Nominee

Morpheus Hotel at City of Dreams

Designed by: Zaha Hadid Architects
For client: Melco Resorts & Entertainment Floor area: 1478602.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for:

About the Project

The design resolves the hotel’s many complex programmes within a single cohesive envelope housing 770 guest rooms, suites and sky villas, and includes civic spaces, meeting and event facilities, gaming rooms, lobby atrium, restaurants, spa and rooftop pool, as well as extensive back-of-house areas and ancillary facilities. Morpheus was designed as a vertical extrusion of the existing abandoned foundations on the site for a tower that did not progress; using this rectangular footprint to define a 40-storey building of two internal vertical circulation cores connected at podium and roof levels where the many guest amenities were required. A central atrium runs the height of the hotel and is traversed by external voids that define the hotel’s dramatic public spaces. In-between these voids, a series of bridges create unique spaces for the hotel’s restaurants, bars and guest lounges by renowned chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Herme. As one of the world’s leading hotels, Morpheus’ interior spaces necessitated a high degree of adaptability to accommodate the many varying requirements of its guest amenities. Working with Buro Happold Engineering, ZHA designed the building’s exoskeleton to optimise the interiors by creating spaces that are uninterrupted by supporting walls or columns. The world’s first freeform high-rise exoskeleton, its rich pattern of structural members at lower levels progresses upwards to a less dense grid of lighter members at its summit.

What’s unique about it

Morpheus draws on a ZHA’s 40 years of research into the integration of interior and exterior, civic and private, solid and void, Cartesian and Einsteinian. Space is woven within structure to tie disparate programmes together and constantly make connections. Viviana Muscettola, ZHA’s project director explains, “Morpheus combines its optimal arrangement with structural integrity and sculptural form. 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. “The expertise of all members of the Morpheus team has created new possibilities for architecture,” continued Muscettola. “The comprehensive parametric model combined all of the hotel’s aesthetic, structural and fabrication requirements and will radically change how our built environment is planned and constructed.” Lawrence Ho, chairman and CEO of Melco Resorts said, “From the very beginning, we shared ZHA’s vision and determination to push boundaries. Morpheus offers a journey of the imagination. From the curved exterior to the dramatic interior spaces, it pleases the eye and excites the senses: a contemporary masterpiece to be enjoyed by many generations to come.”

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