Designed by Hani Rashid and Lise Anne (Asymptote Architecture), it is the first new hotel in the world to be built over an F1 racing track.
The hotel consists of two twelve stories towers, one set within the race circuit and the other in the Marina. They are linked together by a glass and steel bridge that passes above the Formula 1 track. Along with the Grid-Shell, the bridge connects and merges the whole ensemble. The building doesn’t serve only as a hotel but also as a landmark for Abu Dhabi. The designers inspired from both local and global, contemporary styles: the traditional Islamic arts and crafts combined with the forms derived from the F1 car design. The exterior surface reflects the sky and the surroundings in daytime, whereas in the night is lit by an LED system that transmits video feeds over the entire building, all of which are incorporated in the Grid-Shell.
The Grid-Shell itself is a 217 meter covering of glass and steel. This part of the design stands out by being the most important aspect of the entire project because it represents the building, it gives it meaning and signification and, through its out of the ordinary design, lets the building to be seen from a long distance, a key aspect of the idea that stands in the middle of the concept: the hotel being a landmark. The best part of this project is the way that that its designers managed to create a structure that represents what they set out to do. In other words, their concept is very clearly expressed by the hotel’s shape. The curved futuristic shape along with the modern Grid-Shell express movement and speed, just like an F1 racing car.
Description from the architects:
“The hotel embodies 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, 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.”
The hotel impresses because of the bold idea of covering its entire curved surface with LED lighting. Even if the effects are amazing, the construction process and the maintenance can be a bit tricky especially because of the natural environment which is not suitable for large glass surfaces due to the imminent danger of sand storms. The architects have overcome these setbacks anyway and created an architectural object with a design worthy of representing the wealth of the Arabic country and the tradition of F1 racing.
Type: Commercial – Restaurant, Nightclub
Location: Yas Island,United Arab Emirates
Client: Aldar Properties PJSC
Building status: built in 2009
Total floor area 85,000-square-meter
Number of stories: 6
Site type: other
Building area: 85000 m2