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M Resort, Las Vegas, USA

Issue 53 Feb/Mar 2010 : Retail : Hotel


Opened in March 2009, the $750M M Resort is not your typical Las Vegas hotel, thanks in no small part to CD+M Lighting Design Group.

Located at the extreme southern end of the Las Vegas valley, on the main highway from Southern California, M Resort is nine miles from the central Las Vegas strip. While remote from the centre of the Las Vegas action, the unique site, at an elevation 300 feet higher than the strip, affords magnificent vistas of the bright lights of the strip below and the Las Vegas valley beyond.

Taking full advantage of this prominent location, Marnell Architecture went against traditional casino design theory that dictates a guest’s attention always be focused inward, lest they be distracted from the primary reason they are there - gaming. To that end, the designers have created large, airy public spaces with vast expanses of glass that take full advantage of the abundant daylight as well as providing breathtaking views.

CD+M Lighting Design Group’s Los Angeles office developed a lighting plan for all of the resort’s interior and exterior spaces - including 390 room hotel, 60,000 square foot convention centre, live entertainment lounge, 23,000 square foot full-service spa, 92,000 square foot casino, nine restaurants and five bars. A wide variety of fluorescent, incandescent, neon, low voltage, and warm white and colour-changing LED fixtures were utilised to provide general lighting as well as to illuminate the distinct architectural elements, coves, features and back lit decorative fabric, glass and resin panels.

At night, as the guest approaches the resort via car, the luminous blue glass tower glows softly from the random light of the illuminated guest rooms, topped off by the warm white uplighting on the architectural fins featured at each end of the hotel tower parapet. To complement the contemporary architecture, the surrounding 90 acres of property featuring hundreds of fully mature palm trees and other native desert landscape is primarily lit using ground mounted, wide and medium beam PAR 38 warm white ceramic metal halide fixtures. Additional CMH downlights were installed in the canopies of groups of trees flanking the Porte Cochere to provide a ‘moonlighting’ effect.

Upon entering the large open lobby space, the guest’s eyes are immediately drawn to the floor to ceiling glass façade that fronts the Vilaggio Del Sol pool deck beyond. This outdoor entertainment venue consists of a large main pool with outdoor bar, café, cabanas, gaming tables and a large outdoor stage for concerts and events. For the resort’s ‘high roller’ guests, an intimate, private swimming pool area with bar, cabanas and hot tubs is hidden away from the public pool behind high, vine covered walls. At night, the pool area is softly lit with continuous warm white LEDs mounted under the edges of the concrete decks to ‘float’ the slabs above one another. Decorative portable electric Luminaria’s are placed around the pool to create a more comfortable environment.

The predominant downlight fixtures throughout the project feature 3000K PAR 30 incandescent lamps with champagne gold reflectors to add an extra bit of warmth. In an attempt to meet the Interior Designer’s request for this champagne gold colour to be replicated throughout the project, RGB LED technology was utilised to ‘dial in’ this exact, though somewhat loosely defined, colour. While mock ups were deemed successful, during the design phase, when programming on-site, it was apparent that this colour was more elusive than first thought. Variations within the RGB LED fixtures were significant enough that this approach was abandoned. As a result, LED colours were re-programmed within each venue to suit the client and Interior Designer.

The large inverted glass crystal chandelier in the centre of the M Bar provides a glowing centrepiece for the expansive, yet surprisingly intimate, casino space. Throughout the project custom decorative chandeliers, pendants, wall sconces and rear illuminated cast resin panels add visual excitement and ‘sparkle’.

Cove mounted, warm white Philips eW Graze LED fixtures wash the expansive curved mother-of-pearl casino ceilings, while backlit RGB LED feature walls in Ravello’s Lounge mimic the look of an audio equaliser – bouncing in sync with the music.

For typical static cove lighting, warm white 2800K colour temperature neon was utilised, providing soft, glowing coves. Neon is a particularly good choice for Las Vegas – obviously it’s readily available – but more importantly it is nearly as energy efficient as linear LEDs at about two-thirds the cost per foot.

The popular Studio ‘B’ Buffet features a large, luminous resin ceiling over the dining area backlit with continuous rows of industrial T8 fluorescent strips fitted with 3000K lamps space four feet on centre. Recessed MR16 adjustable downlights in the soffit over the food line highlight the chef’s work and a serpentine 6 foot by 110 foot foot long video wall above the food service line provides for an ever changing display of food related content.

A small, TV studio kitchen and audience area is neatly tucked away in one corner of the buffet. This fully functional studio and demonstration kitchen features broadcast quality video lighting and cameras, allowing the resort to produce live cooking demonstrations broadcast on the Buffet video wall or at any of the hundreds of television sets located throughout the casino.

With a contemporary, casual environment that feels more like an Arizona desert spa than a casino, the M Resort has created a resort atmosphere unlike any other in Las Vegas.

Project Details
M Resort, Las Vegas, USA
Client: M Resort Spa Casino
Lighting Design: CD+M Lighting Design Group
Architecture and Interior Design: Marnell Architecture
Photography: Courtesy of M Resort

Lighting Specified
Anolis – Linear warm white and RGB LED lights
Architectural Lighting Works – Low voltage pendants
BEGA – Compact fluorescent step lights
BK Lighting – Exterior low voltage accent lights
Bronzelite – HID exterior uplights
C.W. Cole – Compact fluorescent step lights
Dabmar – HID exterior landscape lights
EGL – Cold cathode and neon
ETC – Incandescent stage ellipsoidal and PAR spot lights
Elite – Low voltage downlights
Focus Lighting – HID exterior landscape lights
Hera Lighting – Warm white LED puck lights
Hess – Incandescent decorative pendants
Hydrel – Incandescent underwater lights
Intense – Low voltage in-grade uplights
Juno Lighting – Incandescent PAR downlights
Kramer Lighting – Incandescent PAR and compact fluorescent downlights
LEDWorks – Linear warm white LED strips
Leucos – Decorative CFL wall sconces
Lighting Services Inc (LSI) – Light tracks
Lithonia – Linear T5 fluorescent strips and roadway lights
Lucifer Lighting – Low voltage downlights
Martin Professional – Stage effects and dance floor lights
Philips Color Kinetics – Linear warm white and RGB LED wall grazers and flood lights
Rosco – HID Effects projector
RSA – Incandescent and Low voltage downlights
Tokistar – Linear warm white LED light strips
Triton Chandelier – Custom decorative wall sconces, pendants and chandeliers
Sistemalux – Low voltage downlights
Visual Lighting Technologies – Fibre optic illuminators, fibre and fittings
Winona – Incandescent indirect uplights


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