Construction on the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is nearing completion. Designed by the New York based Asymptote Architecture, the Yas Hotel is a 500-room, 85,000-square-meter complex.

Asymptote’s founders and partners Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture envisioned an architectural landmark embodying various key influences and inspirations ranging from the aesthetics and forms associated with speed, movement and spectacle to the artistry and geometries forming the basis of ancient Islamic art and craft traditions.

Hani Rashid describes the building’s design and its architecture as:

A perfect union and harmonious interplay between elegance and spectacle. The search here was inspired by what one could call the ‘art’ and poetics of motor racing, specifically Formula 1, coupled with the making of a place that celebrates Abu Dhabi as a cultural and technological tour de force.

Of architectural and engineering significance is the main feature of the project’s design, a 217-meter expanse of sweeping, curvilinear forms constructed of steel and 5,800 pivoting diamond-shaped glass panels. This Grid-Shell component affords the building an architecture comprised of an atmospheric-like veil that contains two hotel towers and a link bridge constructed as a monocoque sculpted steel object passing above the Formula 1 track that makes its way through the building complex. The Grid-Shell visually connects and fuses the entire complex together while producing optical effects and spectral reflections that play against the surrounding sky, sea and desert landscape. The architecture as a whole “performs” as both an environmentally responsive solution as well as an architecture of spectacle and event. The entire jewel-like composition of the project responds visually and tectonically to its environment to create a distinct and powerful sense of place as well as a breathtaking backdrop to the Formula 1 and other events that the building will celebrate. The Yas Hotel is designed to be a significant landmark destination on Yas Island for Abu Dhabi and the UAE at large.

The Yas Hotel – Abu Dhabi, UAE 2007–2009
Asymptote: Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture