A masterpiece on the inside and out, the last creation by renowned architect Zaha Hadid sees the opening of Morpheus, a new flagship hotel for Macau’s City of Dreams resort.
The project’s distinctive appearance is informed by the fluid forms found within China’s rich jade carving traditions. Conceived as a vertical extrusion of its rectangular footprint, a series of voids is carved through the building’s centre. This creates what the architects describe as an ‘urban window’ – a void designed to connect the hotel’s interior communal spaces with the city.
The sculptural, jaw-dropping, 40-story hotel bears all the hallmarks of the late architects’ signature style. This was one of the last projects the architect worked on before her death in 2016. With futuristic curves and a skeletal steel structure, the hotel also boasts the world’s first high-rise exoskeleton — a curvaceous lattice-like covering that gives the building its cawl-like binding punctuated by three giant holes that puncture the twisting geometric facade.
The Morpheus Hotel is connected to the resort via a three-storey podium, with its upper levels containing 770 guest rooms as well as various suites and sky villas. Civic spaces are also included, with meeting and event facilities, gaming rooms, and restaurants joining the spa and rooftop pool.
The striking 150,000-square-metre structure cost £84 million to build and serves as the new flagship hotel for the resort.
The world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton optimizes the interiors by creating spaces that are uninterrupted by supporting walls or columns. “Morpheus combines its optimal arrangement with structural integrity and sculptural form,” explains Viviana Muscettola, ZHA’s project director. “The design is intriguing as it makes no reference to traditional architectural typologies. macau’s buildings have previously referenced architecture styles from around the world. morpheus has evolved from its unique environment and site conditions as a new architecture expressly of this city.”