The competition to masterplan Muscat, Oman’s new district, Al-Irfan, is over. Organized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), five teams were chosen to submit proposals for the development project. Of those five, international firm Allies and Morrison has been selected to oversee the design process. The firm will be working in with the Oman Tourism Development Company SAOC (Omran) to develop a site of over 7.4 million square meters into a thriving urban center that will provide business and residential opportunities for the people of Oman.
Other competitors in the Al-Irfan competition included Broadway Malyan, HOK, Nikken Sekkei, and SOM. All were all praised by the competition jury for their compelling designs, but Allies and Morrison’s submission was singled out for its “rich narrative together with a contextual landscape driven response to the Brief which had been designed to work with the topography while enhancing the site’s unique natural setting.” The project will also establish connections to the nearby Muscat International Airport, and the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Eng. Wael Al Lawati, CEO of Omran, had this to say about the project: “Al-Irfan is the Sultanate’s largest mixed-use urban development project, and we wanted to ensure it is designed in a sustainable manner while reflecting the uniqueness of Omani culture and aligns with the Sultanate’s long-term developmental strategy. We are delighted that the RIBA Competitions process enabled us to achieve such a successful result, which has led to the appointment of Allies and Morrison, a world-class firm in architecture and urban design.”
When it is completed, Al-Irfan will include residential and commercial elements, as well as infrastructure geared towards tourism in and around Muscat.