Viviana R. Muscettola
Zaha Hadid Architects, London
The Morpheus Hotel is within the City of Dreams resort of Macau, which includes a casino, two theaters, a shopping district, 20 restaurants and four hotels. Linked at ground level with the surrounding three-story podium of the resort, the hotel includes civic spaces, meeting and event facilities, a casino, a lobby atrium, restaurants, a spa and a rooftop pool, as well as extensive back-of-house areas.
The design makes no reference to traditional architectural typologies; instead it is derived from an optimal intersection of structural integrity and sculptural form. Informed by the fluid forms within China’s rich traditions of jade carving, the design combines dramatic public spaces and generous guest rooms with innovative engineering and formal cohesion.
The building form was sculpted and optimized for buildability, structural performance and the rationalization of the glazed façade. To achieve this, high levels of cross-disciplinary integration were required, in particular, excellent collaboration between the design team, the contractor and fabricator. The process of optimization, which avoided any warped structural members in the double-curved central area, required structural analysis to be carried out in a fully computational workflow, in order to manage complexity. The analytical evaluation of the free-spanning freeform elements was also completed using a fully parametric methodology.