Cuningham Group Announces Opening of Isleta Hotel and Convention Center

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Cuningham Group designs a dramatic and iconic new world-class hotel, convention and meeting center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The new hotel includes a spa facilities and entertainment and dining options.

The result is both authentic to the Pueblo and attractive to guests. Cuningham Group and Pueblo of Isleta expect inspiring levels of success from the new facilities.

Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A. Cuningham Group a leader in hospitality design as well as interior design, urban design and planning services, has announced the opening of Isleta Casino & Resort. A dramatic expansion of Isleta Casino & Resort, the new facility has more than 200 hotel rooms and suites boasting luxury amenities, as well as 24-hour café, steakhouse and Asian bistro, indoor and outdoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, full-service water-themed spa, children's' activity center and more than 30,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space.

The new facilities' iconic design will attract both leisure and business guests. Some of the more unforgettable architectural experiences include a stunning glass atrium; an outdoor "Spa Jar" in the shape of Isleta Pueblo pottery; a uniquely round meeting room; and a striking, barrel-vaulted, convention space. Cuningham Group Vice President Thomas Hoskens, AIA, LEED® A.P. said that "the poetry of the landscape" and rich cultural history of the Pueblo of Isleta inspired the new hotel.

"Three essential metaphors influenced the architecture of Isleta Casino & Resort: adobe, feathers and the beautiful pottery produced by the Pueblo," said Hoskens. "Adobe is the basic form-giver of historic Pueblo buildings. Here it is undulated and layered to bring out the shapes of the functional building forms. The feather is used as a major form-giver to the sun-screening device in the spectacular atrium while pottery pieces were abstracted, scaled and used as major landmark elements for the entry. Pottery is also the inspiration for the dramatically oversized Spa Jar."

Perhaps the most dramatic of these components is the atrium - a soaring, seven-story, 90-foot glass wonder greeting guests as they enter the hotel: "The open-air atrium celebrates the verticality of the red-rock walls, which are highly textural by design. The water feature along the walls adds a touch of elegance and appears to flow from the atrium to the exterior Spa. This offers a connection to nature and a sense of mystery and exploration for guests," said Hoskens.

This sense of exploration permeates the guest experience at Isleta Casino & Resort, says Hoskens. "A path is woven into a series of visually exciting spaces wandering diagonally through restaurants, retail, bar and eateries, all punctuated by landscaped courts and skylights."

The new facilities enhance Isleta's existing, popular, 300,000-square-foot casino, Isleta Eagle golf course and clubhouse, Isleta Fun Connection and the scenic lake and fishing areas. Isleta General Manager Rodney Ferguson called the new hotel architecture "stunning and dramatic."

"Guests will enjoy the unique Spa Jar - a private, semi-sheltered outdoor spa in the shape of native pottery where guests will enjoy refreshments and relaxation. Isleta will offer something for everyone from the business traveler to families. We're proud to position ourselves as a true destination resort," Ferguson said.

Cuningham Group engaged Pueblo of Isleta, the casino owners, in master planning the expansion of its existing facility through a design process that included visioning and chartering sessions. "We interpreted the client's vision, extracted metaphors from the region and the site, and then translated those into distinctive, timeless, modern forms," said Hoskens. "The result is both authentic to the Pueblo and attractive to guests. Cuningham Group and Pueblo of Isleta expect inspiring levels of success from the new facilities."

As with all its designs, Cuningham Group considered the environment before specifying products and materials. "Smart decisions from the onset maximized water, site, air and building conditions that reinforced a sustainable building design," Hoskens said.

About Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A.
Cuningham Group, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, transcends tradition with architecture, interior design, urban design and planning services for a diverse mix of client and project types. Our client-centered, collaborative approach incorporates trend-setting architecture and environmental responsiveness to create projects that weave seamlessly into the urban fabric. Founded in 1968, the firm is consistently recognized as a leader in the field of architecture and has grown to over 200 employees in offices in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Biloxi, Bakersfield, Madrid and Seoul. For more information, please visit Cuningham Group.

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