Dezeen Magazine

The Yas Hotel by Asymptote

The Yas Hotel by Asymptote architects is nearing completion in Abu Dhabi, UAE.


The building forms part of the Yas Marina development accompanying a new Formula One circuit.


The race track will pass through the complex under a bridge linking the two towers of the hotel.


A canopy made of steel and diamond-shaped, glass panels will be supported over the towers and bridge.


The 500-room hotel is due for completion in October this year to coincide with the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


Images: The Yas Hotel – Abu Dhabi, UAE 2007–2009. Asymptote: Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture.

The following information is from Asymptote:


The Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi, Designed by Asymptote Architecture, Opens October 2009

Asymptote Architecture, the award-winning, New York-based practice, nears completion of The Yas Hotel project in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Yas Hotel is a 500-room, 85,000-square-meter complex now under construction by Aldar Properties PJSC. Asymptote was awarded the commission to design the buildings and environs from a closed competition two years ago targeting an opening date of October 30, 2009 to coincide with the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


The Yas Hotel is one of the main architectural features of the ambitious 36-billion-dollar Yas Marina development and accompanying Formula 1 raceway circuit, also near completion. Asymptote's founders and partners Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture envisioned an architectural landmark embodying 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.


Of architectural and engineering significance is the main feature of the project's design, a 217-meter expanse of sweeping, curvilinear forms constructed of steel and 5,800 pivoting diamond-shaped glass panels. This Grid-Shell component 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. The Yas Hotel is designed to be a significant landmark destination on Yas Island for Abu Dhabi and the UAE at large.

Hani Rashid describes the building’s design and its architecture as:

“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.”

Asymptote: Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture

Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture are leading architectural practitioners of their generation whose innovative work and academic contributions have received international acclaim. Since Asymptote’s founding in 1989, the firm has been at the forefront of technological innovation in the field of architecture and design and garnered praise for visionary building designs, large-scale master plans, innovative interiors, art installations, virtual reality environments and object design.

Asymptote is currently working on a broad range of commissions at sites in the United States, Europe and Asia including a 100,000-square-meter master plan in Bergamo, Italy; the World Business Center Solomon Tower in Busan, South Korea, a skyscraper that will be among the tallest in Asia at 560m; a luxury residential building in New York city that is near completion; two contemporary art pavilions commissioned by The Guggenheim Foundation for the Cultural District of Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi; and a master plan for the city of Baku in Azerbaijan. In 2000 Hani Rashid represented the United States at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and in 2004 Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture were awarded the Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts given in recognition of exceptional contributions to the progress and merging of the fields and disciplines of art and architecture.

Lead Architects

Asymptote Architecture:
Principals Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture

Selected Consultants

Local Architects:
Dewan Architects & Engineers, Abu Dhabi
Tilke & Partners W.L.L., Dubai

Structural Engineers:
Dewan Architects & Engineers, Abu Dhabi
ARUP, New York

Grid-Shell Engineers:
Schlaich Bergermann und Partner (SBP), Stuttgart
Waagner-Biro, Vienna

MEP Engineer:
Red Engineering Middle East, Dubai

Façade Consultants:
Front Inc., New York
TAW & Partner, Hamburg

Grid-Shell Building Information Modeling (BIM) Consultant:
Gehry Technologies, Los Angeles & New York

Interior Architecture:
Jestico + Whiles, London
Richardson Sadeki, New York
De8 Architetti, Bergamo, Italy

Lighting Consultants:
LAPD Lighting Design, Hertfordshire, UK
Bartenbach LichtLabor GmbH, Innsbruck, Austria
Red Engineering Middle East, Dubai
ARUP Lighting, New York

Grid-Shell Lighting Consultant:
ARUP Lighting, New York

Link Bridge Engineers:
ARUP Bridge, New York
Centraal Staal, Groningen, The Netherlands

Landscape Design:
Cracknell Landscape Architects, Abu Dhabi

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