leeser architecture: wins first prize for 'helix hotel' in abu dhabi leeser architecture: wins first prize for 'helix hotel' in abu dhabi
apr 01, 2009

leeser architecture: wins first prize for 'helix hotel' in abu dhabi

‘helix hotel’ by leeser architecture image courtesy leeser architecture

american firm leeser architecture has won first prize in a competition for a five-star luxury hotel in the zayed bay in abu dhabi, UAE. called the helix hotel for its staggered floor plates, it rests in the bay, partially floating in the water and adjacent to the serpentine sheik zayed bridge currently under construction by zaha hadid.

with 208 guest rooms and suites arranged around a helical floor, the hotel immediately dispenses with the idea that visitors must engage in the stale paradigms of rigid hallways and atria that characterize a typical hotel stay. the floor constantly shifts in width and pitch as it rises to the top floor, keeping public spaces always in flux. no two rooms positioned across from each other have exact views to the other side. as the helix winds upward, programmatic elements change from lounges and restaurants on the bay, to meeting rooms and conference facilities, to lounges and cafes, to the luxury indoor-outdoor health spa on the fifth floor, to, finally, the upper pool deck on the roof. the running track on the fifth floor represents the only moment when the ramping ceases and a flat surface prevails.

the indoor waterfall allows for the accumulation of heat inside the hotel to be minimal by filtering cool water back up into the system as it falls through the void. in the sub-lobby, a dynamic glass wall is built from the base of the second floor down into the water. the wall acts as a curtain, opening when the weather is cool enough and closing when it is too hot for exposure to the desert air. Portions of the outside surface are clad in panels made of a new material called grow, which has both photovoltaic and wind harnessing capabilities.

‘helix hotel’ image courtesy leeser architecture

‘helix hotel’ image courtesy leeser architecture

‘helix hotel’ interior image courtesy leeser architecture

‘helix hotel’ interior image courtesy leeser architecture

‘helix hotel’ interior image courtesy leeser architecture

‘helix hotel’ running track image courtesy leeser architecture

‘helix hotel’ exterior image courtesy leeser architecture

‘helix hotel’ exterior image courtesy leeser architecture

‘helix hotel’ image courtesy leeser architecture

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news