“square” throughout history as a basic idea.
The creation of a homogenous block, with a permeable interior, creating zones of pathways, zones of permanence and areas for contemplation, in which interaction with the palace of Justice and the tensions created thereby contributing to the integration, were the starting points for the design.
The buildings were carefully placed to minimize the barrier effect and allow the maintenance of the system of views of the surrounding residential buildings.
There is a platform where the built masses form street zones, terrace zones and plaza zones, and where water features and public art mark the transition between the paved area and the garden area. The platform was created to allow pedestrians to walk on its four borders, either with access levels in the east, or via stairs in the other directions.
The framework of the palace of Justice is guaranteed by a suspended garden, bringing a relationship to the water, the lake plants, the lawn and large trees. Taking advantage of the morphology of the terrain, the first floors of the building base is intended for parking on the east, turning into the commercial areas to the west.
The building, although fragmented in its built mass, has a strong reading of the whole and formal unity in which the elements are positioned without ever losing the notion of a group. The closure of the north block is carried out through a single commercial floor where the exterior elevation mimetically repeats the elevation opposite to the palace of Justice and the elevation facing the square is endowed with great transparency in announcing its function.
Walkways have been created running through the commercial area in the form of “stoa” and they end in the square, a true “agora”, space integrator inviting one to stay. The two office groups relate to each other by transparency and by creating a more opaque façade on the opposite elevations, providing a notion of a group.
The hotel building is, in the urban point of view, used as a reference point, and its vertical nature serves as a contrast to the horizontality of the palace of Justice.
The Yas Hotel, a 500-room, 85,000-square-meter complex, is one of the main architectural features of the ambitious 36-billion-dollar Yas Marina development and accompanying Formula 1 raceway circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Asymptote envisioned an architectural landmark embodying various key influences and inspirations ranging from the aesthetics and forms associated with speed, movement and spectacle to the artistry and geometries forming the basis of ancient Islamic art and craft traditions.
Of architectural and engineering significance is the main feature of the project’s design, a 217-meter expanse of sweeping, curvilinear forms constructed of steel and 5,800 pivoting diamond-shaped glass panels. This Grid-Shell component affords the building an architecture comprised of an atmospheric-like veil that contains two hotel towers and a link bridge constructed as a monocoque sculpted steel object passing above the Formula 1 track that makes its way through the building complex.
The Grid-Shell visually connects and fuses the entire complex together while producing optical effects and spectral reflections that play against the surrounding sky, sea and desert landscape. The architecture as a whole “performs” as both an environmentally responsive solution as well as an architecture of spectacle and event. The entire jewel-like composition of the project responds visually and tectonically to its environment to create a distinct and powerful sense of place as well as a breathtaking backdrop to the Formula 1 and other events that the building will celebrate. The Yas Hotel is designed to be a significant landmark destination on Yas Island for Abu Dhabi and the UAE at large.
Asymptote’s Iconic Yas Hotel Opens in Abu Dhabi
The opening of the iconic Yas Hotel, designed by New York City based Asymptote Architecture’s Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture, coinciding with the inaugural Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 1 marks Abu Dhabi as a cultural destination for the 21st Century.
New York, October 29 – Asymptote Architecture proudly announces the opening of the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The Yas Hotel as envisioned by Asymptote, is the world’s first building designed to span a Grand Prix race circuit and will open it’s doors to coincide with the inaugural 2009 Formula 1 Ethiad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 1st. The Formula 1 event will be the largest sporting event ever held in the UAE and the Yas Hotel is designed to be it’s centerpiece and icon, helping transform Abu Dhabi into the new important and exciting cultural destination in the region.
Aldar Properties PJSC awarded Asymptote the commission to design the 85,000-square-meter complex from a closed competition two years ago. Asymptote founders and principals Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture have created an architectural landmark embodying inspirations ranging from the aesthetics and forms associated with speed, movement and spectacle to the artistry and geometries forming the basis of ancient Islamic art and craft traditions.
The Yas Hotel’s Grid-Shell component, a 217-meter expanse of sweeping, curvilinear forms constructed of steel and 5,800 pivoting diamond-shaped glass panels, affords the building an architecture comprised of an atmospheric-like veil that contains two hotel towers and a link bridge constructed as a monocoque sculpted steel object passing above the Formula 1 track that makes its way through the building complex. The Grid-Shell visually connects and fuses the entire complex together while producing optical effects and spectral reflections that play against the surrounding sky, sea and desert landscape. The architecture as a whole “performs” as both an environmentally responsive solution as well as an architecture of spectacle and event. The entire jewel-like composition of the project responds visually and tectonically to its environment to create a distinct and powerful sense of place as well as a breathtaking backdrop to the Formula 1 and other events that the building will celebrate.
