Morpheus Hotel

Structural Designer

BuroHappold Engineering

Client Name

Melco Resorts


Macau, China

Dragages Hong Kong

Zaha Hadid Architects

Kyotec Group - Facade contractor
Tony Gee - Temporary works engineer
FDL GSI - Steelwork fabricator Images: © Virgile Simon Bertrand (1+2)


The fifth tower in Macau’s ‘City of Dreams’ leisure and entertainment complex stands 160m high. The hotel accommodation is arranged around a core in each wing of the building.

The exoskeleton structure of the building works with two concrete cores, providing the main vertical and horizontal load-bearing elements and upholding the client’s vision for a unique building. 

Judge's comment:

The Morpheus Hotel was envisaged from the outset to be an iconic building. Though not overly tall, the external appearance is particularly striking, due principally to the building’s structural exoskeletal frame and the visual effect of the three irregular openings that penetrate the main rectangular form from north to south.

The structural engineering involved is impressive, and was considered by the client body at concept stage to represent a ‘step into the unknown’. 

The building excellently demonstrates the transition and broadening of the expertise of the structural engineer that has steadily been taking place in recent years to encompass a range of high-end digital skills, including the bespoke code writing capabilities needed to enable different structural design and analysis software packages to communicate interactively with each other.

This allowed the proposed structure to be tested rigorously against 105 different possible load combinations, in order to generate the confidence needed for that next unknown step to be taken.

The Morpheus Hotel could not have been delivered without these highly specialised skills. 

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