Emerald Queen Casino and Parking Garage
Tacoma, Wash.
Award of Merit and Excellence in Safety, Best Project

Owner: The Puyallup Tribe of Indians
Lead Design Firm: Cuningham Group
General Contractor: AbsherKitchell Joint Venture
Civil Engineer: KPFF
MEP Engineer: EXP
Structural Engineer: PCS Structural Solutions
Owner's Representative: Wenaha Group
Subcontractors: Qwalsius Studios; Apollo Mechanical; Sturgeon Electric; Schuff Steel; Western Partitions; Sak & Assoc.; Flynn; Custom Design Inc.; Quality Cabinet & Fixture Co.

Teamwide coordination proved to be the lucky charm for this $220-million, 705,000-sq-ft Las Vegas-style entertainment mecca and its accompanying 450,000-sq-ft, 563-stall parking garage. Adding 30,000 sq ft of gaming space across a city street required re-detailing a 120-ft-long clear-span steel section to match up with an existing structure that was more than 2 ft out of alignment. Incorporating owner-requested design additions and synchronizing last-minute changes to inspection protocols required additional schedule changes in order to have the facility ready by its target opening date.

The design team collaborated with Puyallup cultural leaders to develop an interior concept that honors the relationship between the tribe and its land. Five tribal members created designs for elaborate etched windows, wall murals, lighting fixtures and even drink coasters. Integrating large windows that allow natural light into the gaming area also helped guests maintain a connection with the natural world.

The team’s safety record was nothing short of extraordinary. The project spanned more than 1,100 days, with a peak workforce that topped 300 people on site. During more than 900,000 work hours, the team logged only one lost-time injury and just four reportable injuries.

Back to ENR Northwest's 2020 Regional Best Projects