MGM National Harbor – Architecture Overview

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HKS Hospitality Group
Services Provided – Architecture
Design Architect – Eddie Abeyta, AIA, LEED AP | Principal, Design Director
Design Narrative
Prominently situated upon a nearby hill overlooking the Potomac River, the MGM National Harbor serves as a landmark to its community and a gateway into Maryland.
Due to the project’s high visibility and nearby proximity to our nation’s Capital, the architectural vision embodies a modern, bold and progressive design while respecting the District’s monumental, timeless sense of place.
Inspiration for the project stemmed from the strength and timeless qualities evident in the historical monuments that are focal points across the District. A linear spine organizes architectural space and form while celebrating intersecting nodes designed to serve as places of congregation and discovery, similar to defining planning principles inherent to the District's National Mall. 
The Architectural Expression
The organizing principles of the architectural expression include the plinth, landmark, connector, entertainment destination, spine, conservatory and event terrace – all erected along a linear axis that connects one sequence of guest experiences to the next.
The Plinth
The plinth acts as the foundation of the project. It is symbolic of a journey of ascending a series of grand steps and arriving atop to experience a monumental landmark.
The Landmark
The hotel tower is the landmark. It is a glistening knife-like structure rising vertically above the expansive horizontal plinth. The vertical nature expressed in the Washington Monument was the inspiration for the tower’s form, with its long axis paralleling the National Mall.
The Connector
A bold, dramatic and sweeping horizontal roof plane becomes the connector bridging the entirety of the project’s program as a unified whole. The overarching roof embodies the heart of the project – the entertainment destination – the casino.
Potomac Plaza
The gliding roof’s dramatic composition accentuates the elegant quality of the development in a unique and defining manner. Resort guests are immersed in both an indoor and outdoor experience as connection to views and natural light is an integral part of the guest experience.
The Spine
The grand gesture of a strong axial alignment is unveiled through the project’s bold symmetry, as reinforced and defined by the linear roof slope that threads the east and west ends of the project.
The Conservatory
At the east end of the plan, a naturally illuminated interior environment is incorporated as the arrival experience for casino and hotel guests. This conservatory, lined with restaurants and high-end retail, serves as the pulse of the space. Elements of nature and sculpture play off each other to create an unexpected, inspiring experience.
At the west end of the project, an exterior landscaped roof deck is incorporated as a platform to indoor/outdoor dining, overlooking the panoramic view of the Potomac River. A digital façade, cantilevered off the point of the plinth, serves as a visual playground with choreographed water elements dancing nearby.

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