Tewa is a Tanoan language spoken by Pueblo people, mostly in the Rio Grande valley in New Mexico north of Santa Fe. The word Tesuque is a Spanish variation of the language’s name for “village of the narrow place of the cottonwood trees.” It was one of the inspirations for the architectural design team at Dekker/Perich/Sabatini in creating a unique and critically praised gaming facility just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. Randy Burkett Lighting Design was fortunate to be a member of the design team that helped give life to this distinctive, yet respectful addition to the Tesuque valley.
One key aspect of the casino’s design that separates it from most gaming plan philosophies is the inclusion of expansive exterior walls of outward facing glass. The views to the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains are striking and making that a part of the visitor’s experience is a significant, but most welcome, departure from conventional gaming facility enterprise.
Lighting’s role begins with a beckoning nighttime drive-by view from Highway 285 which skirts the property’s border. The exterior materials incorporate colors and sensation of the southwestern desert terrain, with natural material intonations of stone and weathered steel. Softly dramatic illumination of key surfaces help support the building’s massing, while revealing subtleties of texture and hue. A lantern quality to the north facing facade permits approaching visitors an alluring glimpse into the gaming floor and amenities beyond. The interiors’ desert modern style is revealed dramatically through a combination of linear coves and softly illuminated surfaces, each seasoned with carefully orchestrated accent lighting. Directed illumination of gaming tables provides required light levels, while an integrated luminous panel above the pit area reveals an inspired traditional Tesuque design motif through silhouette. All sources are 3000K LED.
Ultimately, it is the connection of the interior space to the constantly shifting daylight and climate of the Tesuque valley that makes this place special to those who visit.
The project is a part of a multi-year master plan that includes a hotel and other resort amenities.