Shell-Like Pods For The Turtle Sanctuary In Sharjah

The Khor Kalba Turtle Wildlife Sanctuary, located on the eastern coast of the emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, is housed in a cluster of prefabricated concrete pods designed by British studio Hopkins Architects. The turtle sanctuary and visitor centre, built for Sharjah’s Environmental Protected Areas Authority, is located on the outskirts of the Kalba nature reserve. Hopkins Architects wanted to create a collection of interconnected structures that were sensitive to the site, which is situated amid a lagoon and dense mangroves and is bordered by the Indian Ocean.

A Protected Setting For The Turtle Sanctuary

Khor Kalba Turtle Wildlife Sanctuary

The structure, which consists of seven interconnected circular pods, was built as a base for reserve study and monitoring, as well as providing information to tourists. The low buildings were inspired by fisherman’s baskets and were created to blend in with the natural surroundings.


Visitors to the sanctuary enter through the smallest of the circular pods before travelling along a walkway to the main structure, which is made up of five smaller pods encircling a covered atrium. One pod is dedicated to the park’s marine life, while the other is dedicated to the park’s fauna. Two more pods house offices and restrooms, while the final connected pod is a gift shop and cafe with views of the park. A walkway leads into the sanctuary and across a footbridge to the mangroves from the visitor centre, through an indoor classroom in a small pod, the wildlife care facility, and a circular turtle pond.

Design And Structure Of The Pods In The Sanctuary

Concrete pods in Sharjah

The turtle refuge was created to complement Hopkins Architects’ Buhais Geology Park Interpretive Centre, which was built for a desert site near Sharjah. The firm chose white concrete to encase the coastal structure, which was formerly coated in metal. The pods were formed using prefabricated concrete segments made from aggregates collected locally, and were designed to resemble the shells seen on the local shoreline.


Both concepts were inspired by shells discovered nearby and were created from prefabricated modules designed to lie lightly on the surface of their sensitive settings.

Written By Ankit Lad | Subscribe To Our Telegram Channel To Get Latest Updates And Don’t Forget To Follow Our Social Media Handles Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter. To Get the Latest Updates From Arco Unico


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