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The new office for the Qatar Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture (MMAA) is one that speaks creatively and directly to the location and the office’s subject matter: it’s shaped like a giant cactus.

Bangkok firm Aesthetics Architecture has designed a modern, glass succulent for the MMAA, using the cactus as design inspiration both in how the building looks and functions. Qatar is a scorching desert country that averages only 3.2 inches of rainfall per year; as such, buildings could potentially waste enormous amounts of energy in attempts to cool the people inside. While any building in Qatar has its work cut out for it in terms of keeping cool, energy efficient elements in the design of the MMAA building, such as moveable sun shades that will adjust to respond to the sun’s strength, will aid the building in that task. The dome attached to the main cactus form will also bring an environmental offering, in the form of a botanical green house.

Qatar has the highest GDP of all of the world’s countries, making such innovative and extravagant design possible. Despite the modern design and material choices, however, there are still hints of the region’s rich architectural past, with the botanical garden’s metal entrance serving as a special example (note in the rendering its curved and pointed Moorish shape).

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