Wasit Natural Reserve Visitor Centre

X-Architects
2015

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Wasit Natural Reserve was originally a waste-water and rubbish dump. The rehabilitation process of the damaged eco-system started in 2005, 40,000m2 of rubbish removed, 35,000 trees been re-planted, healing the land from toxic chemicals and conservation of the Unique salt flats and coastal sand dunes.

After years of efforts to bring the non-migratory birds back to the site, WNR is now home to 350 species of birds, a landing zone for 33,000 migrate birds, and a breathing lung to Sharjah city.

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A wetland visitor center is established on site to continue protecting the natural environment, educate people on the richness of the wetland ecosystem and provides information about the birds that frequent the area and other wetlands areas of the emirate. The facility became heaven for bird watchers and researchers.

The architecture of the center blends with its’ surroundings and uses the existing topography to minimize the visual impact on the natural scene. When visitors arrive, a pathway leads them underground into a linear Gallery. A fully transparent wall allows the visitors to experience the birds’ natural environment and become part of it.

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WetlandSharjah, United Arab Emirates – November 23, 2015.  HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi  ( Ruler of Sharjah, and Member of the UAE Supreme Council ) officially opens The Wasit Wetland Centre, as he toured the premises.  ( Jeffrey E Biteng / The National )

7Section CC: Gallery Detail

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3Program diagram

1Site plan

Design team:
Ahmed Al-Ali, Farid Esmaeil, Mirco Urban, Pariya Manafi, Dana Sheikh, Abdullah Bashir, Waleed Al Mezaini, Christian Geronimo, Brian Abarintos, Eyad Zarafeh, HaiderAl Kalamchi

Client: EPAA, Environmental and Protected Area Authority
Program: Visiting Centre
Built up area: 2,534 sqm
Photography: © Nelson Garrido

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