The first hotel designed by visionary architect Zaha Hadid is in Dubai and marks the exclusive ME by Meliá brand’s debut in the Middle East
Dubai’s Burj Khalifa district, home to the world’s tallest skyscraper, now boasts Opus, the remarkable building that never sleeps. This huge cube design was the mastermind of Iraqi Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and her only hotel. It is also the first foray into the Middle East for the International hotel chain Meliá and their exclusive ME by Meliá brand.
Opus was conceived in 2007 as a unique, exclusive work of art in which two independent towers coalesce into a whole, forming the shape of a cube that looks like it’s been eroded in the middle. According to project director Christos Passas, ‘The precise orthogonal geometries of the Opus’s elemental glass cube contrast dramatically with the fluidity of the eight-storey void at its centre’.
The central free-form void is clad with unique tinted curtain wall glazing that follows different lines of curvature and affords distinct views from the interior of the building. The façade, made of high-performance, blue-tinted laminated glass, has reflective patterns that reduce solar glare inside the building.
The column-free design maximises natural light for the 17 floors of offices, three floors of retail, a top-floor relaxation area, a roof garden, and a seven-storey basement.
The ZHA Cube stands 93 metres high, 100 metres wide, 67 metres long and 20 storeys high. The total built-up area spans 84,345 m². The two towers share a lobby and atrium and are linked via a sinuous asymmetric 3-storey bridge that is 38m wide and 71m above the ground. This suspended space houses several different restaurants as well as a rooftop bar.
The beating heart of Opus is the luxury ME by Meliá hotel with 74 rooms, 19 suites, and interiors designed by Zaha Hadid herself based on two different themes: avant-garde and evocative. The hotel includes a 7,000 m² fitness centre and spa as well as 96 private flats with all kinds of luxuries, including some hotel amenities.