Text description offered by the architects. Asia’s hottest amusement destination, Macau welcomed over 32 million tourists in 2017, with visitor numbers increasing each year. Situated in Cotai, Macau, City of Dreams is a major integrated resort including casino, two theatres, shopping district, 20 restaurants and four resorts.
Informed by the fluid types within China’s rich customs of jade carving, the Morpheus’ design unites dramatic public spaces and generous guest rooms with advanced engineering and formal cohesion.
Conceived as a vertical extrusion of its rectangular footprint, a series of voids is carved through its center to create an urban window linking the hotel’s interior communal spaces with the city and building the sculptural forms that define the resort’s public areas.
Linked at floor 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, event and meeting centers, gaming rooms, lobby atrium, restaurants, spa and rooftop pool, spa as well as extensive back-of-house places and ancillary facilities.
The plan resolves the hotel’s many complicated programmes within one cohesive envelope. Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) was commissioned to build the resort in 2012. At that moment, foundations were in place of a condo tower that did not advance.
ZHA designed the Morpheus as a very simple extrusion of the existing abandoned bases; using this rectangular footprint to specify a 40-story construction of two inner vertical circulation cores attached at podium and roof degrees where the many guest amenities were required.
This extrusion created a monolithic block making best utilize its growth envelope that’s limited to a 160m height by neighborhood planning codes. This block was then carved’ with voids.
The basic diagram of the resort’s layout is a set of towers attached to the roof and ground levels. The central atrium involving the towers runs the height of the resort and is traversed by outside voids that join the north and south facades. These voids make the urban window which connects the resort’s interior communal spaces with the town.
Three horizontal vortices generate the voids through the building and specify the hotel’s dramatic inner public spaces; creating exceptional corner suites with spectacular views of both the atrium and town. This arrangement maximizes the number of hotel rooms with external views and promises an equal room distribution on either side of this building.
In-between the free-form voids that traverse the atrium, a string of bridges make unique spaces for the resort’s restaurants, bars and guest lounges by renowned chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Hermé.
The atrium’s twelve glass lifts offer guests with remarkable views of the resort’s exterior and interior as they travel between the voids of their building.
As among the world’s leading resorts, the Morpheus’ interior spaces required a high level of adaptability to accommodate the numerous varying requirements of its guest amenities. The construction’s exoskeleton optimizes the insides by creating spaces that are uninterrupted by encouraging columns or walls.
The world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton, its vibrant pattern of structural members at lower levels progresses upwards to some less dense grid of lighter members at its summit.
Morpheus draws on a ZHA’s 40 years of research to the integration of interior and exterior, private and civic, solid and void, Cartesian and Einsteinian. Space is woven into the structure to tie different programmes collectively and make connections.
Viviana Muscettola, ZHA’s job director, explains,”Morpheus combines its optimal arrangement with structural integrity and sculptural form. The plan is unusual as it does not refer to conventional architectural typologies.
“Macau’s buildings have referenced architecture styles from around the world. Morpheus has evolved from its distinctive surroundings and site requirements as a new structure expressly of this city.
“The expertise of members of the Morpheus team has created new possibilities for architecture,” lasted Muscettola. “The thorough parametric model combined each the resort’s aesthetic, aesthetic and manufacture requirements and will radically change how our built environment is constructed and planned.”
Lawrence Ho, chairman, and CEO of Melco Resorts stated,”From the very beginning, we shared ZHA’s vision and determination to push boundaries. Morpheus provides a journey of the imagination. From the curved outside to the dramatic interior spaces, it pleases the eye and excites the senses contemporary masterpiece to be enjoyed by many generations to come”