of colorful desert varieties, luscious succulents, cacti and other exotics such as black cane bamboo, agaves, and blue fan palms.

Along the property's perimeter, a stone faA?ade wall adjacent to the 1,600-bay parking lot blends in with the community's hardscape and softscape preferred plant palette. Lifescapes International chose creative combinations of Acacias, green barked Palo Verdes, Chilean Mesquites, canopying Chinese Elms, Ocotillo, Agave, Yucca, and Mexican Blue Palms, which are all water conserving materials, many of which provide much desired shade for self-parking guests. Annual color, changed seasonally, also occupies the median and edges of the pathways leading into the resort.

Entry Drives
The property has a dynamic main entry drive, defined by a promenade of 53 majestic, fully grown Medjool Date Palms and Palo Verde trees. A stacked red rock stone sign with the name of the resort, tastefully scripted and illuminated, welcomes each and every visitor. The soft-toned, textured, enhanced walkways that lead guests into the hotel are standard throughout the property, and are paved with hand-seeded aggregate in a "mesa bluff" color to complement the earth-tone hues and textures of the contemporary building.
With the layering of over 100 varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers, each area of the resort provides diversity of line, structure, shape, form and fragrance. "I combined substance, style and sensuality when I created the planting design for Red Rock," explains Roger Voettiner, executive senior principal and vice president of design and horticulture at Lifescapes International. "Red Rock's landscape environment reflects a delicate balance of the limited palette of plant materials that can thrive in Las Vegas, juxtaposed in an unconventional manner."

Plant materials that grow in the Las Vegas area need to withstand extreme cold, as well as extreme heat conditions. The choice of plant materials, therefore, became particularly critical. Since Lifescapes has had over 35 years designing in that challenging climate, their goal at Red Rock Casino Resort was to create a drought tolerant landscape that was contemporary and comfortable with responsible, sustainable vegetation.

The design team at Lifescapes took great consideration hand selecting hardscape and softscape materials. The custom, contemporary black tiled, tiered waterfall at the entrance to the casino features synchronized, recycled water, cascading down the stair-stepped levels of the sculptured fountain. Oversized pots from the center of the fountain house multi-trunked Weeping Acacias, Date Palms, Texas Ebony trees, as well as groups of Black Bamboo and Chilean Mesquite Trees alongside nine large Century Plants.

A second entry is offered to guests off Pavilion Center Drive, leading to the porte cochere and hotel. Clusters of tall Tornado Palms (Washingtonia Robustas), reaching 40 feet in the air, line the sides of the entrance and create a magnificent "sculptural" identity that culminates in the grand architectural gateway leading into the hotel. A softly dancing raised ornamental pond occupies the space in between the palm clusters, while majestic Italian Cypress trees accentuate the hotel entrance.

High overhead, on the 17th floor of the hotel tower, more majestic palms are planted in rooftop gardens, giving the illusion that the palm trees are growing right out of the building itself.

Pool Complex
The main pool area, known as Sandbar Pool, occupies just over three acres. Highly appointed and amenitized private cabanas (29 in total) are scattered throughout the area, a poolside cafA(C) offers casual dining, and multi-level, accessible decks promote zones for the "socially inspired." The main pool features a 10" deep "Baja Ledge" perimeter with chaise lounge chairs in the water, where guests can keep cool in the hot Las Vegas sun while enjoying cocktails, partially immersed. The centerpiece of the main pool, designed by Lifescapes International Founder/CEO Don Brinkerhoff, is a water fountain shooting up from the middle, with arcing jets spilling into the pool.

A total of nine pools, spas, wading ponds and hot water spas surround the main pool. Shady sun beds (30 in total) are located on the spa deck and the pool deck, that provide places to be seen (or not to be seen, if that's the guest's preference).

A new concept at Red Rock Casino, which became a popular trend at resorts across the world, was pool/activity decks that are flexible spaces. Nighttime venues/bars and restaurants can spill over and utilize the area. When there are concerts/events, the space is easily transformed, by moving the cabanas (which were designed on wheels to roll away) to make space and allow unhindered sightlines to the stage. At T-Bone Steakhouse, an outdoor fire pit overlooks the pool deck and provides a wonderful setting for viewing the poolside activity.

The landscape palette at the pool has a "cool" and soothing sense of style. A limited lawn area borders the pool edge (the only lawn featured at the property). Tall palms with a backdrop of evergreen trees provide some seclusion to the area. Groupings of eight different varieties of bamboo (black bamboo, timber bamboo, rainbow bamboo, plus others) are artfully planted alongside other sculpturally architectural plant materials such as Sago Palms, Ocotillo, Yucca Rose, multi-trunked Palo Verdes, Japanese Privets, Weeping Red-Trunked Acacias and Windmill Palms. There are over 600 trees planted in the Sandbar Pool Area. The planting beds are combinations of shrubs and flowers (totaling over 4,500 specific plants poolside) and include Indian Hawthorn, Purple Daylilies, Silver Dragon Creeping Lily Turf, just to name a few. Additional hardscape treatments in select areas feature cobblestones used as ground cover: masses of red cobble, black cobble and earth tone cobble occupy carefully selected planting areas throughout the property, some areas near the spa and at the property entrances. Color, texture and style complement the owner's vision for this contemporary and very cool modern environment.

Casinos off the Strip are meant to appeal to the local community as well as visiting resort guests. Red Rock Casino Resort is truly a complete entertainment lifestyle center with gaming, hospitality, sports events venues, concert venues, a state-of-the-art bowling alley, retail, dynamic bars and restaurants all amidst a vibrantly designed, yet water-sensitive, desert appropriate, landscaped environment.

As seen in LASN magazine, August 2020.


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