The Opus nears completion

Nick Myall
11 May 2017

Zaha Hadid Architects first project in Dubai is a new hotel for ‘ME by Melia’

The Opus, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, is located in a prominent location in the Business Bay masterplan of Dubai within the Burij Khalifa district. The structure is now nearing completion and the building – the latest development from Omniyat Properties – will be the first project from Zaha Hadid Architects to have been built in Dubai.

The two towers are interlinked by a continuous low level podium structure which essentially unites the project and provides the unique possibility to interpret the project as one mass. The building will be home to the first ‘ME by Melia’ hotel in the Middle East.

The two buildings are conceived as a united mass taking the form of a cube hovering off the ground. The cube is carved or eroded by a free-form void –what is essentially the setback space between the two tower envelopes. The cube is structured by a conventional system of slabs stacked vertically serviced by central cores, allowing for the areas near the façade to be occupied on all eight sides.

The void, which is treated as a volume in its own right, being the space inside the build-mass, is free form and fluid and cuts through the edges of the cube, appearing as if it extends beyond the immediate boundaries of the cube. The interior of the void is clad in tinted double-glazing allowing for views into the void. The external plateaus within the void will be accessible to provide areas for recreation and rest.

Fritting patterns in the form of pixelated striations are applied on to the glass facade to provide a degree of reflectivity and materiality to the cube while assisting the reduction of the solar gains inside the building. These striations dematerialize the building mass whilst the surface appears to capture images of both the outside and inside worlds.

This project was originally covered by WAN in May 2007.

The WAN Awards Tall Buildings category is now open until 30th June.

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Nick Myall

News editor

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