Hani Rashid describes the buildings design and it’s architecture as: “A perfect union and harmonious interplay between elegance and spectacle. The search for us was to achieve an inspired architectural response to what one might call the ‘art and poetics’ of speed, specifically as it relates to Formula 1 and motor racing. That notion coupled with the making of a building that celebrates Abu Dhabi itself as a cultural and technological tour de force.
About Asymptote: Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture
Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture are New York based award winning architectural practitioners of international acclaim. Since Asymptote’s founding in 1989, the firm has been at the forefront of innovation and technological advances in the fields of architecture and design and garnered praise for visionary building designs, master plans, innovative interiors and art installations, virtual reality environments and object design.
The Yas Hotel
The Yas Hotel, operated by Aldar Hotels & Hospitality, offers 500 luxuriously appointed guest rooms, international cuisine in 8 restaurants and pioneering design and architecture. The Yas Hotel will host several illustrious events in its first year, ranging from fashion to sports on a global scale. Located on Yas Island, The Yas Hotel is 10 minutes drive from Abu Dhabi airport, 15 minutes from Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibition Centre and 50 minutes from Dubai Marina.
This project intends to develop a new luxury hotel concept where users have the opportunity to experience a stay in a floating system moving around the world. The MORPHotels, thanks to their linear structure developed around their “vertebral spine”, are able to adapt their shape according to the weather conditions and the site morphology.
The MORPHotels concept is based on four main strategies:
1- SPACE IN BETWEEN: using the sea not only as a medium to move tourists from one place to another (as cruise ships do) but also to discover unknown places, taking advantage from this “space in between”; avoiding the traditional concept of cruise ships – where the fuel consumption, at an average cruise speed of 20 nodes, is 470 litres/km – this strategy would change the rules about sea trips; MORPHotels are constantly moving at slow speed around the world ( following sea currents) and tourists can get on board wherever it is. While tourists on cruise ships depart from point A, reach their destination (point B) and then go back, in MORPHotel the segment A-B they experience is just a small part of the entire-endless journey of the hotel.
2- PLUG-IN CITY-HARBOUR: this artificial organism, during its continuous journey around the oceans and the seas, stops for short or long periods in cities encountered throughout its trip, becoming a temporary extension to them; as a temporary extension of the hosting city, the MORPHotel will become an added value for its inhabitants, who will take advantage from its services (a theatre, a commercial area, a linear garden, restaurants and a fitness centre). The city, in turn, will open its doors to MORPHotel tourists. In this way, the traditional separation between ‘tourist’ and ‘citizen’ will disappear, leaving space for a new entity: the “tourizen”.
3- ADAPTIVE SHAPE: the advantages offered by the adaptive shape of MORPHotel makes it possible for it not only to reach the harbour cities, adapting itself morphologically to the territory, but also to become it itself an independent aquatic organism. In fact, given its massive proportions (the whole spine is one kilometre long) it can become a floating harbour during its long ocean crossings; it does this by spiralling into itself and generating an artificial bay where boats and ships can find shelter.
4- SELF-SUFFICIENCY: one of the fundamental goals that we want to attain in this project is to create a big, independent, self-sufficient artificial organism. The self-sufficiency covers several functional aspects of MORPHotel. With regard to energy, this will be provided to the whole system through the combination of two different eco-friendly technologies: 1- Solar panels distributed along the upper part of the hull and glass panels; 2- The two ends of the spine will be destined to the production of energy through the movement of waves. Several examples of already existing projects (e.g. The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter) show that using these systems allows the production of relevant quantities of energy. As a logical consequence, the production of drinking water will be related to the production of renewable energy. A part of the self-produced energy will be used on the one hand to filter and store the rainwater collected, and on the other hand to desalinate sea water.
The self-sufficiency will also regard the hotel’s ability to produce certain types of food; in fact, each of the central vertebra will contain a small vegetable garden. This part of the hotel will work as a big floating farm where it will be possible to grow vegetables, rear animals and store foodstuffs.
PROGRAMME: tourizens will enter the hotel through a “barycentric dock” whose function will be to plug MORPHotel to the harbour of the city where is located in that moment, to serve as a helicopter landing platform, to take vehicles aboard and to serve as a pier where visiting boats can dock.
