Zaha Hadid Architects to Design Muscat’s 1.3 Billion USD Waterfront Development

Oman’s capital of Muscat is set to get an expansive $1.3 billion waterfront development, designed by globally renowned Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA).
The 3.3 million square-meter Al Khuwair Muscat Downtown and Waterfront development will include a residential complex, a marina, a cultural district, numerous canal walkways and a ministerial campus. Work is set to start at the end of this year and the area is expected to house more than 60,000 people when completed.
ZHA’s associate director, architect Paolo Zilli, spent around a year finalizing the model he presented to Oman’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning. Central to ZIlli’s design was facilitating access to public transport. The vision is to remove all the cars, to remove all the fences and to create a campus of the ministry with many functions that can attract families and a new generation.
ZHA says it will encourage pedestrians by providing shading and passive cooling, and incorporate infrastructure to improve cycling safety. The use of onsite solar power will be “maximized” and native plant species will be conserved and restored. The development, shown in this render, will cover 3.3 million square meters.
Oman’s economy has long depended on oil, but it is now investing heavily in real-estate projects to drive more foreign investment, and ultimately boost non-oil revenues, part of the country’s National Vision 2040 strategy. In Muscat, the population is projected to increase from 1.5 million to 2.7 million by that year.
UK-based Zaha Hadid Architects is named after its storied founder, who in 2004 became the first woman to win architecture’s highest honor, the Pritzker Prize. She died in 2016, having designed high-profile buildings from Guangzhou Opera House, in China, to the Phaeno science centre in Wolfsburg, Germany. Since then, ZHA’s designs include the BEEAH Headquarters in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, which is partly powered by Tesla battery packs, and in 2022 it unveiled plans for a virtual city in the metaverse, intended to be a cyber libertarian utopia.

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