Every building project brings excitement, but the question is, what kind?
There are times when the excitement occurs naturally—finding the large parcel of land, opening the financial spigots and creating magic. On other occasions, there are obstacles. Yet even challenges can be exciting, like building a floating casino near the New Madrid Fault. That was the case for Isle Casino Cape Girardeau, a project involving Kuhlmann Design Group, Inc. of St. Louis. It called for several unique design challenges, and the final product proved to be a spectacle when the casino opened in October 2012.
The project location just north of the historic downtown district and adjacent to Cape Girardeau’s concrete levee wall needed to be within 1,000 feet of the Mississippi River. Over 50 parcels of land making up over eight square blocks were consolidated. Main Street was upgraded and rerouted to accommodate the development. The building structure needed to comply with Missouri regulations calling for a floating casino floor. The location near the fault required a design of the super structure, basin and barge. Despite these significant design challenges, KdG designed a dramatic and seamless casino that blurs the transitions between the barge and land-based pavilion.
The colorful and modern casino offers patrons 948 gaming positions, a 700-seat event center, buffet, fine dining restaurant, sports bar, express café and lounge overlooking the Mississippi River.
Throughout the planning process, discussion revolved around operational flexibility. By placing the fine dining, sports bar, express café and second-floor lounge along the south end of the casino floor, for example, operators could consolidate kitchens for increased efficiency and flexibility. However, state law required control points at points of entry for the gaming floor. The design solution was a feature stair tower and two monumental sliding doors.
The doors on the tower can be configured four ways, allowing the operator choice of venue accessibility directly from the casino floor or lobby. Within this tower, a seismic steel support was left exposed as a dynamic design element.
Owner/Operator: Isle Of Capri Casinos, Inc.
Project Architect: Kuhlmann Design Group, Inc.
Interior Design: Kuhlmann Design Group, Inc.
Total Investment: $70 million