"Flamingo Dreams", a design inspired by birds’ nests, has won first prize in a competition to design a birdwatching tower for the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve 40km southeast of Abu Dhabi.
The 12m-high modular tower was created by Australian-based architects Bryan Fan and Shelley Xu. It will contain 400 sq m of floor space and will cost $200,000 to build.
The outside of the structure resembles a bird’s nest or a thicket of grass, with a shell of palm leaves, and a metal grill deck on top. Visitors will be able to view birds through openings in the palm-leaf shell and a boardwalk will link the tower to a visitor centre, trails and a hide.
Birdwalk by Aidiastudio
In second place was Mexican architect Aidiastudio’s "Birdwalk", which proposed a sheltered platform with multiple vantage points.
The Cube by Rafail Gkaidatzis and Panagiotis Dimakidis
Third place went to "The Cube". This was designed by Rafail Gkaidatzis and Panagiotis Dimakidis, with a pixelated cube featuring 12 linear wooden elements fixed at the corners.
The Al Wathba Wetland Reserve was created in 1998 and covers 5 sq km of wetlands, salt flats and sand dunes. Thousands of flamingos flock there each winter and build their nests at the edges of the shallow salt water.
Top image: Flamingo Dreams by Bryan Fan and Shelley Xu