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Abu Dhabi Flamingo Observation Tower

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Abu Dhabi Flamingo Observation Tower

The Abu Dhabi Flamingo Observation Tower International Architecture Competition has been recently opened for entries, organised by Bee Breeders, tasking participants with designing a new observation tower for the reserve.


Organised by Bee Breeders, The Abu Dhabi Flamingo Observation Tower has been recently opened for entries, tasking participants with designing a new observation tower for the reserve.

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 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 addition to the migratory flamingos that make the reserve their winter home, Al Wathba has attracted numerous species of bird and animals, from the Black winged stilt to the Spiny tailed lizard which is indigenous to the region.
Facilities at the reserve currently include a Visitor Experience Center, self-guided trails (1.5 kms or 3kms) and a bird hide equipped with binoculars and a telescope. It has been purposefully kept as raw as possible, and as such there are no cafés or restaurants although there are washrooms and ongoing plans to make the site more wheelchair-accessible.
The Abu Dhabi Flamingo Observation Tower competition is looking to celebrate these magnificent creatures by tasking participants with designing a new observation tower for the reserve.
As the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has expressed an interest in the construction of this tower, designs will need to be both in keeping with the look and purpose of the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, while having the potential to become an iconic landmark in its own right.
Although the competition has no set budget, the bird observation tower construction costs should not exceed US $200,000. Participants must present designs for the following structures: tower and boardwalk.


Cost-effective, environmentally responsible and energy efficient construction for remote areas with limited road access;
Minimum / no mechanical excavation recommended.

- maximum combined floor area 400 m2
- potential to become a recognised international landmark;
- highly durable;
- vandalism-proof;
- easily-repairable;
- maximum tower height - 12m;
- accessible for disabled visitors.

- modular system that can be replicated and adapted to different footbridge lengths and terrains (including water);
- highly durable;
- vandalism-proof;
- easily-repairable.

Submission requirements:

Participants are required to upload 4 x A2 landscape-orientated presentation boards (must not exceed 5mb per jpg) with sketches, renderings, plans, sections, elevations, diagrams, and/or other presentation tools to explain their proposal.
No video files are accepted.
All information provided in writing must be in English.
All submissions must be uploaded via the upload panel.

Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (4 team members maximum).

Registration period close on 30 Aprile, 2019, but you can submit your project until 18 July, 2019, (11:59pm GMT+0).

Consultative jury will select 40 shortlisted from all submitted entries, after that core jury panel will evaluate the 9 finalists and select the top 3 winning projects and 6 honorable mentions.

The winners will be announced on 18 July, 2019.

Entry fees:

Early Bird Registration (November 11 - December 14) is US $90, instead for a students is US $70.
Advance Registration (December 15 - February 22) is US $120, instead for a students is US $100.
Last Minute Registration (February 23 - April 26) is US $140, instead for a students is US $120.


The Abu Dhabi Flamingo Observation Tower Competition is open to all. No professional qualification is required.


Bee Breeders will award a total of US $6,000 in prize money to competition winners as follows:

1st Prize US $3,000
2nd Prize US $1,500
3rd Prize US $500
BB Student Award US $500
BB Green Award US $500
+ 6 HONOURABLE MENTIONS The winners will get international art and design media coverage and will be featured on the Bee Breeders website.

Bee Breeders will acknowledge the outstanding performance of all winners and honourable mentions with Certificates of Achievement.

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