The client shortlisted AK Design to participate in a challenging master planning competition to evolve a citified solution in a rugged mountainous environment directly adjacent to the heritage city of Mutrah. Oman is renowned for consistently recognising the cultural and aesthetic value of vernacular architecture. AK Design adopted this conceptual approach which we augmented by a civic duty in responsible design for an elevated site and its visual impact on the existing urban fabric where this city expansion potentially benefits both development and community. Interventions in the terrain became a core fundamental in creating a series of connected plateaus by the removal of unbuildable ridge sections to be replaced by the outlines of built forms.
The project contains the three core components of The Souq, Hospitality & Residences and the Commercial District, each providing different experiences based on their respective objectives and functionalities within the overall development vision. This is expected to achieve a vibrant new living, working and tourist quarter of Mutrah, using traditional and contemporary style idioms in the process. The massing forms are primarily driven by the landscape and astute AK Design planning encourages pedestrianisation for practical circulation and lifestyle reasons whilst also facilitating shuttle vehicle access to all master plan key points. Particular attention has been given to blending nature with building so that existing panoramas remain as well as forming links to the old city.