Entering the main vertebra – where all the reception, administration and catering services are located – the guests will reach the services offered by this structure, which are located along the central axis of the structure (this consists in a covered “linear park” that serves as a connection between the different sectors). The two ends of the structure will contain the hotel rooms; these are conceived as capsules attached to the organism’s spine that will have varying degrees of luxury and comfort: from glass room located at the water level, to luxury rooms that function as independent boats that can leave the main structure and sail within a fixed range established for security reasons; passengers will be free to explore the areas that MORPHotel will cross during its perpetual and slow movement across the world.
A secondary pier for staff use only will be used to take on supplies for the journey and to allow boats to dock for refuelling, delivering and unloading of goods.
STRUCTURE: the structure of the vertebra will follow the traditional approach used in naval construction. The frame of the modules will be made up of pods constituted by orthogonal and diagonal sections; modules will be reinforced, covered and waterproofed with metals that are traditionally used in naval architecture; glass surfaces and open surfaces will alternate on the upper part of the modules. The system will be hold together by a complex circuit of mechanical joints (similar to those used for the connection of railway carriages), but in this case, these will be able – thanks to electronic controls – to expand or decrease their dimensions, allowing, therefore, a partial movement between the vertebra that will be extended to the whole MORPHotel, changing the shape of the whole structure.
The future well being of cities around the globe depends on mankind’s ability to develop and integrate sustainable technology.
Masdar City is the city of the future; positioned at the forefront of integrating sustainable technology into modern architectural design. Rome, Athens, Florence; most great historical cities have had the plaza, forum, or square at their epicentre – where the life, values, ideals, and vision of the population evolved. Equally, the centre of Masdar must be an iconic beacon that attracts global attention to sustainable technology.
Oasis of the Future
We see Masdar Plaza as “The Oasis of the Future”: a living, breathing, active, adaptive environment; stimulated by the social interaction of people, and spotlighting the use and benefits of sustainable technology.
Hence, our design proposal focuses on the delivery of three key issues:
The “Oasis of the Future” is conceived as an open spatial experience, whereby all features; whether hotel, conference, shopping, or leisure, offer the highest quality of indoor and outdoor comfort and interaction.
As in the case of an oasis, the Plaza is the social epicentre of Masdar; opening 24-hour access to all public facilities. Interactive, heat sensitive technology activates low intensity lighting in response to pedestrian traffic and mobile phone usage. The Plaza is able to change into an outdoor cinema for international events and national celebrations.
Buildings’ surrounding the Plaza form gorges, evoking mystical comparisons with the Grand Canyon and the entrance to Petra.
The “Oasis of the Future” demonstrates sustainable technology in a user-friendly architectural environment – flexible use of space, outdoor and indoor comfort, and optimum performance.
The user experience is the heart of the “Oasis of the Future”.
By analyzing the potential pedestrian flows throughout the Plaza and surrounding facilities, the design seeks to accentuate this ‘loop’ of indoor and outdoor user-experiences This ‘loop’ marries the lowest possible energy expenditure to the highest levels of user comfort in correlation to pedestrian flows.
The following environmental and engineering design concepts will be utilized to minimize energy consumption:
- Radiant surfaces
- Air movement that supplements natural wind patterns
- Evaporating cooling mist
- Thermal mass and PCM
- Slab cooling and Luna Panels
- Shading of external facades surrounding the Plaza
Our sustainable design and engineering philosophy balances the ‘vision of the future’ with ‘scientific fact and availability’. Our aim is to provide the Abu Dhabi Energy Company with the lowest possible carbon footprint, whilst maintaining the highest level of user experience within the practical viability of affordable architecture.
Our engineering specialists have analysed each component of potential energy expenditure and investigated individual efficiencies in order to reduce the carbon footprint. Even the façade of the buildings surrounding the Plaza will incorporate long-life, loose-fit structural design to enable flexible future planning and reconfiguration opportunities.
Switching and sensors will activate and deactivate features and functions in correlation with usage and pedestrian flow.
All front and back of house functions within the Hotel and Convention Centre will capture sustainability of water, waste, materials, indoor and outdoor environmental quality
In fact, our proposal strives to exceed those of the Masterplan and is, in addition, benchmarked against Estidama and LEED (Platinum). Adaptive cooling provides all facilities with extended usability during peak heat loads.
Our ‘Petals from Heaven’ feature interactive umbrellas that open, provide shade, and capture energy during daylight hours; folding at night to release stored heat.
Solar analysis provides insight into the tuning of facades in order to incorporate an ability to respond to varying sun angles and levels of solar intensity.
