raleigh-based design studio habanero architecture has presented ‘sand|form array’, a lodge complex proposal situated in the desert landscape of abu dhabi. the main focus of the circular schemed project is to provide a unique hotel experience, allowing visitors to enjoy the natural scenery, the sand dunes, and observe the unique regional fauna, especially the arabian oryx. 

sandform array 8
hub building
all images courtesy of habanero architecture



the structures by habanero architecture consist of a series of vertical brise-soleil feature elements that follow the shape of the lodge’s radial formation. using sustainable cross-laminated timber (CLT) technology, the units are meant to be built on-site, able to be removed and relocated. in order to ease the assembly even further, the roof system is proposed as a tensile membrane; light and easy to transport and install.

sandform array 6
view from the mega dunes



as part of the active sustainable strategy of the proposal, each lodge and the hub building is supplied with an array of micro-crystal flexible solar panels integrated into the roofing system. a portable geothermal unit is to be provided for cooling and heating each lodge. in addition to the portable geothermal unit, the hub will also capture wind energy through the use of small-scale wind turbines in the central ‘oasis’ garden area.

sandform array 9
lodges at night



the lodges and hub present an all-around covered deck design that gives the opportunity for visitors to enjoy the exterior views. the deck also acts as a passive sustainable design feature that provides shading to open areas. in combination with the triple glazed, argon filled & low-E glass fenestration, the vertical brise-soleil system and covered deck buffer will provide enough sun protection to better control heat transmission during the day. at night, the panoramic curved window system, along with the circular skylight located at the center of the lodges will provide the ultimate stargazing experience.

sandform array 5
lodge interior

sandform array 7
lobby area

sandform array 10
stargazing views

sandform array 1

sandform array 2

sandform array 3

sandform array 4
Competition Board 4


sandform array 11
floor plans

sandform array 12
site + concept + axon + section



project info:


name: sand|form array
architecture office: habanero architecture
architects: joe lopez & alejandro mendoza



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom