London studio to design $2m desert retreat in UAE

London architect Baharash Architecture is to design a $2.2m solar-powered desert retreat in Liwa, a region in the south of the United Arab Emirates.

The development is designed to exist in harmony with the desert and will be energy self-sufficient thanks to solar panels that generate power to be stored in battery units.

Smart glass windows will offer privacy at the flick of a switch, an indoor herb garden and a central fire place for social bonding – a key part of the region’s Bedouin heritage.

GCR has learnt the total built area of the project is 565 square metres, and construction is due to be completed in September 2016.

The project is being built for "one of the Emirates’ highest profile individuals", who has not been named.

The retreat aims to "provide genuine exclusivity and tranquility in an area which has remained unspoiled for centuries, and is home to a wildlife such as oryxes, gazelles and camels".

Baharash Bagherian, the founder of Baharash Architecture, said: "The UAE has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the region, such as Liwa, which is a perfect destination for eco retreats.

"We are seeing a new generation of emiratis who are looking to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, in line with UAE’s vision to become one of the most sustainable countries in the world. Thus eco-retreats are a great sustainable alternative to the usual jet-setting trips."

Images via Baharash Architecture

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