A Better Bubble
Oceanus Casino Resort, Macau, China
Oceanus Casino Resort
OWNER: Sociedad de Jogos de Macau (SJM)
DESIGN FIRM: Steelman Partners
CASINO FLOOR: 32,105 square meters
TOTAL INVESTMENT: $140 million
Although the resemblance to Beijing’s Water Cube, the site for the swimming and diving competition at the 2008 Olympics, can’t be denied, SJM’s newest entry into the Macau market stands on its own. The Oceanus Casino Resort has many things going for it: location (close to the Macau main ferry terminal), a reasonable budget (scaled down from $800 million to $140 million) and a legendary architect, Paul Steelman.
The striking appearance of Oceanus draws the customers in after leaving the ferry frequented by an average of 50,000 people a day, and the knowledgeable SJM staff is able to keep them playing. Surveys have shown that at least 50 percent of visitors have not decided on a destination before embarking for Macau.
But in addition to the wide array of games—269 tables and 569 slot machines—Oceanus offers amenities equal to any other casino in Macau. The two-level facility features areas for high rollers and the average players. While the VIP market is de-emphasized at Oceanus in favor of the day-tripper, the amenities are worthy of any level of player. The innovative SJM player club system is combined with a wide array of food-and-beverage outlets featuring the requisite noodle bar, a gourmet Cantonese restaurant and a beer hall. Stanley Ho’s SJM does the rest.
Steelman’s design transformed a former department store with an exterior of irregular shapes contained by an innovative membrane, giving the visual impression of the building being enveloped in blue bubbles. The building can change shades from blue to red, yellow, blue, green and purple, making a huge impression on passers-by.
Inside, the warmth of the surroundings is emphasized by similar colors and a huge LED screen that spans the center stage. Multimedia screens are scattered across the casino to update players on promotions and events at the facility.
With booming revenue in Macau, such a modest investment is bound to pay back the owners in a short time.