Architecture

Zaha Hadid wraps hotel in striking exoskeleton

Zaha Hadid wraps hotel in stri...
Morpheus Hotel is wrapped in a steel and aluminum exoskeleton that provides structural support
Morpheus Hotel is wrapped in a steel and aluminum exoskeleton that provides structural support
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Morpheus Hotel serves as a new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau, China
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Morpheus Hotel serves as a new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau, China
Morpheus Hotel's interior design is as extraordinary as its exterior 
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Morpheus Hotel's interior design is as extraordinary as its exterior 
Morpheus Hotel includes 770 guest rooms, suites and sky villas, as well as meeting and event rooms, restaurants, spa, and a rooftop pool
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Morpheus Hotel includes 770 guest rooms, suites and sky villas, as well as meeting and event rooms, restaurants, spa, and a rooftop pool
Morpheus Hotel's atrium is designed to reduce solar heat gain
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Morpheus Hotel's atrium is designed to reduce solar heat gain
Morpheus Hotel measures 147,860 sq m (1,591,550 sq ft) 
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Morpheus Hotel measures 147,860 sq m (1,591,550 sq ft) 
Morpheus Hotel includes 42 floors
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Morpheus Hotel includes 42 floors
Morpheus Hotel's exoskeleton offers the benefit of a flexible interior layout 
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Morpheus Hotel's exoskeleton offers the benefit of a flexible interior layout 
Morpheus Hotel includes a dozen glass elevators
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Morpheus Hotel includes a dozen glass elevators
Morpheus Hotel's atrium includes bridges that provide spaces for the hotel's restaurants, bars and guest lounges
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Morpheus Hotel's atrium includes bridges that provide spaces for the hotel's restaurants, bars and guest lounges
Morpheus Hotel includes 42 floors
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Morpheus Hotel includes 42 floors
Morpheus Hotel is built atop the abandoned foundations of a condo that was never completed
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Morpheus Hotel is built atop the abandoned foundations of a condo that was never completed
Morpheus Hotel includes 770 guest rooms, suites and sky villas, as well as meeting and event rooms, restaurants, spa, and a rooftop pool
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Morpheus Hotel includes 770 guest rooms, suites and sky villas, as well as meeting and event rooms, restaurants, spa, and a rooftop pool
Morpheus Hotel is wrapped in a steel and aluminum exoskeleton that provides structural support
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Morpheus Hotel is wrapped in a steel and aluminum exoskeleton that provides structural support
Morpheus Hotel serves as a new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau
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Morpheus Hotel serves as a new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau
Morpheus Hotel is designed by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher 
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Morpheus Hotel is designed by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher 
Morpheus Hotel takes the form of two towers connected at multiple points
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Morpheus Hotel takes the form of two towers connected at multiple points
Morpheus Hotel's exoskeleton offers the benefit of a flexible interior layout uninterrupted by any load-bearing walls or columns
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Morpheus Hotel's exoskeleton offers the benefit of a flexible interior layout uninterrupted by any load-bearing walls or columns
Morpheus Hotel's exoskeleton is made from steel and aluminum 
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Morpheus Hotel's exoskeleton is made from steel and aluminum 
Morpheus Hotel is described by the firm as the world's first free-form high-rise exoskeleton
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Morpheus Hotel is described by the firm as the world's first free-form high-rise exoskeleton
Morpheus Hotel's atrium is designed to reduce solar heat gain and features high-performance glazing
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Morpheus Hotel's atrium is designed to reduce solar heat gain and features high-performance glazing
Morpheus Hotel serves as a new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau
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Morpheus Hotel serves as a new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau
Morpheus Hotel includes 770 guest rooms, suites and sky villas, as well as meeting and event rooms, restaurants, spa, and a rooftop pool
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Morpheus Hotel includes 770 guest rooms, suites and sky villas, as well as meeting and event rooms, restaurants, spa, and a rooftop pool

You could be forgiven for thinking that an alien race had made its home in Macau, China, but this extraordinary structure is actually the latest major building by Zaha Hadid Architects. Serving as a flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort, its perforated form is wrapped in an exoskeleton that provides structural support.

Morpheus Hotel is built atop the abandoned foundations of a rectangular condo that was never completed, so its basic shape was already decided. That said, ZHA definitely managed to put its own stamp on the project.

The building rises to a height of 160 m (524 ft) and, structurally, takes the form of two towers connected at multiple points. It's described by the firm as the "world's first free-form high-rise exoskeleton" (that is, with its structural support visible on the outside), though is also supported by internal concrete cores that provide additional stability, allowing it to stand up to typhoons and seismic activity – not to mention meet the region's strict planning codes.

Morpheus Hotel is described by the firm as the world's first free-form high-rise exoskeleton
Morpheus Hotel is described by the firm as the world's first free-form high-rise exoskeleton

The exoskeleton itself is an impressive feat of engineering and comprises 2,500 steelwork connections and 1,200 junctions, all clad in aluminum. As well as lending it such a unique appearance, the exoskeleton also allows for flexible interior spaces uninterrupted by columns.

As out-of-this-world as Morpheus Hotel looks, inspiration for the project comes from closer to home – namely, the fluid forms of China's jade carving traditions.

Its 42 m (137 ft)-tall atrium is filled with complex geometric shapes and plays with light and open space. A dozen glass elevators move people around and multiple bridges provide choice locations for the hotel's restaurants, bars and guest lounges. The 147,860 sq m (1,591,550 sq ft) building includes 770 guest rooms, suites and sky villas, and is topped by a rooftop pool.

Morpheus Hotel serves as a new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau, China
Morpheus Hotel serves as a new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau, China

ZHA gave some thought to energy-efficiency and the environment, too. The building's atrium is designed to reduce solar heat gain and features high-performance glazing. Air-conditioning is used only in essential areas (bridges, bars, and the like) and local materials were also used in construction. An efficient water system pre-heats water for domestic use and a building management system minimizes energy consumption.

Source: ZHA

2 comments
Vernon Miles Kerr
This is truly a leap forward. Wright's tenet of "Form follows function" is truly evident, right outside, for all the world to see. As with other buildings who stay true to that maxim, this one will have lasting impact on the art of Architecture.
ljaques
I'll bet she designed that for downtown Zurich. ;)