International Architecture Competition

Mega Dunes Eco
Lodges - Abu Dhabi

Results

Foreword

Competition organisers

Mega Dunes Eco 
Lodges - Abu Dhabi

Official Partners

Mega Dunes Eco 
Lodges - Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, located on the southeastern Arabian Peninsula along the Persian Gulf, has a hot climate and desert landscapes that are home to rich biodiversity. The native fauna includes a number of desert-dwelling species that can be found nowhere else on earth.

One such species is the Arabian Oryx, a medium-sized antelope with long, straight horns, a tufted tail and a distinct shoulder bump - the smallest member of the genus Oryx. The Arabian Oryx was considered extinct in the wild in the 1970s. Breeding programs in zoos and private reserves helped to increase the population of the species, and they were reintroduced into the wild from 1980. As of 2009, there are a number of Arabian Oryx living in Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.

Despite a turnaround in the decline of the Arabian Oryx, the species is still listed as vulnerable. The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), an organization committed to maintaining a number of environmentally protected areas in the Emirates, has expressed interest in constructing approximately 25 sustainable “eco-lodges”, to garner stronger public interest in these amazing creatures by allowing visitors to view the animals up close.

This is the third Bee Breeders competition run in partnership with the EAD, following the Flamingo Observation Tower competition and the Abu Dhabi Flamingo Visitor Center challenge. The EAD will consider winning proposals for construction.

The jury sought creative, sustainable, and constructable proposals designed with sensitivity to this delicate natural environment. It is important that the visitor lodges be constructed with minimum impact to the protected site, while also providing an exciting and comfortable experience for visitors.

Bee Breeders would like to thank each of the participants for submitting their proposals.

1st Prize Winner

Project name

Heritage Machine

Authors

Giuseppe Ricupero
Egidio Cutillo
Stefania Schirò
Enrico Capanni

Italy

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

Because they allow us put theoretical visions into practice and push the boundaries of architecture. Moreover, a competition is always a way to learn more and more about yourself and your way to design.

Jury commentary

Heritage Machine stands out with its unique conceptual approach of ephemeral placemaking that dissolves back into nature as ruins over time. The ideas of physical memory, and an original approach to sustainability and building life cycle is remarkable. Physically, the gradual transition from the exterior to the interior world through a series of thresholds, and the grand roof canopy of the common hub large enough to form its own microclimate, are low-tech but powerful architectural gestures that respond to local environmental constraints. The quality and nuances of the overall representation are commended.

2nd Prize Winner

Project name

The Rub' al Khali OCULUS

Authors

Natalia Wrzask
Rolando Rodriguez - Leal

Company

Aidia studio

Mexico

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

We treat competitions as a means of testing lines of research currently being developed within the studio. We target specific subjects that help us expand our portfolios and where we can implement our research in complex geometries and sustainable design. The subject of the Mega Dunes Ecolodges was perfect for combining these two.

Jury commentary

The range of possibilities offered by the reconfigurable shading structure is well-considered. The circular form offers a 360-degree panoramic mini-universe for users with the ability to reconfigure privacy, views, and shading to changing needs. The aggregation of units to form a common hub is consistent with the project's overall "constellation" concept. The desert cactus-like form feels appropriate to the context without becoming overly mimetic. The glazing extents and the double-curved glazing panel geometry appears excessive, adding solid thermal mass - optimizing the amount of glass in the inner shell should be considered, to increase thermal performance and decrease costs. 

3rd Prize Winner

Project name

Desert Lens

Authors

Ahmad Nouraldeen
Luca Fraccalvieri
Jana Semaan
Lama Barhoumi

Company

Snono studio

Lebanon

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

Competitions are an integral part of the studio’s focus on research and development (R&D); they provide an opportunity to test, combine and iterate contemporary ideas and technologies that become part of our growing tool kit.

Jury commentary

Desert Lens achieves a high level of flexibility via a reconfigurable tensile structure superimposed on a fixed bamboo shell. The ability of the tensile structure to provide privacy, shelter from elements, and shaded areas in a simple, low-cost, analog manner is effective. The rendering depicting the user interacting with the tensile structure in the windy, sublime context is a poetic depiction of man not alienated from - but part of - the dune ecosystem.

BB STUDENT AWARD+
BB GREEN AWARD

Project name

Local.Smart.Simple. - Abu Dhabi Megadunes Ecolodges

Authors

Thomas Berger
Lukas Vermeulen

University

Rwth aachen university
+124 points!

