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ASYMPTOTE IN ABU-DHABI: A FORMULA 1 HOTEL
October 30, 2009

Asymptote Yas Hotel Abu DhabiThe opening of the iconic Yas Hotel, designed by New York City based Asymptote Architecture’s Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture, coinciding with the inaugural Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 1 marks Abu Dhabi as a cultural destination for the 21st Century.

The Yas Hotel as envisioned by Asymptote, is the world's first building designed to span a Grand Prix race circuit and will open it's doors to coincide with the inaugural 2009 Formula 1 Ethiad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 1st. The Formula 1 event will be the largest sporting event ever held in the UAE and the Yas Hotel is designed to be it's centerpiece and icon, helping transform Abu Dhabi into the new important and exciting cultural destination in the region.

Aldar Properties PJSC awarded Asymptote the commission to design the 85,000-square-meter complex from a closed competition two years ago. Asymptote founders and principals Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture have created an architectural landmark embodying 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.

The Yas Hotel’s Grid-Shell component, a 217-meter expanse of sweeping, curvilinear forms constructed of steel and 5,800 pivoting diamond-shaped glass panels, 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.

Hani Rashid describes the buildings design and it's architecture as: "A perfect union and harmonious interplay between elegance and spectacle. The search for us was to achieve an inspired architectural response to what one might call the 'art and poetics' of speed, specifically as it relates to Formula 1 and motor racing. That notion coupled with the making of a building that celebrates Abu Dhabi itself as a cultural and technological tour de force.



Asymptote Hani Rashid Lise Anne CoutureAbout Asymptote: Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture

Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture are New York based award winning architectural practitioners of international acclaim. Since Asymptote’s founding in 1989, the firm has been at the forefront of innovation and technological advances in the fields of architecture and design and garnered praise for visionary building designs, master plans, innovative interiors and art installations, virtual reality environments and object design.



Credits
Images: Asymptote: Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture
 
 
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