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Dubai-based com­pany X-Ar­chi­tects has com­pleted a vis­i­tor cen­tre at the Wa­sit Na­ture Re­serve in Shar­jah.

Orig­i­nally a waste wa­ter site and dump, it has been trans­formed by the re­moval of 40,000 square me­tres of rub­bish and the plant­ing of 35,000 trees, to as­sist the con­ser­va­tion of unique salt flats and coastal sand dunes.

The re­serve is now home to 350 species of birds, while the vis­i­tor cen­tre has been es­tab­lished to ed­u­cate vis­i­tors on the rich­ness of the wet­land ecosys­tem and pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on what has be­come a land­ing zone for 33,000 mi­grat­ing birds.

The ar­chi­tec­ture of the cen­tre helps it blend into its sur­round­ings, mak­ing full use of ex­ist­ing to­pog­ra­phy to min­imise any visual im­pact. A path­way leads vis­i­tors un­der­ground and into a lin­ear gallery, while a trans­par­ent wall al­lows the birds’ nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment to be fully ex­pe­ri­enced.

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