It’s been described as “an impossible building structure”, and once completed, the Morpheus Hotel in the southern Chinese city of Macau will be the world’s first free-form exoskeleton steel-structured high-rise.
Designed by world-renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, the US$1 billion Morpheus Hotel is named after the God of Dreams and will cater to the expectations of sophisticated and high-end travellers on Macau’s Cotai Strip – the strip of hotels and casinos that overtook Las Vegas as the world’s most successful gambling hub in 2006.
As one of the most elaborate buildings and façades in the world, the Morpheus Hotel will feature 40 floors, occupying 150,000 square metres (1.6 million square feet), all encased by a remarkable exoskeleton steel structure – the first in the world built in tower form. Inside, the 40-metre (131-foot) atrium will contain 12 panoramic lifts that will give guests incredible views of the interior architectural elements.
The hotel will comprise 780 guest rooms, suites and sky villas, along with meeting and event facilities, a casino, restaurants, spa and a rooftop infinity pool 130 metres (427 feet) above ground.
“I think the guests will really be able to experience the future of construction,” says Viviana Muscettola, senior associate at Zaha Hadid Architects, in an interview with the South China Morning Post. “It’s not going to be a fake Venice or a fake Paris. It’s going to be the future of our generation, the future of inhabited buildings.”
The development will be the fifth hotel tower at City of Dreams, in Cotai, Macau, the flagship property of Melco Crown Entertainment, and it ultimately hopes to offer the city a new icon.
“What we think will make this building special and make people want to come and stay at this hotel is that there is nothing else like it in all of Macau,” says Muscettola. “We hope to change the trend of simply re-creating Las Vegas in Macau and bring it more towards doing interesting and innovative architecture.”
In addition to innovative architecture, the hotel hopes that its dining offerings will be a big draw too. It was recently announced that world-renowned chef Alain Ducasse will open two new side-by-side restaurants and a bar at the hotel.
Alain Ducasse at Morpheus will serve up the signature expression of French contemporary haute cuisine for which the chef is best known. The second restaurant, Voyages by Alain Ducasse, will offer Asian cuisines with an innovative spin inspired by the chef’s travels and “his most recent culinary discoveries”. Both restaurants will occupy an entire floor of the hotel, making it the first Ducasse floor in the world.
Earlier this year, City of Dreams in Macau commissioned award-winning Dutch designer Maarten Baas to design a countdown clock that, currently on display, is counting down the hours and minutes to the grand opening of the Morpheus Hotel.
According to the specially commissioned “Count:Down Clock”, the Morpheus Hotel is expected to open on May 10, 2018, but the official opening date is yet to be announced.