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Sustainable offices make a space-age statement in the desert

“An elegant sustainable solution within the harshest of climatic conditions. The exterior form sits perfectly with the surrounding desert landscape whilst the naturally daylight infused interior planning flows with ease,” James Twomey, Judge

Project: BEEAH Headquarters 

Award: Commercial – offices and studios, Gold, 2022

Location: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects

Client: BEEAH

This futuristic workspace embodies the principles of the organisation it has been designed to house. The new headquarters of the Middle East’s leading sustainability organisation place green design at their core – the building is powered by its solar array and designed to achieve net-zero, incorporating future-ready technologies for minimal energy consumption. The building’s strikingly sinuous form echoes the surrounding landscape of the Al Sajaa desert which is shaped by the prevailing winds in to sand dunes and ridges. The offices are housed in a series of interconnecting 'dunes' with the two primary 'dunes' interconnecting via a central courtyard to create an oasis within the building which is integral to its natural ventilation strategy.
Visitors enter beneath the 15-metre high dome which further enhances natural ventilation and allows passive daylight to enter the building. In addition to the central courtyard and open-plan office, the headquarters feature smart meeting rooms, an immersive visitors centre and an auditorium. 

Design highlights

A high percentage of locally procured materials have been used, including glass reinforced fibre panels which reduce solar gain, while slab and glass cooling regulate interior temperatures for optimum comfort. The headquarters' on-site water treatment filtrates waste water to minimise consumption and the solar farm charges Tesla battery packs to meet the building's energy demand throughout each day and night. The building's smart management system automatically adjusts lighting and temperature depending on occupancy and time of day.

    Photo credit: Hufton+Crow 

      DESIGN: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher
      ZHA PROJECT DIRECTOR: Sara Sheikh Akbari
      ZHA PROJECT TEAM: Gerry Cruz (Exterior Package Lead), Drew Merkle (Interior Package Lead), John Simpson, Matthew Le Grice, Maria Chaparro, Frenji Koshi, Leo Alves, Erwan Gallou, Vivian Pashiali, Alia Zayani, Alessandra Lazzoni, Zsuzsanna Barát, Dennis Brezina, Rasha Al-shami, Anna Mieszek, Elena Scripelliti, Eider Fernandez-Eibar, Marco Pavoni, Ben Kikkawa, Maria Vergopoulou- Efstathiou, Haohao Chen,Thanh Dao
      ZHA PHASE 1 PROJECT ARCHITECT: Kutbuddin Nadiadi
    • ZHA DESIGN TEAM: Gerry Cruz, Drew Merkle, Yuxi Fu, Xiaosheng Li, Edward Luckmann, Eleni Mente, Kwanphil Cho, Mu Ren, Harry Ibbs, Mostafa El Sayed, Suryansh Chandra, Thomas Jensen, Alexandra Fisher, Spyridon Kaprinis, John Randle, Bechara Malkoun, Reda Kessanti, Carolina López-Blanco, Takehiko Iseki, Matthew Johnston, Sabrina Sayed, Zohra Rougab, Carl Khourey, Anas Younes, Lauren Barclay, Mubarak Al Fahim,Faten El Meri
      ZHA COMPETITION TEAM: Xiaosheng Li, Gerry Cruz, Yuxi Fu, Drew Merkle, Lauren Barclay, Mostafa El Sayed, Alia Zayani, Mubarak Al Fahim

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