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Morpheus shortlisted for AIA UK ‘Excellence in Design’ Awards 2019

Morpheus Hotel in Macau was shortlisted for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) UK Chapter ‘Excellence in Design’ Awards. Established over 20 years ago, the Awards recognise work of the highest standards by architects, industrial designers, urban planners, landscape architects and interior designers based in Britain.

Morpheus hotel combines dramatic public spaces and guest rooms with innovative engineering and formal cohesion.

ZHA was commissioned to build the hotel in 2012. At that time, foundations were already in place of a condominium tower that did not progress. ZHA designed the Morpheus as a simple vertical extrusion of the existing abandoned foundations; using this rectangular footprint to define a 40-storey building of two internal vertical circulation cores connected at podium and roof levels where the many guest amenities were required. Three horizontal vortices generate the voids through the central atrium and define the hotel’s spectacular interior public spaces. In-between these voids, a series of bridges create unique spaces for the restaurants, bars and guest lounges.  

Working with Buro Happold Engineering, ZHA designed the building’s exoskeleton to optimise the interiors by creating spaces that are uninterrupted by supporting walls or columns. The world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton, its rich pattern of structural members at lower levels progresses upwards to a less dense grid of lighter members at its summit.

Viviana Muscettola, ZHA's project director explains, "The expertise of all members of the Morpheus team has created new possibilities for architecture. The comprehensive parametric model combined all of the hotel's aesthetic, structural and fabrication requirements and will radically change how our built environment is planned and constructed.”

The 2016 AIA UK ‘Excellence in Design’ Award was presented to the Messner Mountain Museum Corones and in 2017 Salerno Maritime Terminal received the AIA UK ‘Excellence in Design’ Commendation.

Photograph courtesy of City of Dreams