The Helix Hotel in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Bay doesn’t have floors like we’re used to – instead it spirals in sections of a corkscrew from top to bottom with no clear breaks, flowing from retail to residential, and hotel suites to saunas. The hollow center keeps foot traffic flowing while infusing interior spaces with coastal air and natural light, while on the outside GROW panels are fast at work harnessing solar and wind energy. Because of its unique design, every room has a slighly different view — perfect for watching over the contruction of Zaha Hadid’s Sheikh Zayed Bridge just next door.

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Leeser Architects’ design of the Helix Hotel won the invitation-only competition sponsored by Al Qudra Real Estate and QP International. In cooperation with environmental design consultants at Atelier Ten, the Helix Hotel, which nearly floats right into the Persian Gulf, will maximize use of local natural resources likes sun, wind, and ocean water while keep guests comfortable in all 208 rooms.

GROW panels made from 100% recyclable polyethylene will be installed on the exterior and will collect energy from both the sun and the wind. Interior temperatures will be managed by a cascading ocean-fed waterfall in the atrium that will help maintain interior climate and humidity levels, while a retractable glass wall will open up to cool sea breezes that constantly circulate fresh air.

+ Leeser Architects