December 10, 2017

Oman Botanic Garden designs have been revealed

Oman

Covering over 420 hectares, the Oman Botanic Garden will be one of the largest in the world.

Arup, Grimshaw and Haley Sharpe Design (hsd) have together delivered the engineering, landscaping, architecture and interpretive designs for the largest botanic garden in the Arabian Peninsula.

With guidance from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the garden will celebrate and conserve the country’s botanic diversity, to be enjoyed by the people of Oman for generations to come. Two biomes which mimic the natural temperature and humidity of the unique external environments will house a significant array of native fauna and flora, many of which are endangered.

The site chosen for the project 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 metres above sea level. Arup and Grimshaw have worked with the existing natural ridges and ravines that traverse the site to design the buildings and walkways, within the spectacular undulating land.

Visitors will experience the entire flora of the Sultanate of Oman in just a few hours. The eight defined habitats of the country are sensitively arranged at the centre of the site, gracefully bounded by Jebel Sufra and the majestic Qurn Mubarak. Visitors will travel around the wadis, mountains and deserts of Oman within an immersive landscaped setting displaying only native species, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Two of the more sensitive habitats are enclosed within separate biomes to mimic the natural temperature and humidity of the unique external environments. The Northern Biome is a sinuous glass enclosure which re-creates the varied habitats of the Northern Mountains, including their ancient terraces. The Southern Biome and its shimmering undulating glass form will enclose the rich and varied habitats found in the Dhofar region, where visitors will be immersed in a moist and green forest ‘Khareef’ setting.

The buildings, along with the garden site, have been designed to achieve the globally recognised sustainable standard, LEED Platinum. With water such a precious resource, particularly in the region, Arup has developed a strategy for the irrigation and water features. Water is sourced sustainably and not a single drop is wasted.

Ed Clarke, associate director, said: “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 marvellous projects in the world.”

Alisdair Hinshelwood, designer and director at hsd, commented: “The Oman Botanic Garden project set itself and the entire design team unique technical and cultural objectives, and aspirations. hsd has relished working on a project where the botanical, landscape and cultural heritage of Oman is being expressed through the detailed scientific research, technical design and sheer creative enthusiasm of the entire team, client and design alike.”

Working for the Diwan of Royal Court, Arup, Grimshaw and Interpretative Designers hsd, have provided full multi-disciplinary services from master planning through to construction design.

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