morpheus, a new flagship hotel for macau’s city of dreams resort, has opened its doors to guests. designed by zaha hadid architects (ZHA), the project’s distinctive appearance is informed by the fluid forms found within china’s rich jade carving traditions.
morpheus, a new flagship hotel for macau’s city of dreams resort, has opened its doors to guests. designed by zaha hadid architects (ZHA), the project’s distinctive appearance is informed by the fluid forms found within china’s rich jade carving traditions. conceived as a vertical extrusion of its rectangular footprint, a series of voids is carved through the building’s center. this creates what the architects describe as an ‘urban window’, a void designed to connect the hotel’s interior communal spaces with the city.
located in cotai, macau, the striking building forms part of city of dreams, a resort that includes a casino, two theaters, a shopping district, 20 restaurants, and four hotels. the morpheus hotel is connected to the resort via a three-storey podium, with its upper levels containing 770 guest rooms as well as various suites and sky villas. civic spaces are also included, with meeting and event facilities, gaming rooms, and restaurants joining the spa and rooftop pool.
in developing the project ZHA used the site’s existing foundations to define the shape of the 40-storey building, which stands at a total height of 160 meters. the monolithic block was then ‘carved’ with voids that lend the scheme its dramatic appearance. these spaces also shape the hotel’s internal public spaces, creating corner suites with views of both the atrium and the city. this arrangement maximizes the number of hotel rooms with external views, and guarantees an equal room distribution on either side of the building. meanwhile, 12 glass elevators provide guests with sightlines of the hotel as they travel vertically.
the world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton optimizes the interiors by creating spaces that are uninterrupted by supporting walls or columns. ‘morpheus combines its optimal arrangement with structural integrity and sculptural form,’ explains 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.’