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Abu Dhabi reveals winning designs for flamingo centre and eco-lodge at Al Wathba Reserve

Abu Dhabi reveals winning designs for flamingo centre and eco-lodge at Al Wathba Reserve

Architects from around the world were invited to submit their designs

How winning entry 'To See And Not To Be Seen' looks inside
How winning entry 'To See And Not To Be Seen' looks inside

A lichen-covered twisting structure and desert eco-lodges built of sand impressed judges presiding over a global design competition for an Abu Dhabi nature reserve.

A team from the Czech Republic came first in a competition to design the Abu Dhabi Flamingo Visitor Centre in Al Wathba Wetlands Reserve.

With the aim of creating a new landmark for the city, all entries had to include a boardwalk, a floor area of 400 sq ms and a height of 12m.

The competition is the second by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, and Bee Breeders, following the one launched in July last year for the Flamingo Observation Tower.

Judges said the entry of the Czech Republic team, 'To See and Not Be Seen', was "remarkable," adding: "The proposed structure behaves as part of a living habitat rather than a building."

Designed by Petr Janda, Anna Podrouzkova and Katerina Tsponova, the building of twisted concentre would be covered with lichen to keep the building cool and blend it into the landscape.

This also gives it a reddish-pink hue, like the flamingos that flock to the reserve every winter.

The facility will also include information and training centres, a small cafe, car park and viewing area to observe wildlife.

The Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, located south-east of central Abu Dhabi, was declared a protected area in 1998.

The 5km² reserve is home to some 260 species of birds and other wildlife, including shrimp, scorpions, and lizards. Each autumn through spring, a wave of 4,000 pink flamingos flock to there to breed and spend the cooler winter months.

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