Take a Look Around Zaha Hadid Architects' Desert Headquarters

Designed to be a sustainable “oasis” in the middle of the Sharjah desert.

Design
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Zaha Hadid Architects has released drone footage of its latest completed project – the headquarters for environmental management company “BEEAH Group”, located in Sharjah’s Al Sajaa desert. The design takes its cues from the surrounding sandy dunes, with the studio’s signature, sinuous forms emulating the desert’s topography.

After successfully winning the project in 2013, work began in 2014, when the practice was still led by its founder, Zaha Hadid. Her successor Patrik Schumacher, who took to the helm of the company after her death in 2016, has overseen its completion.

“Embodying these principles, the headquarters’ design responds to its environment as a series of interconnecting ‘dunes’ orientated and shaped to optimise local climatic conditions,” said the practice. “Embedded within its context of Sharjah’s Al Sajaa desert, the design echoes the surrounding landscape shaped by prevailing winds into concave sand dunes and ridges that become convex when they intersect.”

Visitors enter the building through a 15-metre-high dome, and inside, spaces are flooded with natural daylight and look out onto expansive views. The headquarters are split into two “dunes” which both house different departments. These are connected by a central courtyard, which has been designed as an “oasis” within the building, and offers natural ventilation.

Given BEEAH‘s sustainability focus, the practice’s design follows suit, and sees energy-harbouring technology embedded throughout the scheme. Across the building’s shell, for example, glass reinforced fibre panels reduce heat, on-site water treatment filtrates waste water to minimise consumption. A solar farm provides power to Tesla battery packs, which provide electricity to the entire building throughout the day and night. Elsewhere, this energy is conserved through the building’s smart management system, which automatically adjusts lighting and temperature depending on occupancy and time of day. “The building will sets a new benchmark for future workplaces,” the practice added.

Lego took a similarly sustainable approach when designing its new headquarters in Copenhagen, which made use of 5,000 kg (11,023 lbs) of waste LEGO bricks for all outdoor furniture.

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