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De-Mystifying The Latest Renderings of Zaha Hadid's ME Dubai

August 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

When we shared some early images of the upcoming ME Dubai back in March, it was hard to wrap our heads around the undulations and contortions that are a staple of Zaha Hadid Architects.

With this new batch of renderings, we continue to look (gasp) in amazement and wonder at the hotel’s visual evolution. If space is still the final frontier, then the ME by Melia, Dubai, opening in 2016, seems like a good prototype for a hotel in space--it is just that way out there. It's also gonna be expensive to build.

At first glance at these renderings we admit it’s a little overwhelming but we think we can explain some of it. One interpretation that may drive the design of the hotel is that of the lotus flower. This lovely flower (or something like it) has been transformed into a jaw-dropping sculptural feature of the hotel lobby. This is dubbed the Vertical Café, a multi -level lounge and dining area.

The best way we have to share the latest designs of the hotel is to do a (virtual) tour of the hotel through these images, in sequence, starting at the hotel's entrance, seen below.

Our tour begins with the south hotel entrance as seen above. This entrance is accessed from an adjoining, ginormous atrium that serves office tenants of the Opus Building, also designed by Hadid. We see the valet desks and possibly some seating in there, plus a hint of an open petaled flower, with its roots coming out of the floor. Wait, this is just the beginning.

Here is the reception area which we think is seen from the picture above. This is a great light-filled space, and it must be amazing to stand beneath this wavy skylight.

Step into the lobby and behold the main visual feature of the hotel--a multi-level, organic structure that is the Vertical Café. Each level of the Cafe appears to simulate a petal of the lotus flower and each provides a unique perspective of the hotel’s way out design.

This is a close-up view of the Vertical Café. As we would expect from Hadid, futuristic lounge seating, likely designed by her as well, is ideally positioned around the outermost sections of the cafe, for the best viewing. No ticket required for this space odyssey.

Here is another view from the Vertical Café into the hotel atrium. The cafe railings could be glass or high-tech synthetic material. Either or, the feeling of lightness and floating on the flower is pretty much achieved.

We also a have a few more images of the guest rooms. Zaha Hadid got to test drive her undulating, futuristic guest room designs when she designed one floor at Silken Puerta America. That was about 10 years ago and she has taken her concept to new extremes.

The guest room concept features a bed unit that seems to come out of the floors, walls, and ceiling simultaneously. We like the way the bed is oriented to the views, the angular built—in desk at the head of the bed, and the overall soft lighting.

Here’s another interesting guest room design taking us back to the future. The bathroom in the corner has an obscure glass window which is great for allowing natural daylight and it’s free. Maybe we’re not reading this right but is there someone in there taking a shower?

We originally thought this was one of the hotel lounges, or a private meeting space, but then again this is Dubai. This is just one level of the multi-level penthouse suite. Texting might actually be the best way to communicate from within this over-the-top accommodation.

[Renderings: Zaha Hadid Architects]

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