ACME completes Oman’s largest new urban square Marsa Plaza.

ACME
2019

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

Situated in the center of Al Mouj Quarter, on the western edge of Muscat, Marsa Plaza creates a new urban space at the edge of the Marina. 

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

Opening out into the water and defined by steps and shading canopies, the square creates a number of informal spaces for water features and people-watching, seating terraces, and an amphitheater for performances. 

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

The ground plane of the square, the walls of the buildings, and the shading canopies have all been designed as one to create a unified visual-spatial 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. 

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

Protected from the intense sunlight by trees and overlapping canopies, the plaza invites people of all ages and creates a shaded environment for use during the heat of the day and in the evening. 

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

The screen patterns have been designed to maximize shading depending on-screen angle and exposure, with variations in the grid to balance light and shade for each position. 

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

The geometry of the paving, canopies, and mashrabiya wall plays with the tectonics and graphics of traditional Omani architecture. 

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

The project is constructed from solid local stone- Desert Rose marble quarried in Oman. Steps in the square and joints are outlined in black granite to create the floor pattern, and locally-produced lightweight aluminum canopies and screens cover the outside seating areas.

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

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. 

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

The glazed facades are protected from the sun by screens and canopy overhangs that allow for a pleasant micro-climate inside and reduce the need for climate control.

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

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.


Project Info:

Architect: ACME
Location: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Date: 2019
Size: 5,500m² 
Budget: 7.2£M
Landscape and Utilities: Parsons
Contractor: Dubai Metal
Client: Al Mouj, Sultanate of Oman
Photographer: Francisco Nogueira


About the Architect: ACME

based in London, Berlin, and Dublin. Projects extend across scales and disciplines, from contemporary architecture and urban planning to interior design and product design for private, corporate, and public clients. Since its founding in 2007, ACME has worked on over 220 projects in 25 countries, across a wide range of functions – from palaces to parks, offices to museums, bridges to shopping centers, housing to sports facilities, car parks to power stations.

Near By

Related