The 2008 Beijing Olympics provided China with the ideal platform to showcase highly elaborate, world-class architectural designs. Now with Zaha Hadid’s new City of Dreams project set to open in Macau in 2017, the country can add another unique architectural structure to its resume.

To be built by casino and resort developer Melco Crown Entertainment, the City of Dreams Hotel, was recently unveiled as the company’s flagship property in Cotai, Macau. The City of Dreams Hotel features a mix of 780 guestrooms, suites and sky villas. Spread out over 40 floors with a gross floor area of 150,000 sq m (1,614,586 sq ft), the tower provides guests with an extensive array of amenities including gaming rooms, sky pool, event spaces and of course, a spa.

The oddly-skinned structure by Zaha Hadid Architects, with its white elastic wrapping element, features a similar exterior narrative to the Beijing Olympics National Stadium (Bird’s Nest). Although underlying box shape of the City of Dreams is simple, the bridge elements joining the project’s gaping center hole are of a more biomorphic influence. According to the architects, the external facade was not only designed to optimize the interior programming but to aesthetically fit with Macau’s reworked Cotai strip.

Unlike Zaha Hadid's recently-opened Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Korea, where historical details influenced the site, this new project revolves around a simpler mandate where compression of amenities within a dynamic skin were key priorities.

"The rectangular outline of the site is extruded as a monolithic block with a series of voids which carve through the center of the tower, merging traditional architectural elements, like the roof, wall and ceiling to create a sculptural form that defines most of the hotel’s internal spaces," explains the firm.

Internally the hotel continues with the architect’s dynamic vision. Triangular shapes seem to multiply and proliferate in the hotel’s ceiling, forming what appears to be a shifting optical illusion. These shapes are repeated over and over in obtuse forms of varying sizes throughout the main interior space.

Planning and design of the City of Dreams project started in 2013 with an anticipated opening date sometime in early 2017.

Source: Zaha Hadid