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Snøhetta completes fish market with rake-looking roof on the coast of Gulf of Oman

Oman - Jan 2, 2018 - 06:04   7619 views

Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta has completed a new fish market in the west of Muscat, on the coast of Gulf of Oma, which aims to revive Oman's traditional fishing industry with its iconic structure. 

A giant rake-looking steel pergola covers the main building, reaching at extreme height to provide a public space underneath, and creates a special pattern with its geometrically-designed structure which is derived from the sinuous flow of Arabic calligraphy.

Named Muttrah Fish Market, the 4,000-square-metre building is situated at the heart of Muttrah, on Oman’s largest harbor, the new fish market is a tribute to both the past and the future of Oman.

"The city of Muttrah is known for its long history of commercial trade, its characteristic port, and long-standing fishery traditions. Located close to the city’s original fish market, built in 1960, the new market marks a continuity of the region’s trade and fishing traditions, while also fulfilling Oman’s need to accommodate for the country’s growing tourism industry," said Snøhetta, regarding the project.

Merging tradition with innovation, the studio elegantly unites the old and the new, creating a generous space with a public meeting space where local fishermen and worldly tourist from all over the world meet under the same roof.

"The architectural concept is inspired by the playful qualities of light and shadow through the shape of a double radial wall defining the spine of the new fish market," added the studio.

"Seen from afar, one can observe how the curved wall relates to the radial shape of the corniche and the wider bay area, interacting with the street by exposing the stairs from the roof terraces in the openings along the corniche."

"Referencing both the former waterfront and the continuation of the corniche, the fish market defines the boundaries of public space, interconnecting the city, the mountains, and the waterfront," the architects added.

On street level, the new market enhances the public setting by forming a dynamically shaded canopy, organizing the spaces beneath it. The building's architectural design follows the logic of a playful movement of light and shadow built from aluminum fins which provide shade, natural ventilation, and an ephemeral appearance. The complexity of the canopy roof contrasts the simple solidity of the concrete structure below it.

Functioning as a local hub and a focal point for the community of Muttrah, the Muttrah Fish Market offers more than 100 fish sellers and cutters, as well as a new market for vegetables and fruit. The new facility also includes refrigeration, packaging, and storage spaces alongside offices, coffee shops, and a rooftop restaurant.

All images © Firas Al Raisi, Luminosity Productions

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