Speed and Spectacle in the UAE
If oil money is the figurative blood of the UAE, dazzling architecture might be its skin. And if that metaphor seems a bit strained, it should make more sense once you’ve seen images of Asymptote’s new project in Abu Dhabi. The 500-room Yas Hotel, which sits alongside the city’s Formula 1 racing circuit, features 5,800 pivoting diamond-shaped glass panels–its epidermis, so to speak–covering two hotel towers and a bridge linking the structures. Asymptote took the raceway as its inspiration, and in the spectacle of the hotel the designers have attempted what principal Hani Rashid calls an architectural reaction to the “art and poetics of speed.” Fittingly, the glass-panel roof and façade actually traverse the racetrack, making the circuit integral to both site and structure. Yas is scheduled to open on November 1st, which, not coincidentally, marks the start date of the inaugural 2009 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
View more photos of the Yas Hotel after the jump.
Images: courtesy Asymptote Architecture: Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture