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real estateAugust 12, 2020

EAD names Abu Dhabi projects design contest winners

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), in collaboration with Bee Breeders, one of the world's leading architecture competition organisers, have announced the winners for two main competitions that were launched at the end of last year.

The competitions included the design for two of UAE capital's major projects - the Abu Dhabi Flamingo Visitor Centre in the Al Wathba Wetlands Reserve and the Mega Dunes Ecolodge in the Arabian Oryx Protected Area.

The top three winners of the Abu Dhabi Flamingo Visitor Centre include: Petr Janda, Anna Podroužková and Kateřina Tšponová from the Czech republic in first place with a project called To See and Not Be Seen. In second place were Wenqi Huang and Yi Yan from the US with their project called Incubator.

Laurent Herbiet and Giordana Rojas from Mexico with a project called The Dune clinched the third spot for the Abu Dhabi Flamingo Visitor Centre to be come up within the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve.

Established in 1998, the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is a nature reserve consisting of both natural and man-made bodies of water located 40 km southeast of central Abu Dhabi. Covering a total of 5 sq km, the wetlands comprise wetlands, sabkhas (salt flats), fossilized sands and dunes, and are densely packed with animal and plant life.

The most spectacular of which is the flamingo population, who flock to the reserve in their thousands to enjoy the warmth during the winter months, with some remaining all year round.

For Mega Dunes Ecolodge competition, the top three winners were: Giuseppe Ricupero, Egidio Cutillo, Stefania Schirò and Enrico Capanni from Italy with a project called Heritage Machine followed by Natalia Wrzask and Rolando Rodriguez-Leal from Mexico with The Rub' Al Khali Oculus project in theseciondf place.

While in third place, the authors were: Ahmad Nouraldeen, Luca Fraccalvieri, Jana Semaan and Lama Barhoumi from Lebanon with their project - Desert Lens.

The Mega Dunes Ecolodge will come up within the Arabian Oryx Protected Area, which is home to the largest population of Arabian Oryx in the world. Spanning over 5,900 sq km, it is located in the southern region of the UAE, bordering Saudi Arabia and Oman.

The majority of the Arabian Oryx Protected Area consists of sand sheets and dunes, with some mega dunes and gravel plains with dwarf shrub vegetation located throughout the area.

According to EAD, all the winners were selected on the basis of their designs being cost-effective, environmentally responsible and energy-efficient for remote areas with limited road access.

'The participation in both these architectural competitions was exceptional. We received 237 design entries for the Flamingo Visitor Centre and 117 designs for the Mega Dunes Ecolodges,' remarked Ahmed Al Hashemi, the acting executive director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector.

'Due to the presence of so many distinguished proposed projects, it was a challenge for the jury to select the final winners. The winning designs were all eco-friendly and aligned with the sustainability needs stipulated by EAD, as part of our vision of establishing green buildings in the emirate of Abu Dhabi,' stated Al Hashimi.

'EAD will work with the participants who have the winning designs to finalize the project designs and prepare them for any future executive work,' he added.