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ARCHITECTURE DESIGNDubai’s Opus Building Works Its Curves

The latest mixted-use project by Zaha Hadid Architects reimagines the spatial void.

By Lissa Raylin Brewer with Claire Butwinick

Images courtesy Laurian Ghinitoiu

Continuing the legacy of the late Zaha Hadid

the Pritzker Prize–winning architect dubbed “Queen of the Curve” by the Guardian in 2013—Dubai’s recently opened Opus building makes a compelling case for unconventional architecture.

Located in the city’s stylish Burj Khalifa district and designed by Hadid’s eponymous firm, Opus is an ambitious mixed-use project holding 12 restaurants, a nightclub, extensive office space, and the first Middle Eastern branch of ME by Meliá Hotels. The eight-story amorphous void carved through the building’s center is spanned by a three-story bridge connecting the two main towers, and every space features commanding views of the surrounding city.

The darkened façade, enveloped in UV-protective frit-pattern glass, reflects the expansive skyline. ZHA’s project director for Opus, Christos Passas, says the structure reflects Hadid’s “unwavering optimism [about] the future and belief in the power of advanced design, material, and construction.”


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