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Case Study: New Flapper-Panel Walls Amplify Entrance at Morongo Casino


The Morongo Casino Resort & Spa’s wind-driven, flapper-panel walls line the drive to the main entrance and greet guests with movement and illumination. These sculptural feature walls showcase more than 4,500 metal flappers within EXTECH/Exterior Technologies Inc.'s KINETICWALL facade system. 

Owned by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the AAA Four Diamond resort and casino's grand entry was envisioned by Lifescapes International. A landscape architectural firm specializing in destination resorts, Lifescapes' concept included multiple freestanding columns of LED screens displaying changing visual patterns set in front of a dynamic curtain of flapper-panel walls. 

Revealed in September 2020 as part of Morongo's renovation and expansion, the new entry elements combine color, light, sound and motion. Helping bring this sensory experience to reality for Morongo Casino, EXTECH designed, engineered and fabricated the KINETICWALL system in collaboration with MediaWorks' installation team. 

"Our KINETICWALL system responds to wind currents, creating the look of rolling waves across the flapper-panel wall system," says Jim Leslie, EXTECH's general manager.  

Each wall spans approximately 60 feet, ranges up to 15 feet high and curves in two directions. Viewed from the side, the walls undulate from concave to convex, and across the top the heights rise and dip to accentuate the waveform. 

Within the wall's structural framework, more than 4,500 clear anodized, 6-by-6-inch, aluminum flappers are horizontally suspended on a pin-mount system. EXTECH's KINETICWALL Pin-Mount suspension system allows the flapper elements to seemingly float in front of the support rungs and side rails as a veil. Finished in black anodize, the framework fades into the background to emphasize the dynamic flappers and their movement. 

 "Pin-Mount has become our default suspension system because it allows for a continuous unbroken 'surface' of flappers that minimizes the supporting structure, it accommodates a 90-degree range of motion, and it provides a more economical price point than rod-mount suspensions," says Leslie. 

The Pin-Mount system also helps save time and labor during the KINETICWALL system's long lifespan. If repair or maintenance operations are necessary, the flappers can be removed and replaced without any specialized tools. After its useful life on the at Morongo Casino, the metal is 100 percent recyclable. 

To ensure the specified longevity, appearance and performance, EXTECH engineered and fabricated the KINETICWALL wall system in its Pittsburgh factory. The flappers were mounted on their horizontal rungs and then preassembled into 40 sections for convenient shipping and easy installation. Each section was 55 inches wide and varied from 60 to 140 inches high. Delivered directly to the jobsite, the unitized system saved time and labor costs in the field. 

MediaWorks coordinated installation while the casino and resort were fully operational, minimizing disruption to the guests and staff. For the final touches on Morongo Casino's flapper-panel KINETICWALL system, MediaWorks also turned to EXTECH. David Coronado, senior vice president of business operations at MediaWorks explains that these decorative elements were accentuated with solid metal caps that outline the walls' rolling shape, and the supported ribbons of colorful metal that ascend and intertwine above the walls like sculptures in flight. 

The $250 million resort's 27-story tower is the tallest building in Riverside County. It offers 310 contemporary guest rooms, 14 unique restaurants and bars, a two-story luxury spa and a 15,000-square-foot conference center. It also boasts to be the site of "Southern California's best pool" along with a resort water park, a 36-hole golf course, a 24-lane professional bowling center and a renowned outlet mall with 170+ upscale retail stores. 

Morongo Casino now offers 148,000-square-foot gaming floor, one of the largest casino floors on the West Coast. In 1983, the path of Morongo's future changed when tribal members started a modest bingo hall. From this building evolved one of the oldest and most successful Native American casinos in California. In late 2004, the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa became one of the largest tribal gaming facilities in the nation. 

"With our luxurious new expansion now open, Morongo's gaming floor is now over 30 percent bigger, with more slots, table games, amenities and good times," Simon Farmer, Morongo's executive director of marketing, told The Orange County Register in September 2020. "Our expansion marks another major milestone in Morongo's legacy as a world-class resort destination and underscores our ongoing commitment to always exceed the expectations of our guests." 

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