The Oasis of the Future is a living, breathing habitat. The ability to control ambient temperature at all times of the day is the key to making the Plaza a compulsive destination. The gorges pull inhabitants into the loop. The ‘Petals from Heaven’ open and close; protect pedestrians from the sun; capture, store, and release heat; adjust the angle of shade based on the position of the sun. The heat sensitive lamps adjust the level of lighting to the proximity of pedestrians. The water features ebb and flow based on the intensity of ground temperatures.
The promenades lure pedestrians into the shopping and leisure facilities. Similarly, the public are seduced into the Plaza during cooler night hours and cooler months of the year.
Our 5 Star Hotel is organised efficiently around a ‘Central Canyon’ and is linked to the Extended Stay Facilities via a ‘gorge’ housing Retail premises. The Central Canyon is a day-lit space deep within the building, connecting the hotel’s restaurants and ballrooms to the guest amenities.
The hotel’s entrance and lobby, located at the base of the atrium, offers guests an immediate view out onto the Plaza in one direction and the green of the park in another.
The western edge of the Plaza rises to create the Convention Centre forecourt and ascends as a continuous path into the Lobby area. Our design of the Convention Centre Lobby resembles an enormous, light-soaked cavern, providing an enclosure for the conference facilities with the Plaza framed in the background.
The awe-inspiring ‘erosion-effect’ design of the façade that flows across this edge of the Plaza is complemented by water features and also houses the sub-podium PRT and Retail concessions. This spectacular conference facility, with its gigantic cavern atmosphere, will leave a lasting impression on all visitors.
‘Masdar Plaza, The Oasis of the Future’ will create an iconic venue within a truly visionary city.
‘Masdar Plaza, The Oasis of the Future’ incorporates the highest level of knowledge and expertise in science, technology, and construction methodology, globally. It is an intellectual balance between iconic architectural identity, cutting edge sustainable design and technology.
The brief obtained by AHA Universo regarding the new premier resort for Grupo Vidanta was to embody luxury in every aspect of the project, and so they did. Set in a privileged location, at the center of Bahía de Banderas, the Grand Luxxe has an unmatched view of the entire Bay, with Puerto Vallarta to the South and Punta Mita to the North. The Ameca River flows into the Ocean just a few yards away, providing lush vegetation and a unique landscape.
Front, lateral and rear views of the façade.
The nine-story building is an aesthetical departure from traditional Pacific Ocean architecture. It is formed by two intersecting volumes: a central ellipsis which holds the indoor construction, plus a rectangular shape created by the elegant balconies on either side of the building. Floor to ceiling window panes and ultra thin concrete slabs give the Grand Luxxe a refreshingly light look. Exposed metallic columns, black slate room dividers and a pristine white façade assert the contemporary nature of the design, even before entering the building.
Check-in, Concierge and Travel Agency areas in the Lobby.
The Lobby of the Grand Luxxe is a vast, open space with exceptionally high ceilings. The visual anchors, on either side of the room, are two large-scale paintings by Cuban artist Waldo Saavedra, who was inspired by the idea of fantasy world deep in the Ocean. The sleek check-in desks, with a zebrano wood veneer base and an abstract black-and-white print on top, remind guests that although they are in a tropical paradise, this is a cosmopolitan resort with all the luxury and comforts imaginable. Blue and pink silk shawls, traditional knits worn by the Tarahumara women, drape the armchairs with a flirtatious bow. Ceiling-high ash wood wall paneling provides a warm contrast to the glass windows that surround the Lobby, as it catches the light from the crystal chandeliers.
Lobby bar and Outdoor terrace.
The centerpiece of the Lobby Bar is the lighting installation made with Glò Murano hand-blown glass lamps by Danilo de Rossi for Leucos. They are set in a recessed blue soffit and were selected in blue and pink, the accent colors for the Lobby’s accessories. This glowing eye oversees the oval-shaped bar with a decidedly urban feel and provides a contrast to the woven furniture and natural wooden sculptures at the entrance.
Outside, the terrace is both simple, in its exposed structural system, and grandiose, in its lush setting and height. Natural concrete columns support a steel ceiling structure which is adorned with a carefully arranged wooden lattice.
A nine-story-high open Atrium stands at the center of the Lobby, allowing for an uninterrupted 145 ft. view to the skylight atop the building. The central hallways of the guest floors, which open onto the Atrium, are strategically lit to create the effect of a giant chandelier. At the ground level, an abstract representation of a wave by artist Diana Ibarra is the backdrop to a sculpture by Yuri Zataráin, titled “Loving Bird”. This is also the central distribution point, where changes in the flooring level and materials (from marble to wood or cobblestones) indicate the paths that lead to the public areas and guest elevators.
