Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre
Al 'Ayn, United Arab Emirates

This educational museum and research centre for desert and environmental issues is organised across six terraced public areas linked in a double spiral continuous loop circulation system, akin to the Moebius band. Unlike the flat desert where one experiences only horizontal flat planes, the building offers an array of experiences on the vertical axis. It spirals up around a central courtyard to a high point which offers a vista to a safari park and mountain ridge while a third spirals down below grade around a funnel-like inverted courtyard space evoking the experience of geological layers and underground water sources. The building has passive and active measures in saving energy and water consumption as well as using partially local and recycled materials.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Al 'Ayn, United Arab Emirates
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Completed 2011
15,000 m²
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