THE NATURE OF GAMBLING is a topic that is continuously debated. It is challenged both for its affiliation with corruption and its tendency to perpetuate addictive behavior. However, the games themselves and the stimulating environments that they are played in, express senses of desire, thrill, and transcendence inherently part of the human psyche. Typically, when a person becomes destructively addicted to these senses, recovery programs separate that individual from both their physical context and their addiction triggers in order to “correct the problem.” Despite negative connotations, those who choose to gamble should not be prevented, and those who become addicted should not be judged. Therefore, our driving design principle is that the relationship between gambling and addiction recovery must be treated as COEQUAL.
The field of architecture has the tendency to shy away from addressing conflicts and frictions of the human condition, yet it is our belief that architecture does, in fact, have the ability to mediate such difficult societal realities. The exterior affect of the building therefore developed as a response to the dichotomous program, of both casino and gambling rehabilitation center, by carefully moderating the building’s contents. The brick material is both contextual and pedestrian. The patchwork of various brick bonds and screens subtly reflect the program inside while providing private exterior space. Inside, the building is divided in two parts by a ten foot wide, vertical, light-well. The casino is located in the point of the triangular site, while the rehabilitation center is placed opposite. Across the voided space of the light-well, the building holds and protects its most sensitive programs—pure addiction and addiction recovery therapy. These select programs are then physically separated and spatially distinct from the surrounding activities in order to emphasize their significance within the building.