Fire & Risk Engineering Award Winner: Morpheus, Macau

Young Wong
Arup, Hong Kong

Answering the Fire Safety Challenge for Building with “Unique” Atria

Featuring three holes punctuating the twisting geometric facade, the Morpheus Hotel is a remarkable feat of architectural and engineering design, but one that presents unique fire engineering challenges. With the atrium connecting the different uses and spaces vertically, it makes the fire safety strategy extremely challenging. The podium floors and hotel floors are designed to fulfill different fire safety requirements (i.e. the International Building Code and Macau Fire Code).

The atrium spans the entire internal height of the building – from the hotel lobby at the ground level, up to Level 38, stretching approximately 130 meters in height. This space exceeds the compartment size of the local code requirement, as well as the typical atrium height, presenting great challenges for fire safety. The following engineering innovations were successfully implemented: The atrium fire strategy uses different passive and active fire protection systems. For passive fire protection, the atrium is separated from the tower accommodation with a two-hour fire-rated construction, and the podium is separated from the towers and the atrium by a two-hour fire-rated construction. The atrium also implemented an automatic sprinkler system, smoke management system, aspirated smoke detection and occupant warning systems to provide adequate levels of life safety, while also accounting for the possibility unwanted false detection of smoke.

View Building on The Skyscraper Center