Zaha Hadid and Leigh & Orange deliver world-first in high rise design

27 June 2018
  • Leigh & Orange

Zaha Hadid/Leigh & Orange




New Macau hotel features unique steel structure

The Morpheus Hotel, recently opened in Macau, is the world’s first high rise building supported by a free-form exoskeleton steel structure. Conceived by Zaha Hadid (ZHA) with Leigh and Orange (L&O) as Executive Architect, the building is enlivened by two sky bridges, and protected from the elements by five glazing systems and unique double-curved aluminium cladding. The project was so complex that it required the co-ordination of eight firms of designers based in five countries. Boasting over 770 rooms, the hotel is the new flagship for the City of Dreams resort, owned and managed by Melco Resorts Entertainment. 

The design was inspired by the fluid forms created in China’s traditional jade carving, with a series of voids connecting the hotel’s interior spaces to the surrounding city. Viviana Muscettola, ZHA’s project director, stated: “Morpheus combines its optimal arrangement with structural integrity and sculptural form. The design is intriguing as it makes no reference to traditional architectural typologies.”

L&O, who have considerable experience of working in Macau, completed a scope of work including coordination and documentation of the hotel tower, international restaurants, retail outlets and retail street, as well as Heart-of-House staff facilities – not to mention continuing support during the construction stage though to the opening. Ivy Lee, L&O’s Managing Director noted, “The most challenging aspect of the project was the orchestration of the many different designers, with differing visions all being weaved into a unique building form. We’d like to think of ourselves as the conductor, helping each designer to flourish in their own unique way while still uniting it all – without compromise – into a grand symphony. It was a privilege for us to be part of this amazing team, while creating a true landmark for Macau in the process.”
Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

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