Dubai-based design firm X Architects has created a bird watching facility on a former waste water and rubbish tip in the northern UAE emirate of Sharjah.
The Wasit Natural Reserve has been given a visitor centre to educate people on the wetland ecosystem and provide information about the birds that frequent the area and other wetlands areas of the emirate.
The reserve’s sand dunes, salt flats and lagoons are home to 350 species of birds and provide a landing zone for 33,000 individual migrants.
The H-shaped centre tries to blend into its surroundings. When visitors arrive, a pathway leads them underground into a linear gallery, where a transparent wall allows them to experience the birds’ natural environment.
The process of rehabilitation the eco-system damaged by the waste dump started in 2005. So far, 40,000 square metres of rubbish have been removed, 35,000 trees have been re-planted and toxic chemicals have been cleaned from the soil.
The centre was opened last year.
Images via X Architects