Abu Dhabi is home to yet another monstrous architectural project, with a price tag only a wealthy sheik could look at and somehow keep from crying. Yet this project is special in many ways. The Yas Hotel, which opened to the public at the beginning of November 2009 along with the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix, encompasses the largest LED display the world has ever seen.
The Yas Hotel received a grand debut befitting a project of such scope and magnitude. The site was home to the grand finale of the Grand Prix, which was seen by more than 600 million viewers during the race.
The hotel itself is comprised of two twelve-story buildings containing 500 rooms in a span of 85,000 square meters of enclosed space. Designed by Asymptote Architecture and constructed by Aldar Properties PJSC, the project began in 2007 and took less than two years to complete.
The LED display is a whirling dervish atop and betwixt the dual hotel structures and has the appearance of planetary rings or a futuristic racecourse suspended in midair. There are at least 5,000 LED fixtures in the display arranged over and around the hotel, hovering over both the Yas Marina and the Formula 1 racetrack. It is the first ever structure to cross over a Formula 1 track.
When lit up at night, the lights seem to form a thermal blanket over the hotel, casting beautiful reflections on the water. The lights are controlled by remote device management and have color-changing patterns and other custom effects to give the display even more prominence.
Just one question remains, though. How does one get to sleep with thousands of bright lights shining into their hotel window? Could Abu Dhabi be vying for the title of “The City that Never Sleeps?”
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