The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center is the central building of the Al Ain Wildlife Park, combining a museum with a public meeting place and a small cinema. The building’s facilities are set in a spiral around a small patio, clearly recognisable from the outside. Its double curvature theme recurs in the park’s landscape design, especially the pathway layout, thus integrating the building into the surroundings.
A large part of the exhibition space is inside an extensively cantilevering building called the ‘tube’. The supporting structure of the ‘tube’ consists of reinforced concrete walls and slabs that act as a large bent hollow structural section. Many exterior walls are perforated with diamond-shaped windows, with the arrangement determined by a generated numerical optimisation process to support the high loads on some walls.
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