Mississippi Lights

L’Auberge Casino & Hotel • Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Pinnacle Entertainment’s L’Auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana carries a design that reflects its surroundings. Located on the Mississippi River waterfront, the 205-room hotel and 74,000-square-foot casino presents a contemporary interpretation of a Louisiana fishing lodge.

Lighting was essential to the creation of this atmosphere. For this job, Pinnacle chose Michigan-based Illuminating Concepts (IC), an architectural and themed lighting designer known for the creation of what it calls “immersion experiences” through lighting.

For L’Auberge, IC created a sustainable and creative lighting design as well as state-of-the-art audio and video solutions, beginning with a  grandiose promenade which is indirectly illuminated to give “a real-life connection to the outdoor environment,” according to one of the firm’s designers.

The exterior architectural elements of the building are highlighted individually to create a layered lighting effect instead of the traditional flat flood lighting typically used for casinos. For the interior, innovative solutions for lighting and audio/video integration enhance both the comfort and aesthetic appeal of the visitor experience on the gaming floor.

IC’s focus was on providing quality lighting and AV solutions that supported the environment without distraction. Foremost on Pinnacle’s auditory wish list was a clean, intelligible audio playback system on the casino floor.

This direction was distilled into a set of design criteria: high uniformity of both frequency and volume coverage, excellent vocal reproduction, and enough system headroom to provide sufficient volume above the high level of ambient noise. IC then developed virtual room models and speaker layouts, which when combined with audiometric speaker data and acoustic modeling software confirmed speaker placement and amplification requirements.

One major design element of the casino floor was a coffered ceiling that followed the long table game pit through the center of the gaming floor. Groupings of large decorative lighting pendants suspended beneath the copper-clad ceiling provided a distinctive visual identity to the space. Indirect illumination of the copper finish provided warmth and visual brightness while preventing direct glare on the adjacent video displays.

The provision of a dropped ceiling structure mitigated the typical integration issues related to table game lighting and maintained the clean ceiling lines.

The circular layout of the high-limit gaming lounge posed several interesting challenges for AV and lighting. Limited space on the concave perimeter walls and the owner’s aversion to pedestal-mounted displays led IC to propose an integrated media chandelier, which would serve as both a decorative focal point and an elegant mounting location for four ultra-thin 46-inch LCD displays. Working closely with the architect, interior designer, structural engineer and custom chandelier fabricator, IC developed a unique solution that seamlessly married a large-scale beaded chandelier, integrated LED lighting, media player storage, and custom display mounts, providing the perfect visual centerpiece for the elegant VIP gaming room.

OWNER: Pinnacle Entertainment
ARCHITECT: Manning Architects
DESIGN ARCHITECT: Marnell Companies
LIGHTING DESIGN: Illuminating Concepts
TOTAL INVESTMENT: $368 million