Guest bedrooms and balconies.
Upon arrival on each floor, guests are greeted by a concierge, who will attend to their every need. Once inside the guestrooms, the atmosphere is calm and cozy. White Carrara marble floors and 12 ft. tall ceilings create a luxurious blank slate for the intimate quarters of the Grand Luxxe. Elm furniture in natural hues provide warmth without overpowering. Rich upholstery fabrics in shades of taupe and ecru are highlighted by silk pillows and throws, in orange and beige, embroidered with subtle floral and leaf patterns and inspired by the Huichol culture. The living and dining areas offer a perfect setting to take a break from outdoor activities, while providing a stunning ocean view. Each balcony has a sitting area, accompanied by a self-standing traditional hammock and a refreshing plunge pool.
Swimming pool and gardens.
The swimming pools are large enough for a vigorous swim but divided into mini bays, which give guests a choice of sitting areas and sun decks. Palm trees are integrated into the pool design, offering shade and a green visual break. The swimming pool overlooks the man-made lakes of the resort that, through a series of romantic walkways, lead to the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean.
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM), the New York‐based architectural firm, has recently completed The Park Hotel Hyderabad, the flagship hotel for The Park Hotel Group. This 531,550‐ square‐foot, 270‐room hotel infuses a modern, sustainable design with the local craft traditions, and is influenced by the region’s reputation as a center for the design and production of gemstones and textiles.
Roger Duffy, SOM’s Partner in Charge of the project, says, “This building signals our commitment to creating a design that simultaneously felt at home among the exuberant vernacular architecture of Hyderabad, while simultaneously incorporating the latest sustainable strategies and technologies.” The project is distinctive for its profound implementation of sustainable design strategies, with special attention paid to the building’s relationship to its site, daylighting and views. Solar studies influenced the site orientation and building massing, with program spaces concentrated in the north and south facades, and service circulation on the west to reduce heat gain. The hotel rooms are raised to allow more expansive views, situated on top of a podium comprised of retail spaces, art galleries, and banquet halls open to guests and visitors.
Mark Igou, Managing Director for the project and a leader in developing SOM’s presence in India, explains, “This project is the result of SOM’s collective effort to understand and address the Indian market’s needs and opportunities and is an affirmation of our commitment to our clients in the region.” The building’s three sides wrap around an elevated central courtyard that can be accessed from the hotel lobby. This flexible outdoor area is protected from strong winds, and serves as an extension of the restaurants inside. It features a private dining court and a swimming pool, which can be seen from the adjacent areas and the nightclub below, with moving patterns formed by light passing through the pool’s water. The outdoor courtyard was designed to be a multifunctional space accessible from the lobby, restaurants, and bar that surround it. Elevated three stories above ground, this veranda provides views to Hussain Sagar Lake and the city.
The facade provides a range of transparency according to the needs of the spaces inside. Perforated and embossed metal screens over a high‐performance glazing system give privacy to the hotel rooms while allowing diffused daylight to enter the interior spaces, and provides acoustic insulation from trains passing nearby. The opaque areas of the cladding shield the hotel’s service areas from public view. The shape of the facade’s openings, as well as the three‐dimensional patterns on the screens themselves, were inspired by the forms of the metalwork of the crown jewels of the Nizam, the city’s historic ruling dynasty.
SOM designed many of the project’s interior spaces, including the lobbies, the lobby lounge, retail, and banquet halls. The interiors continue the jewelry concept – with silver, gold and gem tones throughout. Many of the interior surfaces, including the mosaics, reflect local designs, which were implemented by artists and craftsmen from the region.
Priya Paul, Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels which owns The Park brand, describes The Park, Hyderabad as “a Modern Indian Palace, something refreshing and different that speaks to the aspirations of India today.”
Collaboration with manufacturers, fabricators, and researchers played a vital role in developing this lowenergy prototype building, with data gathered in collaboration with the Stevens Institute of Technology’s Product Architecture Lab in Hoboken, New Jersey. As a result, the design team was able to reduce the building’s energy use by twenty percent. In addition, an on‐site water treatment facility and sewage treatment plant process both gray water for reuse and waste water for release back into the city’s sewer system.
The project achieved the first LEED Gold certification for a hotel in India, and has been awarded Best New Hospitality Project of 2010 from Cityscape India. It also served as a case study for using a collaborative process to achieve an environmentally efficient design in Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal in 2009, and was the subject of a white paper written by the design team on the high‐performance curtain wall system.