winning designs for abu dhabi flamingo observation tower include a pixelated cube


bee breeders has announced the winners of the abu dhabi flamingo observation tower competition. the winning entries include a winding boardwalk that resembles a birds nest and a birdcage-like pixelated structure with multiple openings.

 

the observation tower has been imagines for the al wathba reserve, 40 kilometers southeast of abu dhabi. the competition site oversees five square kilometers of wetlands, salt flats, and fossilized sands and dunes. while the reserve is known for an array of animal species, its most notable visitors are flamingos who frequent the area in their thousands during winter periods.

winning designs for abu dhabi flamingo observation tower include a pixelated cube

image © rafail gkaidatzis / panagiotis dimakidis
all images via beebreeders

 

 

the competition tasked participants with proposing designs for a flamingo observation platform and connecting boardwalk. intended as a new architectural landmark for the wetlands, the platform will supplement the reserve’s existing visitor experience center, a network of trails, and bird hide. requirements included a limited floor area of 400 square meters, and a height of 12 meters, and a budget of $200,000.

winning designs for abu dhabi flamingo observation tower include a pixelated cube

image © bryan fan / shelley xu

 

 

the winning design was contributed by australian-based architects bryan fan and shelley xu. they proposed transforming the typical boardwalk into an experiential promenade made up of a steel frame set on a forest of thing vertical members. dubbed ‘flamingo dreams’ it resembles a bird’s nest and a thicket of grass. the structure is topped with a metal grill deck and balustrade with an infill of mesh, and then covered by a shell of palm leaves.

winning designs for abu dhabi flamingo observation tower include a pixelated cube

image © bryan fan / shelley xu

 

 

the second prize was awarded to the ‘birdwalk’, an elongated and sheltered platform elevated to provide multiple vantage points over the shallow water bodies of the nature reserve. designed by uk-based team natalia wrzask, rolando rodriguez leal, josé luis mulás and paola barrenechea, the concept aims to challenge the necessity for a single focal point of observation offered by a tower. the birdwalk is comprised of a modular system of concrete footings supporting prefabricated bamboo and oak rib profiles and decking, covered by a stretched and semi-transparent fabric. the construction system is minimally invasive and follows the topography of the landscape.

winning designs for abu dhabi flamingo observation tower include a pixelated cube

image © natalia wrzask / rolando rodriguez leal / josé luis mulás / paola barrenechea

 

 

a pixelated structure with a number of unique viewing spaces took the third prize. built using a simple structural unit, it contains a cube of 12 linear wooden elements fixed at the corners. the cube performs as a structural lattice when amassed in bulk and resembles a bird cage, offering a short journey for viewing the surroundings from different perspectives.

winning designs for abu dhabi flamingo observation tower include a pixelated cube

image © rafail gkaidatzis / panagiotis dimakidis

 

 

‘bee breeders thanks all the design competition participants. while small-scale architecture limits size, it certainly does not limit creativity,’ said bee breeders. ‘as can be seen in the entries highlighted here, demands on small-scale design also incentivize new ways of thinking about material applications and methods of construction.’

 

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project info

 

organizing body: bee breeders
competition: flamingo observation tower
about bee breeders: this competition is part of bee breeders’ design competition series focused on small-scale architecture. it is run in partnership with ARCHHIVE books, which will publish a forthcoming book on the topic of small-scale architecture in 2020, as well as in partnership with the environmental agency of abu dhabi. winning design competition entries will be considered for construction.

kieron marchese I designboom

jul 22, 2019





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