A mixed-medium masterpiece of metal panels, glass, wood, and stone building elements, the award-winning ilani Casino Resort property in Ridgefield, WA was designed to reflect the culture of the Northwest with unique aesthetic cues that pay tribute to
the heritage of the local Cowlitz Indian Tribe.
The nearly 400,000-square-foot casino is a joint development between the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe, based in Uncasville, CT. Construction for the complex project kicked off in early 2016 and included a $32 million upgrade to a nearby
At over 150 acres, the ilani is home to more than 2,500 slot machines and 75 tables throughout its 100,000 square feet of dedicated gaming space, in addition to entertainment and retail areas. The resort also features a food court and a variety of restaurants,
including the only West Coast location of Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse.
The project showcases a number of design elements inspired by the Cowlitz tribe, according to Chuck Jones, senior vice president with Friedmutter Group, the architectural firm responsible for the project design.
“The entrance area—the porch—takes its design cue from a blunt nose canoe,” Jones said, referring to the Cowlitz Tribe’s historical means of transportation, carved to move fluidly through white-water rapids. “And the
iridescent metal panels were inspired by fish scales. The majority of the other elements are featured within the casino interior.”
Notably, these features include light fixtures inspired by woven basket headwear and the imagery of violet camas flowers throughout the casino floor carpet.
The project’s high-performance exterior relies on more than 75,000 square feet of 2.5-inch Metl-Span CF Architectural insulated metal panels (IMPs) in Champagne and Medium Gray colors.
“The color recommendations came from our design team,” Jones reported. “The Champagne worked well in tandem with the stone, wood, and other metal cladding elements.”
When weighing building envelope options, Friedmutter Group was focused on meeting energy codes and placed a high emphasis on overall thermal performance. According to Jones, the decision to specify IMPs was based on a recommendation from the building
owners. The product proved to be an ideal fit to handle the region’s notoriously unpredictable weather systems.
“Insulated metal panels are a fairly cost-effective way to skin a building, especially in that climate,” Jones said. “It ended up being more suitable than using an EIFS system.”
An EIFS, or exterior insulation and finish system, relies on multiple wall components working in concert. This complicated assembly can be susceptible to moisture infiltration due to numerous wall penetrations or imperfections in the installation process,
which often requires multiple crews and steps.
Metl-Span IMPs act as a single-component system eliminating the need for separate batt or board insulation, exterior sheathing, or vapor barriers for a one-and-done wall solution. This expedited installation process can have a positive effect on everything
from project scheduling to the bottom line. Moreover, the quick installation makes way for interior trade work early in the construction schedule.
The Metl-Span CF Architectural panel is ideal for high-profile applications with its flat, monolithic appearance—providing a contemporary aesthetic. The IMPs are available in thicknesses up to 4-inches to meet even the most demanding thermal performance
The ilani casino resort celebrated its grand opening in the spring of 2017, after more than 10 years of planning and two years of construction. The casino took home 2016 Best Project of the Year honors in the Vancouver Business Journal’s Top Project
Awards before it had even opened its doors to the public. More recently, the project was the recipient of a Sports/Entertainment Award of Merit from Engineering News-Record (ENR) Northwest and was honored by the NAIOP Washington commercial real estate