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Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Opus, The Latest of Zaha Hadid’s Hotel Design in Dubai

Figure 1- The Opus Hotel in Dubai. Exterior and Interiors are fully designed by Zaha Hadid- Photo Source: Copyrighted Laurian Ghinitoiu from the cnn.com/travel edition

The Opus Hotel, one of the most luxurious hotels and apartments resorts in Dubai

This is the third article that is about the architect Zaha Hadid, in my Blog and it keeps going!...

Because there is always much more to say when it comes to this genius architect who did reinvent Architecture in general, and this is not enough to say...
But today we will discuss the latest project that the architect was working on it but unfortunately did pass away before its completion (Figure 2); We are talking about The Opus Hotel in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai Hotels are among the best in the whole Globe!

We all know that Dubai is among the top-listed cities in the world that host the most elegant and expensive hotels on the planet, and the top-branded names in the world of the leisure and entertainment industry head forward to invest even in a small part of the whole thing …

Figure 2- Hadid, Photo Source: AFP/Getty Images

That’s why it is not surprising at all that ME by Melia, the well-known hotelier group owned by Melia Hotels International, choose this city among others to build its first and most recent leisure project: The Opus.

And it’s also not surprising either, to adopt the leader of the engineering team to accomplish the mission of designing the whole project to be the Zaha Hadid Architects’ office, the world-famous architect group and favorite by millions of people around the world, including myself!...

The Opus, designed by Zaha Hadid, will house the first "ME by Melia" hotel in Dubai.

Yes! even after her passing away, she keeps on amazing the world.

The soon-to-be-opened by Melia, will be the first and only in the global city to be designed by the late architect, Zaha Hadid. The Opus was first proposed back in 2007 as commercial and retail development. Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA, the office of Hadid) explained the concept of the building as designed into two separate towers that merge into a singular unity taking the shape of a cube.

The two towers are linked by a four-story atrium at the ground level, which includes a wide atrium, and by an asymmetric three-story bridge that is 71 meters above the ground, and in-between the hollowed-out core. That resulting void space, with the well-defined curved form, allows those in the center of the building to benefit from the views of the outside world and especially, the near seaside.
The unique and original-never-seen-before centered-void reveal and represent the full Zaha Hadid’s design touch; That singular touch defined by the philosophy of Zaha Hadid: the Parametric Architecture, explained in detail in a previous article on this blog, and I highly advise my subscribers to read it if they did not yet do it, at the link provided below:
Zaha Hadid and Patrick Schumacher’s Philosophy | The Parametric Architecture
The cube's interior is "like-carved" out to create a central void, a concept that the architect did adopt before, especially in her entertainment and leisure projects, for a well-known purpose, in my opinion, which is to the benefit of the outside views.

A similar concept in her project, the Morpheus Hotel in Macau-China, won the Asia Pacific Property Awards for the year 2019. (see Figure 3, below)

The Morpheus Hotel
Figure 3- The Morpheus, Image Source: The cnn.com website, the travel edition, Article: Asia's Best Hotels of 2018

Back to the Opus Hotel design, the atrium which is the main lobby and the center of the project which links the two towers together in the lower part as we showed above, will greet its guests as they move towards the building's various sections;

The whole is divided into residences, a boutique hotel by Melia Hotels International, an office space, a nightclub, 12 restaurants, and a rooftop bar, the majority invested by other companies and groups. (see Figure 4, below)

Figure 4- A realistic render showing the main lobby. Photo Credit by zaha-hadid.com

The "Opus" is the only building in Dubai where Hadid personally designed both the interiors, as well as the exteriors; the furniture items, such as the usual beds and chairs, the dressing table, and even more the decorative elements like the false ceilings, the walls coverings and the bathrooms were all designed by the “Queen of the Curves”, where the trademark curves are heavily featured, to bring the feeling of the move to the fullest over the inspiration as wonderfully shown in those renderings.

