Project name: Morpheus Hotel

Location: Macau

Date completed: June 2018

Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects, Leigh & Orange Limited

Interior Designer: Zaha Hadid Architects, Remedios Studios, Jouin Manku

Hotel Group/ Developer: Melco Resorts & Entertainment

Construction Company: Dragages Hong Kong, Jangho Group, Kyotec Group

Morpheus, is located at the heart of the Cotai Strip in Macau, establishing itself as a premier leisure and entertainment complex integrated with hotel accommodations, diverse entertainment features, international dining, and high-end retail facilities.

Architecturally it is informed by the fluid forms within China’s rich traditions of jade carving, the Morpheus’ design combining dramatic public spaces and generous guest rooms with innovative engineering and formal cohesion. Conceived as a vertical extrusion of its rectangular footprint, a series of voids are carved through its centre to create an urban window connecting the hotel’s interior communal spaces with the city and generating the sculptural forms that define the hotel’s public spaces.

Conceived as the missing piece in the City of Dreams development, Morpheus exceeds the brief set out initially, generating a timeless architectural icon in Macau through its complex and unique architectural forms and soaring atrium.

The freeform exoskeleton, the cathedral like internal spaces, the connecting bridges spanning the atrium and sculptural architectural voids which makes all of the above possible.

The design works because the sculptural qualities are both for practical and design reasons, serving to provide a structural scheme which allows for a column free space which in turn gives the magnificent cathedral quality like space.

Morpheus located on the north side of City of Dreams occupies a unique position, bounded visually on the north by the lush green parklands of Taipa Grande Natural Park, the glitz of the Cotai Strip on the south and the boundless hues of the South China Sea to the east. The three voids are indeed the visual corridor. All these demonstrate how this architecture embraces the surroundings.

The main challenges were the complexity of Morpheus’s freeform geometry and irregular diagrid Exoskeleton, the sheer quantity of construction elements and their interconnection, with changes in one immediately affecting its neighbour. Further layers of complexity were added by Morpheus’ height, its elaborate programme, the compressed timeframe and the global spread of its procurement and production network.