Architecture

Zaha Hadid's solar-powered sand dune rises out of the desert

Zaha Hadid's solar-powered san...
Beeah Headquarters' design is classic Zaha Hadid with its curved glass fiber-reinforced concrete exterior
Beeah Headquarters' design is classic Zaha Hadid with its curved glass fiber-reinforced concrete exterior
View 8 Images
Beeah Headquarters' design is classic Zaha Hadid with its curved glass fiber-reinforced concrete exterior
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Beeah Headquarters' design is classic Zaha Hadid with its curved glass fiber-reinforced concrete exterior
Beeah Headquarters has a total floorspace of 9,000 sq m (roughly 97,000 sq ft)
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Beeah Headquarters has a total floorspace of 9,000 sq m (roughly 97,000 sq ft)
Beeah Headquarters' overall design has been informed by the surrounding landscape
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Beeah Headquarters' overall design has been informed by the surrounding landscape
Beeah Headquarters features on-site water treatment systems which filter waste water for reuse
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Beeah Headquarters features on-site water treatment systems which filter waste water for reuse
Beeah Headquarters is located in the Al Sajaa desert in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
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Beeah Headquarters is located in the Al Sajaa desert in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Beeah Headquarters' glazing has been carefully situated to maximize daylight inside without warming the interior
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Beeah Headquarters' glazing has been carefully situated to maximize daylight inside without warming the interior
Beeah Headquarters' interior layout is open and airy, helping naturally ventilate the building
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Beeah Headquarters' interior layout is open and airy, helping naturally ventilate the building
Beeah Headquarters includes office space, a visitor center, and an auditorium
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Beeah Headquarters includes office space, a visitor center, and an auditorium
View gallery - 8 images

Taking its place exceptionally well in the rugged desert landscape, the Zaha Hadid-designed Beeah Headquarters is now finally complete. The building combines its eye-catching looks with significant sustainable design features to help keep its occupants comfortable and its energy use low.

Located in the Al Sajaa desert, in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Beeah Headquarters (aka Bee'ah Headquarters) is classic Hadid and was designed by the late starchitect herself, though realized by partner and current Zaha Hadid Architects boss Patrik Schumacher. Its futuristic form and confident concrete curves are informed by the rolling sand dunes that surround it and also have some practical use too, helping to take the sting out of the local climate.

"The headquarters' design responds to its environment as a series of interconnecting 'dunes' orientated and shaped to optimize local climatic conditions," explained the firm. "Embedded within its context 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 when they intersect.

"Ensuring all internal spaces are provided with ample daylight and views while limiting the quantity of glazing exposed to the harsh sun, the headquarters' two primary 'dunes' house the public and management departments together with the administrative zone that interconnect via a central courtyard, defining an oasis within the building which is integral to its natural ventilation strategy."

Beeah Headquarters' glazing has been carefully situated to maximize daylight inside without warming the interior
Beeah Headquarters' glazing has been carefully situated to maximize daylight inside without warming the interior

Visitors enter the 9,000-sq-m (~97,000-sq-ft) building by passing through a large airy dome. Much of the interior is taken up by open-plan office space, plus there's the central courtyard, meeting rooms, an immersive visitor center, and an auditorium. ZHA refers to the building as an "office of the future" and it features a smart management system that adjusts lighting and temperature depending on occupancy and time of day, plus remote and hybrid collaboration tools, contactless pathways and a virtual concierge.

Though you could reasonably question whether a big concrete building constructed out in the desert is truly sustainable in any meaningful sense, the project does have significant energy efficient additions and is slated to receive the LEED Platinum green building standard.

As well as the already mentioned focus on natural ventilation and light, the building was partly built using recycled materials and its glass reinforced fiber exterior is designed to reduce solar gain. Energy efficient cooling helps regulate interior temperatures and an on-site water treatment system filters waste water, while all required power comes from a large solar farm nearby that's hooked up to Tesla battery packs.

Source: Zaha Hadid Architects

View gallery - 8 images
2 comments
2 comments
ljaques
Beautiful. I like that desk.
The dromedary beast cigarette company sure photo-bombed that one pic, didn't it?
ReservoirPup
The building is beautiful and really so. But the utility, efficiency and sustainability are nowhere to be seen. It’s so hard to decouple art from vanity and good looks from lack of substance.