Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) hotly-anticipated flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau opens today, June 15.
Conceived as an “urban window connecting the hotel’s interior communal spaces with the city”, Morpheus is notable for the series of sculptural voids carved through its centre – inspired by the fluid forms within China’s rich traditions of jade carving.
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.
ZHA designed the Morpheus as “a simple extrusion” of the abandoned foundations of a condominium tower that was never built. The rectangular footprint was used to define a monolithic 40-storey building of two internal vertical circulation cores connected at podium and roof levels.
The building’s exoskeleton optimises the interiors by creating spaces that are uninterrupted by supporting walls or columns. The central atrium runs the height of the hotel, traversed by a series of bridges that create spaces for the hotel’s restaurants, bars and guest lounge.
“Morpheus combines its optimal arrangement with structural integrity and sculptural form,” said Viviana Muscettola, ZHA’s project director. “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 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, chair and CEO of Melco Resorts, which owns the property, added: “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.”
Macau welcomed more than 32 million tourists in 2017, with visitor numbers increasing every year. The City of Dreams development includes a casino, two theatres, a shopping centre, 20 restaurants and four hotels.