Figure 5- Photo Source: cnn.com/travel edition

As mentioned above, the interior designs of the hotel were also personally overseen by Hadid, who had before some preliminary tries in the world of furniture design.
Surnamed by the Queen of the Curve, Zaha Hadid transformed skylines around the world with her bold, fluid and free-lines designs. Before, the skyline was a stay still view, without any signal of life out there on the top of those towers. But now, with the parametric vision and the new architectural conception of Hadid, any shape can be alive to the fullest; the roof shapes can be now curved and glazed with flexible frames surrounding the whole thing.
Figure 6- By DigbyDalton - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Photo Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org

Zaha Hadid Designs

The Galaxy SOHO, a modern Beijing landmark, can be a good example of Hadid's significant vision of architectural curves. It has the pure reflectance of Hadid’s theory;

The elements of the building flow down from its four towers to a subterranean courtyard that was inspired by traditional Chinese architecture. (Figure 7) As well as one of the most recognizable buildings in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, the Heydar Aliyev Center is typical of Hadid's flowing architectural style. (Figure 8)

Figure 7- The Wangjing SOHO project in Beijing. China- Photo Source: zaha-hadid.com

Fig.8- Heydar Aliyev Center- Photo Credits: cnn.com/travel edition

The developer, Omniyat, is forging ahead towards the opening of the Opus.

- "The design conveys the remarkably inventive quality of ZHA's work; expressing a sculptural sensibility that reinvents the balance between solid and void, opaque and transparent, interior and exterior," says Mahdi Amjad, Omniyat executive chairman, and CEO, to the cnn.com/the cnn travel edition.

- "You always expect to be surprised by ZHA's designs, but the Opus for 'ME by Melia' Dubai goes beyond what we could ever have anticipated," said Gabriel Escarrer, Vice Chairman and CEO, Melia Hotels International.

In the end, there is no word yet on an exact date about when it will welcome its first guests, but soon.

Situated in Downtown Dubai, The Opus sits near the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, the Dubai Mall, and close to the city's Jumeirah beach.

With the Opus Hotel project, the ME Dubai enters a crowded and competitive market, as Dubai is known for its worldwide reputation of luxurious leisure resorts. But armed with a project like the one described above, the chances of winning the 2019 World Architecture Festival Awards increase much more.

It is the only project directly designed by Zaha Hadid to be fully realized in Dubai. The iconic architect developed designs for the interlocking Signature Towers, as well as for the Dubai Opera House, however, these projects were never realized.

Finally, without any doubt at all, we are completely sure that Dubai has owned a new architectural landmark that will be soon considered a touristic symbol of the city. Just like Bourj Al Arab, which remains on his rank as the first touristic emirate attraction for many years ago, before sharing up the place with other great architectural projects that came later.

Technical File, The Opus Hotel

(referenced from zaha-hadid.com)
  • Location:
Located within the Burj Khalifa district of Dubai, the Opus is designed as two separate towers that coalesce into a singular whole—taking the form of a cube. The cube is then ‘carved’, creating a central void that is an important volume within the building in its own right—providing views of the exterior from the center of the building. These two towers are linked by a four-story atrium at ground level and also connected by an asymmetric 38 meters wide, three-story bridge that is 71 meters above the ground. The free-formed fluidity of the Opus’ eight-story void contrasts with the precise orthogonal geometry of its surrounding cube.

  • Project ID:
Project_Name= Opus
Location= Dubai, United Arab Emirates- 2012, TBC
Owner= Omniyat Properties, LLC
Status= Under Construction
Total_Surface= 84,345 sqmm²
Volumetric_Dimensions= 100m (w) X 67m (d) X 93m (h)
Floors_qty._and_Descr.= 20 Floors above Ground, 7 Floors below Ground


  • General Information:
- “The design conveys the remarkably inventive quality of ZHA’s work; expressing a sculptural sensibility that reinvents the balance between solid and void, opaque and transparent, interior and exterior,” explained Mahdi Amjad, Executive Chairman and CEO of the developer Omniyat.

- With interiors currently being installed for the ‘ME by Melia’ Dubai hotel that will soon welcome its first guests, the Opus will house 12 restaurants, rooftop bars, and 56,000 sq. ft. of office space. Operated by Melia Hotels International, one of the world’s leading hoteliers with more than 350 hotels in 39 countries, ‘ME by Melia’ hotels are defined by their progressive, design-driven approach.

- “You always expect to be surprised by ZHA’s designs, but the Opus for ‘ME by Melia’ Dubai goes beyond what we could ever have anticipated. There’s no doubt that ME Dubai will raise the bar for Dubai’s hotels. We are proud to have this amazing project in our portfolio,” said Gabriel Escarrer, Vice Chairman and CEO, of Meliá Hotels International at the announcement of ME Dubai.

  • Credits:

For the complete documentation, including exclusive photos and documents, please refer to Zaha Hadid Official website.

  • As for more information about the project, which is rare actually, I hereby share the informative brochure of the Opus and about the ME Hotel in Dubai, with exclusive content that will blow your mind up! Download it at The-Opus-Brochure-Interactive-optimized.pdf.
Here are some sample pages from the brochure, as examples! Enjoy!


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