acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat
 

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat

london-based studio, acme, has completed a new urban space in the al mouj quarter of oman’s port capital, muscat. situated at the edge of the marina, marsa plaza opens out to the water and provides a shaded place for water features and people-watching, seating terraces, and an amphitheater for performances.

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat designboom

all images by francisco nogueira

 

 

the al mouj quarter marks a new development for muscat as the city continues to expand west along the coastline. marsa plaza has been conceived as the heart of the marina district, linking the main boulevard to the seafront promenade. it aims to be not just an amenity for the local community, but also a destination for the wider public of muscat.

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat designboom

 

 

protected from the intense sunlight by trees and overlapping canopies, the shaded environment of the plaza invites people of all ages for use during the heat of the day and in the evening. the screen patterns are designed to maximize shading depending on screen angle and exposure, with variations in the grid to balance light and shade for each position. the levels of the square are stepped and ramped to bring the local city closer to the water’s edge and to form a natural amphitheater around the central water feature. the geometry of the paving, canopies and mashrabiya wall plays with the tectonics and graphics of traditional omani architecture.

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat designboom

 

 

the ground plane of the square, the walls of the buildings and the shading canopies are all designed as one to create a unified visual identity and to blur the boundaries between the separate elements. the materiality and patterns have been developed from the local context, using local omani stone and patterns developed from traditional geometries and vernacular types. the project is constructed from solid local stone, desert rose marble quarried in oman, with the steps and joints outlined in black granite to create the floor pattern. locally-produced lightweight aluminum canopies and screens cover the outside seating areas.

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat designboom

 

 

two restaurants occupy the space behind some of the shading screens, and have been visually divided into three separate volumes: a double height glazed volume, a single story volume with roof terrace and a stone-clad kitchen volume. the shifting masses break up the scale of the buildings and create a variety of outdoor seating areas as well as allowing the cool sea breeze to flow into the square.

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat designboom

 

 

the glazed façades are protected from the sun by screens and canopy overhangs that allow for a pleasant microclimate inside and reduce the need for climate control. roof canopies provide shading on all sides of the plaza. the canopies are lowest away from the sea, rising up towards the south-most corner where the largest one covers a performance area and frames views towards the water.

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat designboom

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat designboom

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat designboom

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat

acme uses traditional geometries and local marble to build marsa plaza in muscat

 

 

project info:

 

project name: marsa plaza

location: muscat, oman

architect: acme (reiner beelitz, joão brás, molly hibberd, duarte lobo antunes, friedrich ludewig, borja madrazo)

photographer: francisco nogueira

 

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: lynne myers | designboom

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