Zaha Hadid-designed ME hotel opens in the Opus building in Downtown Dubai

The much-awaited ME by Melia in Dubai is the only hotel with its interiors and exterior both designed by Zaha Hadid, expressing the late architect’s parametric style.

by Meghna Mehta Published on : May 18, 2020

Designed by the late Zaha Hadid in 2007, the ME Dubai hotel at the Opus in the Burj Khalifa district, adjacent to Downtown Dubai and Business Bay, is now open. Created with Hadid’s signature parametric design style, the project is the only hotel where Hadid had designed the interiors as well as the architecture. The external façade of the Opus was completed in 2019, while the ME Dubai hotel revealed in March 2020.

The ME Dubai hotel at the Opus is the only one that has both its exterior and interiors designed by the late Zaha Hadid | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
The ME Dubai hotel at the Opus is the only one that has both its exterior and interiors designed by the late Zaha Hadid Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

Furniture by Zaha Hadid Design has been installed in the entire hotel. The lobby becomes a huge resembling point of departure and arrival into what signifies as Zaha Hadid’s predominant design and architectural free flowing style. “The precise orthogonal geometries of the Opus’ elemental glass cube contrast dramatically with the fluidity of the eight-storey void at its centre,” explained Christos Passas, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects.

  • Plan of the lower ground floor showing the lobby of the ME Dubai | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    Plan of the lower ground floor showing the lobby of the ME Dubai Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu
  • Section of the entire building showing the form of the solid and void at ME Dubai | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    Section of the entire building showing the form of the solid and void at ME Dubai Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

The ‘Petalinas’ sofas and ‘Ottomans’ pods in the lobby have been fabricated from sustainable materials to ensure a long lifecycle. The ‘Opus’ beds have been placed in each bedroom while the ‘Work & Play’ combination sofa with desk has been installed in the suites. Further showcasing Zaha Hadid Design’s parametric sensibility in the details of the design, the hotel’s bedrooms incorporate the ‘Vitae’ bathroom collection designed by Hadid in 2015 for Noken Porcelanosa.

  • The Opus beds placed in each of the rooms | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The Opus beds placed in each of the rooms Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu
  • The ‘Vitae’ bathroom collection designed by Zaha Hadid Design | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The ‘Vitae’ bathroom collection designed by Zaha Hadid Design Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu
  • The lobby of the ME Dubai with the Ottomans and Petalina sofas by Zaha Hadid Design | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The lobby of the ME Dubai with the Ottomans and Petalina sofas by Zaha Hadid Design Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu
  • The lobby interiors of the ME Dubai | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The lobby interiors of the ME Dubai Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

Hadid’s fluid architectural language can be seen throughout the hotel’s 74 rooms and 19 suites. Apart from the ME Dubai hotel, the Opus building also houses offices, serviced residences and restaurants, cafes and bars, including ROKA, the contemporary Japanese robatayaki restaurant, and the MAINE Land Brasserie.

  • The Petalina sofas in the lobby of the ME Dubai hotel | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The Petalina sofas in the lobby of the ME Dubai hotel Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu
  • The lobby of the ME Dubai hotel | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The lobby of the ME Dubai hotel Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

The Opus as well as the ME Dubai hotel explore the balance between solid and void, opacity and transparency. Spanning 84,300 sqm (907,400 square feet), the Opus was designed as two separate towers that coalesce into a singular whole—taking the form of a cube. The void in the centre appears as if ‘eroded’, creating a free-form fluid extraction. The two halves of the building on either side of the void are linked by a four-storey atrium at ground level and also connected by an asymmetric 38m wide, three-storey bridge, 71 metres above the ground.

  • The Opus building in Dubai with the void lit with digitally installed LED lights | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The Opus building in Dubai with the void lit with digitally installed LED lights Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu
  • The central void takes the form of an ‘eroded’ extraction in the cube of the Opus | ME Dubai hotel at Opus | Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The central void takes the form of an ‘eroded’ extraction in the cube of the Opus Image Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

A dotted embellishment-like digital installation of LED lights has been applied along the surface of the void, creating a pattern and emphasising the clarity of the building’s solid and orthogonal form.

Project Details

Name of the Project: ME  Dubai hotel, Opus
Architects: Zaha Hadid architects
Design by: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher, Christos Passas
ZHA Design Director: Christos Passas
Competition Team: Christos Passas, Paul Peyrer-Heimstaett Alvin Huang Daniel Baerlecken Gemma Douglas Saleem Al-Jalil
Design Team (Shell and Core): Vincent Nowak (Project Architect), Dimitris Akritopoulos, Javier Ernesto-Lebie, Paul Peyrer-Heimstaett, Sylvia Georgiadou, Phivos Skroumbelos, Marilena Sophocleous, Chiara Ferrari, Thomas Frings, Jesus Garate, Wenyuan Peng
Local Architects: Arex Consultants (Dubai), BSBG (Dubai)
Location: Dubai, UAE
Date: 2012/2020
Client: Omniyat Properties LLC
Status: Built
Size: 84,345 sqm

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