The Zaha Hadid-designed Morpheus, a flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau, has opened its doors. Informed by the fluid forms of China’s rich jade carving traditions, Morpheus’ design brings together dramatic public spaces and innovative engineering across 770 guestrooms and a series of meeting, F&B, entertainment and spa facilities.
Conceived as a vertical extrusion of its rectangular footprint, a series of voids has been carved through the centre to create an urban window connecting interior communal spaces with the city, whilst simultaneously generating sculptural forms that define public spaces.
Three horizontal vortices further create unique corner suites, offering views of both the atrium and the city, with this arrangement also maximising the number of keys with external views and guaranteeing an equal room distribution on either side of the building. In-between the voids, a series of bridges create unique spaces for the hotel’s restaurants, bars and guest lounges by chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Hermé.
Viviana Muscettola, Project Director, Zaha Hadid Architects, 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,” she adds. “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.”
Necessitating a high degree of adaptability to accommodate the many varying requirements of its guest amenities, the building’s exoskeleton optimises the interiors by creating spaces that are uninterrupted by supporting walls or columns. Landing with the world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton, Morpheus’ rich pattern of structural members at lower levels progresses upwards to a less dense grid at its summit.
“The expertise of all members of the Morpheus team has created new possibilities for architecture,” Muscettola concludes. “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.”
As Asia’s most popular entertainment destination, Macau welcomed more than 32 million tourists in 2017. Located in Cotai, City of Dreams is an integrated resort comprising a casino, two theatres, shopping district, 20 restaurants and four hotels.