I remember several months ago looking though my friend´s facebook images and being captivated by one of his posts seen above. It was the late Iraki-born British architect Zaha Hadid´s design of Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan. I kept it in my reading list so I could do some more research on this fascinating artist but never got back to it until this weekend.
Only last Friday, the new Morpheus hotel was unveiled in the southern Chinese city of Macau, in the heart of The City of Dreams resort. This wonderful architectural piece was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and according to them, the building is the “world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton”. As well as its unique appearance, the exoskeleton also allows for flexible interior spaces uninterrupted by columns.
Voids carved into the rectangular block form windows that frame views of the city in a design that was, according to the architects, informed by traditional Chinese jade carving techniques that produce fluid forms from hard minerals.
Twelve glass elevators run through the Morpheus, giving guests panoramic views of the hotel’s sculptural interiors and Macau spreading out below.
The building rises to a height of 160 m and takes the form of two towers connected at multiple points. It is also supported by internal concrete cores that provide additional stability, allowing it to stand up to typhoons and seismic activity.
A dozen glass elevators move people around and multiple bridges provide choice locations for the hotel’s restaurants, bars and guest lounges.
Another project which was officially completed earlier in March in New York city was a residential building with steel bands and rounded glass corners. It is named after its address in Chelsea, 520 West 28th Street. It is an 11-storey structure that includes 39 private residences and a number of luxury amenities.
The building is wrapped in metallic ridges that join across the facade, and jut out from the floor plates to form balconies and terraces with rounded edges. Large floor-to-ceiling windows curve around the corners of the apartments, mirroring glass balustrades.
The outdoor area is populated with tables and chairs and a stepped design that serves as a water fountain.
The feature incorporates a glass panel that acts like a skylight for the private swimming pool directly underneath. The 23-metre subterranean lap pool is one of several amenities available to residents, along with an IMAX theatre and a gym.
These and other interior spaces share a futuristic appearance. An entryway has a grey wall with a texture that looks rather extraterrestrial, while planting provides accents for the otherwise monochromatic palette.