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Desert Rock

Al Wathba fossil dunes stand as seemingly alien elements in the sandy, gently sloping desert across the natural reserve. Sometime towering few meters above the ground, sometime stretching and turning into beautifully sculpted forms. Created over million of years by compacted layers of sand and by the modelling action of the wind, they perfectly blend within their surrounding while standing as unique and iconic elements. The texture and geological genesis of the fossil dunes informed the design to generate a tower that would be able to stand out without insensibly marking its environment. Material and structure work as a cohesive mechanism that echoes the language of the adjacent dunes. The fossil dune’s striking element, except its playful and photogenic form, is the detail complexity of its surface, which seems to be flowing and swirling as if it was constantly manipulated by the wind. This captivating texture, with its shades of colours, blends harmoniously with the hilly sand floor from where it emerges. A competition entry the form of the tower was defined by a simple optimization process. The ellipse, as basic originating shape, was chosen to create a hierarchy of views and circulation. The elliptical floors, where optimized in order to minimize solar radiation in between the months of April and October, and to offer always a different view at every landing. .



UAE, Al Whataba


Structure: N.A


Design: Luca Marulli

              Daet Washurushtakon

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