Thursday 24 September 2020

Hopkins Architects-designed geology park opens in Sharjah

SHARJAH, February 14, 2020

Hopkins Architects, a pioneer British architecture firm, has announced the opening of Buhais Geology Park which lies 48 km from Sharjah at a site that contains 65-million-year-old fossils, and ancient burial sites from the stone, bronze and iron ages.

It is the latest addition to a suite of learning centres operated by Sharjah’s Environmental Protected Areas Authority which leads conservation efforts in the emirate, manages protected areas and provides exceptional educational experiences.

The Buhais Geology Park Interpretive Centre was officially opened by Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Seeking to create a series of exhibition spaces which vividly present the region’s significant geological phenomena, Hopkins Architects has designed five interconnected pods of varying sizes to accommodate exhibition areas, an immersive theatre, a café, a gift shop and other visitor facilities.

The geometry of the pods was inspired by the fossilised urchins present on site and developed into a typology which could be sized to suit the centre’s different functions, said the British company.

To minimise disruption to the existing fauna, geology and terrain, the pods were designed as pre-fabricated concrete structures and only lightly touch the ground on in-situ reinforced concrete foundation discs, it stated.

The pods are clad in steel panels, coloured to reference the different hues of the surrounding landscape as well as to shade the precast concrete structures. These panels are fixed into an array of steel ribs, giving the pods their distinctive sculptural, cantilevered forms and further referencing the exoskeleton of the urchin fossils, it added.-TradeArabia News Service


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