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The Yas Hotel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Thursday 28 Apr 2011

In the driving seat

Asymptote Architecture, Gerry O'Leary, Bjorn Moerman 
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Asymptote Architecture fuses the Yas Hotel and the Formula 1 raceway circuit together 

The Yas Hotel, a 500-room, 85,000-square-metre 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.

Architectural and engineering significance are the main features of the project's design which created the 217-metre expanse of sweeping, curvilinear forms constructed of steel and 5,800 pivoting diamond-shaped glass panels. This Grid-Shell component affords the building 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.

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