Architecture Competition Winners revealed by Abu Dhabi Environment Agency

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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EAD Awards
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Abu Dhabi’s Environment Agency (EAD) in association with Bee Breeders, organizers of Architecture Competition has announced the winners for two main competitions that were launched at the end of last year.

The competitions included the design of two 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.

Top 3 winners of Flamingo Visitor Centre, Abu Dhabi competition 

  1. To See and Not Be Seen Project by Petr Janda, Anna Podroužková and Kateřina Tšponová from the Czech Republic.
  2. Incubator Project by Wenqi Huang and Yi Yan from the United States
  3. The Dune by Laurent Herbiet and Giordana Rojas from Mexico.
Incubator Project
Incubator Project by Wenqi Huang and Yi Yan from the United States

Top 3 winners of Mega Dunes Ecolodge competition 

  1. Heritage Machine Project by Giuseppe Ricupero, Egidio Cutillo, Stefania Schirò and Enrico Capanni from Italy.
  2. The Rub’ Al Khali OCULUS Project by Natalia Wrzask and Rolando Rodriguez-Leal from Mexico.
  3. Desert Lens Project by Ahmad Nouraldeen, Luca Fraccalvieri, Jana Semaan and Lama Barhoumi from Lebanon.
The Rub' Al Khali OCULUS
The Rub’ Al Khali OCULUS Project by Natalia Wrzask and Rolando Rodriguez-Leal from Mexico

Winners were selected on the premise that their designs were cost-effective, environmentally responsible and energy-efficient for remote areas with limited road access.

Regarding the competitions, Ahmed Al Hashemi, Acting Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector, said, “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. 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.”

Al Hashimi indicated, “EAD will work with the participants who have the winning designs to finalize the project designs and prepare them for any future executive work.”

Al Wathba Wetlands 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 square km, the wetlands are comprised of 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.

Arabian Oryx Protected Area

The Arabian Oryx Protected Area is home to the largest population of Arabian Oryx in the world. Spanning over 5,900 square kilometers, 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.