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Monday, June 18, 2018

The world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton

Compiled by TeamIAnD
Photography: Courtesy ZHA
Read Time: 3 mins
"ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Ivan Dupont

Asia’s most popular entertainment destination, Macau opens Morpheus, a new flagship hotel for its City of Dreams integrated-entertainment resort… 

Located in Cotai, Macau, City of Dreams combines entertainment, diverse accommodation, regional and international dining with 20 restaurants and four hotels, shopping and a casino with 475 gaming tables to create an exceptional entertainment experience for visitors from around the world. Informed by Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) signature fluid forms within China’s rich traditions of jade carving, the Morpheus’ design combines dramatic public spaces and generous guest rooms with innovative engineering and formal cohesion.  

" exoskeleton ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Ivan Dupont

Conceived as a vertical extrusion of its rectangular footprint, a series of voids is carved through its centre to create an urban window connecting the hotel’s interior communal spaces with the city and generating the sculptural forms that define the hotel’s public spaces. 

"atrium ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Virgile Simon Bertrand
"dynamic interior mesh ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Virgile Simon Bertrand

Linked at ground level with the surrounding three-storey podium of the City of Dreams resort, the Morpheus houses 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.

"elevators ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Virgile Simon Bertrand

The design resolves the hotel’s many complex programmes within a single cohesive envelope. ZHA was commissioned to build the hotel in 2012, when foundations were already in place of a condominium tower that did not progress. ZHA has designed the Morpheus as a simple extrusion of the existing abandoned foundations; 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 are required. 

This extrusion generates a monolithic block making best use of its development envelope that is restricted to a 160m height by local planning codes. This block is then ‘carved’ with voids. The underlying diagram of the hotel’s design is a pair of towers connected at ground and roof levels. The central atrium in-between these towers runs the height of the hotel and is traversed by external voids that connect the north and south facades. These voids create the urban window that links the hotel’s interior communal spaces with the city. 

"interiors ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Virgile Simon Bertrand

Three horizontal vortices generate the voids through the building and define the hotel’s dramatic internal public spaces; creating unique corner suites with spectacular views of both the atrium and the city. This arrangement maximises the number of hotel rooms with external views and guarantees an equal room distribution on either side of the building. 

"reception ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Virgile Simon Bertrand
"pavillion shell structure ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Virgile Simon Bertrand

In-between the free-form voids that traverse the atrium, a series of bridges create unique spaces for the hotel’s restaurants, bars and guest lounges. The atrium's twelve glass elevators provide guests with remarkable views of the hotel’s interior and exterior as they travel between the voids of the building. 

"restaurant ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Virgile Simon Bertrand
"glass envelope ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Virgile Simon Bertrand

As one of the world's leading hotels, the building’s exoskeleton optimizes the interiors by creating spaces that are uninterrupted by supporting walls or columns. The world’s first free-form 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. 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. 

"perspective view ZHA Morpheus City of Dreams resort indiaartndesign"
©Ivan Dupont

Setting high environmental standards, long-life specifications are applied throughout the building to strictly limit requirements for maintenance and replacement. Besides using locally sourced fabrication to the highest international standards, the hotel’s intelligent building management system responds in real time to usage and environmental conditions to minimise energy consumption. 


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