Eco-Friendly Alternatives in the UAE
A London-based design studio has taken its cue from an emerging generation of eco-savvy Emiratis who are demanding high levels of quality and luxury?but without an environmental price tag.
Design rooted in tradition
One of the best examples to showcase the ideas of this new generation is a solar-powered retreat in the pristine Liwa desert, located in the southern part of the U.A.E. London-based Baharash Architecture turned heads when they revealed the design for their desert ecoretreat. The architectural genius lies not only in creating an eyecatching structure, but also in making it energy self-sufficient and environmentally friendly through solar PV technology.
The luxury eco-friendly retreat is inspired by the UAE’s Bedouin traditions. This rich culture has always had a profound influence in the region. Gatherings around the fire for social bonding have been the backbone of the Bedouin heritage. The magnificent design of the eco-retreat has its roots in this tradition of harmony, with a central fireplace at the hub of the modern star-shaped structure.
Luxury and sustainability
The Destert retreat was commissioned by a high-profile U.A.E. client and its design appeals to the luxurious tastes of the wealthy Emirati jetsetters. This ambitious project comes across as a modern-day architectural marvel for both aesthetic and ecological reasons. The structure satisfies 100% of its energy needs from the solar panels mounted on its rooftop. The U.A.E. enjoys abundant sunlight throughout the year, and the excess solar power generated during the day is stored in battery units. The surplus energy is then utilized to power the building during the night, making the retreat energy self-suffcient and clean—without the harmful emissions that accompany conventional energy resources.
The retreat also incorporates forward-thinking construction techniques. Precast insulated concrete blocks are prefabricated and can be transported to Liwa and assembled onsite, making construction of the entire building much quicker. e building also utilizes smart glass for its windows, allowing instant adjustments for comfort and privacy.
A bright future for solar in the U.A.E.
The retreat offers a unique and luxurious experience in the tranquil heart of a region unspoiled for centuries. Baharash Architecture’s founder, Baharash Bagherian, considers Liwa the perfect location for an eco-retreat due to its outstanding natural landscapes and beauty. He adds that this style of retreat will appeal to the new generation of Emiratis who are “looking to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, in line with the U.A.E’S vision to become one of the most sustainable countries in the world.”