img.0 All images © Arup/Grimshaw.
Grimshaw architects, Arup engineering, and Haley Sharpe design have collaborated to present the ‘Oman Botanic Garden’, the largest of its kind within the Arabian peninsula. Designed with guidance from his majesty Sultan Gaboos Bin Said al Said, the eco-park will celebrate and conserve the country’s botanic diversity with hundreds of endangered species and also house a visitor center, education and research facilities.
img.1 The eco-park will be located 35 kilometers from Muscat, in the foothills of the al Hajar mountains.
Located 35 kilometers from Muscat, in the foothills of the al Hajar mountains, the ‘Oman Botanic Garden’ has a unique site condition. It is one of only a few locations in the world where the ancient sea bed is still visible after tectonic activity elevated the bed to 100 meters above sea level. Arup and Grimshaw worked with the existing natural ridges and ravines that traverse the site to design the buildings and walkways, carefully integrating them within the spectacular undulating land.
img.2 The design is carefully integrated within the undulating landscape.
The complex program requirements of the unique ecological environment and educational facilities required a balance between visitor comfort and ecological comfort. The design strategy incorporates passive and active shading, natural daylight optimization, and cooling and efficient plant irrigation. Orientation of the sunlight, weather patterns and human behavior have also informed the design of visitor flow through the site.
img.3 Two biomes house a diverse collection of plant life.
"The Oman Botanic garden is an astonishing project with many layers of interwoven cultural and environmental significance,’ says Keith Brewis, Grimshaw partner. ‘Its scale and diversity is truly world-leading, and we are honored to work as the architects for a project that has the conservation of bio-diversity as a core design driver.’
img.4The eco-park will celebrate and conserve the country’s botanic diversity with hundreds of endangered species.
Ed Clarke, associate director and project manager added, ‘at Arup we have enjoyed the many unique challenges presented by the Oman Botanic Garden; from designing natural and authentic landscapes to recreating the cool mists of the Khareef. More than 700 of our multi-disciplinary engineers and specialist designers were engaged to explore and find solutions that would befit such an ambitious and creative brief. The Oman Botanic Garden must surely be one of the most marvelous projects in the world.’
img.5 The park will also house research and education facilities.
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