Germany

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

Competitions offer a fantastic way to hone your skills and to test them in a competitive environment. From CAD- and rendering- to design skills, everything can be practiced. The same counts for group working; competing as a team is a great way to practice working together with other people and learn something about yourself.
Clients Favorite

Project name

DESERT CROWN

Authors

Lily-Love Toppar

United States

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

It’s freeing! You don’t get that limiting diction of “it has to be done this one way”. It’s out-of-the-box thinking and in line with the AL-L vision of exploration, innovation, and discovery, resulting in pleasant surprises that solve complex human and design challenges. While learning, I enjoy dreaming and envisioning beautiful things, and gaining positive exposure for thought-provoking and creative work. Regardless of the results, I always look forward to the next beautiful dream that we can actually build and inhabit.

Honorable mentions

VIEWclose HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Project Name

Lodges by the Dunes

Country

Australia

Project authors

Thomas Harrington
Irwin Ho

Project Name

Dessert Flower Eco-Lodges

Country

Mexico

Project authors

Uri Lewis
Yasha Lewis

Project Name

Sand|Form Array

Country

United States

Project authors

Jose Lopez
Alejandro de Jesus Mendoza Repetto

Project Name

Nomadic Lodge

University

Lawrence technological university
+72 points!

Country

United States

Project authors

Brandon Haarer
Fiorela Lesaj
Adam Dean
Solomon Reynolds

Project Name

The Memory of the wind

University

Kaywon university of art and design
+72 points!

Country

South Korea

Project authors

Jingyeong Park
Yejin Kim

Project Name

SAND DROPS

University

Universidad de zaragoza
+72 points!

Country

Spain

Project authors

Natalia Lajusticia
Beatriz Matínez
Laura Aguilar
Sergio Perdiguer

Shortlisted projects

VIEWclose Shortlisted projects

South Korea

Kaywon University of Art & Design

+72 points!
jingyeong park
yejin kim

Italy

erpinio labrozzi
lucia croci candiani
martina ciceri

United Arab Emirates

Five-nine design & innovation

abdullah ibrahim

United States

University of Washington

+22 points!
tera ponce
weng ian ng
valeska karissa tirtaguna

United States

Apollo design studio

paul schlachter
matej dlabal
christelle coetzee

Germany

RWTH Aachen University, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen

+124 points!
thomas berger
lukas vermeulen

Mexico

Aidia studio

natalia wrzask
rolando rodriguez - leal

Germany

Deeb studio

farbod yamani
saman macvand

Germany

Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main

+22 points!
sandro siefert
patrick heine

Italy

giuseppe ricupero
egidio cutillo
stefania schirò
enrico capanni

Germany

RWTH Aachen University, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen

+22 points!
isabelle grahlke
jil schneider
seher ulusoy

Spain

University of Zaragoza (Universidad de Zaragoza)

+72 points!
natalia lajusticia
beatriz matínez
laura aguilar
sergio perdiguer

Bulgaria

Soba studio

kiril georgiev
detelina bakalova

Lebanon

Snono studio

ahmad nouraldeen
luca fraccalvieri
jana semaan
lama barhoumi

Poland

Cracow University of Technology (Politechnika Krakowska im. Tadeusza Kościuszki)

+22 points!
marta mojsik
klaudia niedziałek
beata murdzia

South Korea

su yeon yu
subin yang
sang seok lee
yeonginn moon

Poland

jakub kulisa
piotr pańczyk
magda palczowska

Italy

melissa di giovanni
marco d’oltremare
gabriele d’oltremare
paola ardizzola

Australia

Townsville

david (dragi) stefanovic

Argentina

santiago gilardi
leon zorraquin

United States

Lawrence Technological University

+72 points!
brandon haarer
fiorela lesaj
adam dean
solomon reynolds

Germany

federico giacomarra
alessandro angelelli
lubomir iliev

Sweden

fatemeh bahari
tara fartash-naini

Czech Republic

petr preininger
kristýna smržová
michael gabriel

Egypt

Character design architects

ayman emaira
alia amer
basel aboubakr
rana khaled

United States

jose lopez
alejandro de jesus mendoza repetto

Argentina

patricia fondello
camila carvajal
isidro roch

Iran

notash dadjoo
navid ahmadi
anahita barari
samira karimi

Belgium

KASK & Conservatorium / HOGENT en Howest

+22 points!
mette claerman
 

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Competition results

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