Landscape architectural firm Lifescapes International completed a landscape design for the $300-million expansion of the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, Calif., which makes it the largest four-diamond casino resort on the West Coast.
Lifescapes International’s design for this project was a team effort overseen by Donald Brinkerhoff, Lifescapes chairman and CEO; lead designer Al Amador; senior project manager Marianne Mastroianni; horticulture specialist Roger Voettiner; field landscape architect Berj Behesnilian; and project managers Fernando Ortiz and Spencer Louie.
Delawie served as the architect for the expansion, with Tutor Perini as general contractor.
For its landscape design, Lifescapes International created multiple pools and spas, event lawns, dining patios, and culturally-inspired gardens.
The project doubled the size of the resort by adding an additional 568 rooms and suites, and included the addition of five pools, a poolside dining area and swim-up bar, family pool with slide and beach entry, four whirlpool spas (one with a rock waterfall feature), a two-story standalone luxury spa, two new restaurants, and a green roof garden and Zen space with native plant species, private patios, and Native American art installations atop a new 40,000 square-foot ballroom.
According to Al Amador, senior principal and project designer at Lifescapes International, their design pays homage to the culture and history of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, who inhabited the Temecula Valley for thousands of years.
For example, during the expansion, Lifescapes realized that several existing oak trees, with up to 60’ wide canopies, had to be moved to accommodate several elements of the design. Since the trees are sacred to the Pechanga people, they went to the leaders of the community to discuss and determine a solution that would preserve the sanctity of these existing trees. Ultimately, the trees were relocated, placing them throughout the grounds to deliver respect and honor to the Pechanga community. Lifescapes relocated 18 large specimen trees in total, and also installed an additional 10,260 trees and shrubs, while integrating sustainable plant materials throughout the property.
Sustainability was also a priority in the design. Pechanga is situated in a region with intense heat and direct sunlight, so they infused drought-tolerant plants in the design for a landscape that can be enjoyed regardless of local weather conditions.
Photo credit: Lifescapes International