New images released of Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre
Designed by Chalabi Architekten & Partner and completed in 2013, the Al Ain-based Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre is an award-winning building that houses a research centre for desert and environment-related issues.
Inspired by the surrounding rugged landscape, the structural form generates a continuous loop in the architectural promenade that evokes a Moebius band. Unlike a flat desert, the building offers a series of experiences in the vertical axis. Spiraling up around a central courtyard, end-users are offered expansive vistas of the nearby land.
According to a statement released by the architects, the building spirals down below grade around a funnel-like inverted courtyard space evoking the “experience of geological layers and underground water sources”.
The building has obtained LEED Platinum and Estidama five pearls design rating — achieved through a combination of passive and active measures in saving energy and water consumption, as well as using partially local and recycled materials.
A complete case study will be published in Middle East Architect’s July issue.