Flamingo Observation Tower
Location: Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in Abu Dhabi
Program: Observation Tower
Client: Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD)
International Competition / Research
Team: Ji-Hwan Park & Blake Pettus
Established in 1998, the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is a nature reserve consisting of both natural and man-made bodies of water located 40 km southeast of central Abu Dhabi. Covering a total of 5 square km, the wetlands are comprised of wetlands, sabkhas (salt flats), fossilized sands and dunes, and are densely packed with animal and plant life.
The most spectacular of which is the flamingo population, who flock to the reserve in their thousands to enjoy the warmth during the winter months, with some remaining all year round. In fact, in July 2013, the Greater Flamingo Colony successfully hatched 231 chicks at Al Wathba.
Participants are tasked with delivering designs for a new bird observation tower that is sensitive to the unique environment in which it will be located, while at the same time, has the potential to become an iconic landmark in its own right.