Zaha Hadid’s solar sand dune emerges from the desert
Taking its place exceptionally well in the rugged desert landscape, Beeah’s Zaha Hadid-designed headquarters is finally complete. The building combines its eye-catching appearance with important sustainable design features to help maintain the comfort of its occupants and reduce its energy consumption.
Located in the Al Sajaa Desert, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Beeah Headquarters (aka Bee’ah Headquarters) is a classic Hadid and was designed by the late architect herself, although realized by the partner and current boss of Zaha Hadid Architects, Patrik Schumacher. Its futuristic shape and confident concrete curves are informed by the undulating sand dunes that surround it and also have practical utility, helping to alleviate the sting of the local climate.
“The design of the headquarters responds to its surroundings as a series of interconnected ‘dunes’ oriented and shaped to optimize local climatic conditions,” the company explained. “Set against its backdrop of Sharjah’s Al Sajaa Desert, the design echoes the surrounding landscape shaped by prevailing winds into concave sand dunes and ridges that become convex as they intersect.
“Ensuring that all internal spaces have sufficient daylight and views while limiting the amount of glazing exposed to the sun, the two main ‘dunes’ of the headquarters house the public and management services as well as the administrative area that interconnect via a central courtyard, defining an oasis within the building that is integral to its natural ventilation strategy.”
Visitors enter the 9,000 m² (~97,000 sq ft) building through a large airy dome. Much of the interior is taken up with open-plan offices, as well as the central courtyard, meeting rooms, an immersive visitor center and an auditorium. ZHA calls the building the “office of the future” and has a smart management system that adjusts lighting and temperature based on occupancy and time of day, plus remote collaboration tools and hybrids, contactless lanes and a virtual concierge.
Although you might reasonably wonder if a large concrete building erected in the desert is really sustainable in every way, the project features significant energy-efficient additions and is set to receive the LEED Platinum green building standard.
In addition to the already mentioned emphasis on natural ventilation and light, the building was partly constructed using recycled materials and its reinforced fiberglass exterior is designed to reduce solar gain. Energy-efficient cooling helps regulate interior temperatures and an on-site water treatment system filters wastewater, while all the power needed comes from a large nearby solar farm that’s connected to Tesla batteries.
Source: Zaha Hadid Architects