28 OF September 2018 New MGM COTAI Features Striking, One-of-a-Kind "Jewelry Box" Design

Unlike any other building in China or elsewhere, the recently opened MGM COTAI in Macau combines architectural marvel and inspired lighting to create an iconic structure and dramatic spatial experience.   Its striking stacked "jewelry box" design pays tribute to the local culture while showcasing spectacular engineering feats.

The creative use of immaculate Chinese decorative imagery resulted in a striking façade that brilliantly illuminates MGM's branded gold tones.  The structure encapsulates two hotel towers and a mansion that provides the ultimate luxury experience.  The stacked boxes of each tower are cantilevered to create a single distinctive and modern art form.

It took the creative talents of 350 architects, designers and consultants to bring this vision to life with the end result being an integrated resort and entertainment complex like no other in the world.  It is one of many initiatives designed to attract more advanced and innovative forms of entertainment to Macau as it grows into a global tourist destination.

“From the outset, we wanted to design a structure that would really stand out on the skyline,” said John Bushell, design principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), the New York and London based design architect firm that was appointed for this project and which is recognized for its building excellence and innovation around the world.  Other noteworthy projects in KPF's portfolio include the award-winning Shanghai World Financial Center and Hong Kong’s tallest building, the International Commerce Centre. 

“We wanted to build something of the highest architectural quality that is also a place for people to have fun," continued Bushell.   "By utilizing a composition of similar elements and openings in between the buildings, we created a mountain landscape-like structure that allows for a variety of interpretations. The outside is striking both in daylight and at night with lots of dramatic spatial experiences within."

The $3.45 billion-dollar facility is the largest property and the first private sector project ever to achieve the China Green Building (Macau) Design Label Certification.  With more than four million square feet, MGM COTAI has approximately 1,400 hotel rooms and suites, meeting space, a high-end spa, retail offerings and dining outlets, as well as the first international mansion at MGM.  It additionally houses Asia’s first dynamic theater and a $12 million art collection featuring more than 300 captivating and thought-provoking works of art.

Although the exterior of this architectural icon is visually striking in the daylight, it offers an even more exceptional night-time experience thanks to dramatic lighting made possible by 60,000 LED fixtures that are part of an integrated lighting system spread across all four elevations of the towers.    

Acclaim Lighting from Los Angeles provided the two major exterior light sources for the MGM COTAI Tower that created high output, brilliant illuminations and superior color rendering with high energy efficiency.   The company's Dyna Drum HO provides a high power, high energy efficiency floodlight that combines stellar performance with a compact form factor.  Consuming only 228 watts, each Dyna Drum HO fixture provides 10,103 lumens set with a 10º x 60º spread lens for the MGM facility. 

In addition, Dyna Drum HO features an onboard DMX+RDM driver with Acclaim’s Aria wireless DMX technology and rear OLED display with full text readout for ultimate control. A single hybrid cable carries power and data for clean and efficient installation.  

Durability was also a key consideration in the specifications.  The IP66-rated fixture has a die cast aluminum housing with glass top lens and an optional marine coating, making it suitable for even the harshest outdoor environments.  This type of durability made Dyna Drum HO ideal for the North Tower roof, as well as for the facility's landscape and pool deck lighting.

The second Acclaim Lighting high power, color changing, outdoor linear fixture specified was the custom IP67 Dyna Graze Exterior HO DMX units.  They feature class-leading light output, adjustable feet, a glare shield and DMX and RDM control systems.  The units include a 30° swivel mount and a 90° swivel mount option in multiple beam angles for custom applications.

DynaGraze offers multiple configurations, available in 1’ and 4’ sections, provides 1100 lumens per foot and maintains 70 percent of its lumens at 150,000 hours. Featuring a built in DMX/ RDM driver for control, the fixtures were be easily linked together in one chain using weather-proof link cables. The custom IP67 build for the Dyna Graze Exterior HO DMX unis are so durable, that they can be temporarily submerged. This provides extra flood protection, which was one of the reasons why the DynaGraze Exterior HO DMX was specified for use in the north and south lobbies, as well as for landscape and pool deck lighting around the MGM COTAI.

To control the exterior lighting, a custom DMX/RDM booster (DD-1IP) and e:cue engines support the Dyna Drum HO and Dyna Graze fixtures.  The specified Butler PRO DMX is an e:net to DMX512 interface for the e:cue Lighting Application Suite (LAS) controls to 16 DMX512 universes with 512 channels per universe and full RDM capability.  

The end result is an energy-efficient, highly versatile lighting system that showcases the architectural innovations of the building in a dramatic and sophisticated manner.

According to Hunter Clayton, executive vice president of MGM Resorts Development, the architectural complexity of the project is highlighted by the outward look and feel of the building in a profound, yet graceful, manner.  He credits their general contractor, China State Construction, with doing a beautiful job in bringing the design to life. 

"From any given angle, the intricate layering, colors, shapes and sizes of the tri-colored stacked jewelry boxes seep with sophistication,” said Clayton.