The combination of form and function has always been one of the key guiding principles or architecture and design. So, it comes as no great surprise that some of the world’s most breathtaking buildings are casinos.
After all, they symbolise extravagance, entertainment, glamour and, above all, wealth. In many some cases this means that the architects have been given almost free rein and a huge budget to turn their visions into reality. In others, fine existing buildings have been adapted to become one of these pleasure palaces.
1. The Clermont Club, London
The Clermont Club in London was once run by the legendary John Aspinall and attracted the cream of British society. Its home today is in a glorious Palladian mansion in the exclusive Mayfair area of London designed by the famous architect William Kent. Beneath its grand façade, many of the remarkable building’s original features remain, to the undoubted delight of its still distinguished clientele.
2. Casino Baden-Baden
Our next destination lies in the heart of Germany’s Black Forest. In the 19th century the wealthy and well connected of Europe headed to Baden-Baden for the health-giving properties of the town’s natural springs. While there, they also whiled away many hours in its magnificent casino. Built in the Belle Epoque style the interior is lavishly decorated with gold and crimson being the primary colours used.
3. Casino de Monte-Carlo
Another favourite destination on the European grand tour, and just as popular now, is the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo. Originally opened in 1865 its main purpose was to raise funds for the newly independent state of Monaco, and it still makes a major contribution to the country’s economy today. The original design was greatly enhanced by additions made by Charles Garnier, the architect made famous by his work on the Paris Opera.
4. Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
The influence of Las Vegas can be seen throughout the casino world and has inspired many online casino providers to create games similar to those found in Vegas. Some online casino games are even created around the theme of Vegas, including themed slot games. Here’s our top online casino sites inspired by the iconic city of Las Vegas.
In the real world of Vegas there’s one casino that most people would name if asked. Caesars Palace first opened in 1966 and was designed, as the name suggests, to recreate the imagined opulence of the ancient Roman empire. With grand designs, Doric columns and marble everywhere you look it’s more than achieved its aim.
5. MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Caesars Palace relies heavily on the Hollywood vision of Rome and the MGM Grand is equally influenced by Tinseltown. One only has to see the 45-foot lion, Leo, that guards its entrance. Bigger is definitely better at the Grand which not only has the largest gaming floor in Las Vegas at over 171,000 square feet, it also boasts 6,852 rooms and suites, making it the biggest single hotel complex in the world.
6. The Bellagio, Las Vegas
The last in our trio of Las Vegas casino resorts, the famous fountains of The Bellagio provided the stunning backdrop to the final scene in the George Clooney and Matt Damon version of Ocean’s 11. As well as being as splendid a piece of architecture as you’ll find in the city, the Bellagio also has a famous conservatory and botanical gardens attached where displays of plants, flowers and trees thrive in the heart of the desert.
7. Atlantis, Bahamas
Atlantis is the legendary hidden city said to lie at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. But you can find it here on Earth on the very appropriately named Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Its design reflects the architect’s vision of what the city would look like, and there is even the chance to explore its undersea world. This is thanks to a network of underwater tunnels where visitors can watch the area’s abundant sea life in its natural habitat.
8. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
An already impressive skyline in Singapore is dominated by the stunning Marina Bay Sands. Designed by Moshe Safdie, its three parallel towers are said have been inspired by a deck of cards and all are linked by a 340m skyway that includes a 150m infinity swimming pool. The cost of the building was $6.88 billion making it the world’s most expensive standalone casino.
9. The Venetian, Macau
But for sheer vision and ambition, the title of the world’s most fascinating casino must surely go to the Venetian in Macau. Built to capitalize on the huge success of Macau as a gaming destination, the casino resort covers over 10.5 million square feet and even incudes three canals complete with gondolas and their accompanying gondoliers. And, for when the gaming and the gondolas don’t provide enough entertainment, there’s also a 15,000 seat indoor arena.
Of course, there are also many other stunning casino complexes everywhere from South America to the Caribbean – but none quite measure up to these incredible nine.