After a pipeline burst at a water treatment plant in Abu Dhabi, an uncontrollable amount of water in the area resulted in a regular flocking of Greater Flamingos. With much development, the area was formed into what is now called the Al Wathba Wetlands, a complex ecological environment, home to many species of flora and fauna.

Due to the Wetlands’ growing popularity, the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi requested designs for a watchtower and boardwalk that would allow access to the rough terrain. The NTSI Lab at NYUAD and myself proposed the following concept.


The tower and boardwalk complement each other in style, medium, and visual language, oriented around the iconic and recognizable imagery of the palm trees in the country. Many traditional structures in the region are made from the leaves of palm trees. This concept attempts to use such materials where possible, not only referencing the heritage of the region but also attempting to minimize the materials to be manufactured.

The tower breathes the imagery of the palm tree, while the boardwalk attempts to mimic the graceful wings and feathers of the Greater Flamingo, maintaining the materiality of the tower. In another attempt to be environmentally sustainable, we proposed using condensed sand (a form of natural concrete) to pave an unobtrusive path into the existing walking trail, minimizing cost and ecological destruction.

This project was fantastic exposure to working in a heavily integrated team, everything that we have produced belongs to us as a team. One great example is the rendering above, a product of the work we have all produced, with the rendering itself being something we each tinkered and edited.

During the project, I was heavily involved with:


Some thumbnails of our proposal…


A detail of the Boardwalk


Here is a video outlining the building process…




June 25, 2019