Tacoma, Washington

Emerald Queen Casino

West Coast USA
Puyallup Tribe of Indians
Project Size
310,000 square feet (front and back of house) 210,000 square feet (parking garage)
On the Boards

The Emerald Queen Casino balances the eye-catching flash of a Las Vegas-style resort with memorable references to Puyallup Tribal culture. The facility relocates the Tribe’s existing gaming operations to a highly visible site along Interstate 5 near downtown Tacoma, Washington. When complete, the full-service gaming facility will include approximately 100,000 square feet of slots and table games, a 2,000-seat event center, five food and beverage venues and two parking garages with direct access to the gaming floor.

The project utilizes an innovative and unprecedented solution to fitting a large gaming facility gracefully into urban city fabric. Due to site and infrastructure constraints, the gaming floor and amenities are strategically placed four levels above the ground floor, spanning over the city streets and supported structurally by two parking garages. This approach creates a breathtaking building that is highly visible from the highway and provides panoramic views to downtown and to the culturally significant Mt. Rainier and Puget Sound.

Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound and the Puyallup River connecting the two are important cultural landmarks for the Tribe. The design team collaborated with Puyallup cultural leaders to develop an interior design concept that honors and tells the story of this relationship between culture and tribal land base. Interior elements subtly weave-in and draw influence from the textures, shapes and colors of the mountain, river, forests and sound that define Puyallup tribal land. Traditional and contemporary Puyallup art, cultural patterns and language are also incorporated into the design. From the bold black and red exterior to the organic textures that give life to the interior, a powerful, modern and resilient Puyallup culture is expressed.