Project Detail


The Yas Hotel

Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates


Project Description

Asymptote Architecture • “It’s totally sci-fi,” said Yolande Daniels, summing up the project that had the jury feeling futuristic. The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is at the cutting edge of both form and technology, with a weblike shade structure that cloaks the hotel’s two 10-story elliptical-shaped towers. The 500-room, 900,000-square-foot hotel straddles the Yas Marina Circuit Formula One race track, its two towers knit together by a steel bridge. The team at Asymptote Architecture designed the exterior steel-and-glass latticework, which it calls a gridshell, to mirror and capture the speed, streamlined form, and dynamic energy of Formula One racing. Inside the lobby, the expertly detailed all-white hotel resembles at once an ocean liner and an icy glacial formation.

The seemingly effortless curvilinear geometry comes from extensive laboring over BIM and parametric models, which were used to control both the form and the detailing, resulting in tight tolerances and the design of a universal joint connection. Additionally, they were able to reduce the number of structural members: Only 10 supports hold up the entire gridshell. LED luminaires are integrated into each of the 5,000 fritted glass panels that make up the faceted surface. Asymptote worked with Arup’s lighting team to program the façade so that at night, the geometry transforms into a full-spectrum light show.

The jury touted the combination of spectacle and performance. The gridshell is not only for projecting an idea about high-tech luxury; it also mitigates the demands of the intense desert environment. For instance, the rooftop swimming pool, a program nearly impossible if exposed to the desert elements, tucks easily under the steel-and-glass umbrella. “The thing I like about this project is this idea of dealing with the climate by having a big shade piece that is a universal grid,” explained Bill Valentine.


Project Details

The Yas Hotel
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Project Team:
    Lise Anne Couture, Principal Architects; Hani Rashid, Principal Architects; Mick McConnell, Project Director; Andrew Drummond, Project Manager; Theo Sarantoglou Lalis, Project Manager; Chris Delusky, Commercial Director; Greg Derrico, Project Architects; Constantin Doehler, Project Architects; Justine Groves, Project Architects; John Guida, Project Architects; Kurt Hanzlik, Project Architects; Robert Hendrick, Project Architects; Robert Ivanov, Project Architects; David Lessard, Project Archit
  • Local Architects: Dewan Architects & Engineers; Tilke & Partners W.L.L. 
  • Structural Engineer: Dewan Architects & Engineers; Arup 
  • Mechanical Engineer: Red Engineering Middle East 
  • Electrical Engineer: Red Engineering Middle East 
  • Plumbing Engineer: Red Engineering Middle East 
  • Façade Consultants: Front Inc. 
  • Interior Architecture: Jestico + Whiles; Richardson Sadeki; De8 Architetti 
  • Lighting Consultants: LAPD 
  • Gridshell Engineers: Schlaich Bergermann und Partner; Waagner-Biro Group 
  • Gridshell BIM Consultant: Gehry Technologies 
  • Gridshell Lighting Consultant: Arup Lighting 
  • Gridshell Wind Engineers: Wacker-Ingenieure 
  • Gridshell Node Housing Consultant: Billings Jackson Design 
  • Link Bridge Engineers: Arup Bridge 
  • Landscape Design: Al Khatib Cracknell Landscape Design 
  • A/V & IT Consultant: Cyber-Consult 
  • Traffic Consultant: WSP Middle East 
  • Water Feature Pool Consultant: Belhasa Projects 
  • Fire Safety: Wagner Fire Safety Management Consultants 
  • Signage Wayfinding Strategy: Fitch 
  • Vertical Transportation: VDA 
  • Security: Olive Group 
  • Kitchen Laundry: Tricon Foodservice Consultants 
  • Food Beverage: Future Foods 
  • Façade Consultants: TAW & Partner 
  • Lighting Consultants: Bartenbach LichtLabor 
  • Lighting Consultants: Red Engineering Middle East 
  • Lighting Consultants: Arup Lighting 
  • Link Bridge Engineers: Centraal Staal 
Project Type:
Project Status:
Project Size:
    900,000 sq ft


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