Oman’s Botanic Garden Project Revealed

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Computer generated image showing the Oman Botanic Garden _ Aerial view
Computer generated image showing the Oman Botanic Garden _ Aerial view
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The 420 hectares Oman Botanic Garden, currently under development, is an exciting, dynamic and ground breaking project.

The Garden will combine the cultivation, study and conservation of Oman’s rich native flora with creative large scale native habitat displays and amenity planting under the over-arching themes of plant conservation, environmental education and horticultural excellence.”

The breathtaking Oman Botanic Garden was announced to the world by Arup, Grimshaw and Haley Sharpe Design (hsd), who have collaboratively delivered the engineering, landscaping, architecture and interpretative designs. Covering over 420 hectares, Oman Botanic Garden will be the largest within the Arabian Peninsula and in the world.

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Computer generated image of Oman Botanic Garden _ Northern Habitat Biome
Computer generated image of Oman Botanic Garden _ Northern Habitat Biome

Oman Botanic Garden – Highlights

The Garden comprises extensive visitor and staff service facilities and will eventually include:

-14000 sq. mt. of climate-controlled displays, housed within biomes
-70000 sq. mt. of outdoor naturalistic habitats and amenity planting areas
-Exhibitions and interpretive installations (interior and exterior)
-A series of exhibits displaying crafts and heritage
-Family zones, playgrounds and passive recreational areas
-Research facilities including laboratories, library, herbarium, auditorium, staff canteen and seminar rooms
-A 30000 sq. mt. nursery with associated buildings and offices
-Education facilities with classrooms, accommodation for up to 60 people, canteen and study rooms
-Office facilities and work places
-Sustainability elements such as photovoltaic farm and constructed wetlands
-Shops, restaurants, and cafes

Computer generated image of Oman Botanic Garden Exterior view of Northern Habitat Biome
Computer generated image of Oman Botanic Garden Exterior view of Northern Habitat Biome

CONSERVING OMAN’S PRISTINE BIODIVERSITY

The garden will celebrate and conserve the country’s botanic diversity which will be enjoyed by the people of Oman for generations to come. Two stunningly elegant biomes will contain a significant number of species. A high number of these are endemic and endangered.

Located 35 kilometres from Muscat, in the foothills of the Al Hajar Mountains, the Oman Botanic Garden will be home to a visitor centre as well as education and research facilities.

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 a 100 metres above sea level.

GET READY FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE FLORA EXPERIENCE 

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.

RECREATING THE KHAREEF SETTING

Oman Botanic Garden delicately balances the diverse plant environments with visitor comfort, creating a design that uses passive and active shading, optimises natural daylight, cooling and efficient plant irrigation. Building form, shape and materials have been considered and selected in response to atmospheric conditions and the natural topography. Orientation of the sunlight, weather patterns and human behaviour have informed the design of visitor flow through the site.

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.

Grimshaw Partner, Keith Brewis said, “The Oman Botanic Garden is an astonishing project with many layers of interwoven cultural and environmental significance. Its scale and diversity is truly world-leading, and we are honoured to work as the architects for a project that has the conservation of bio-diversity as a core design driver.”

Ed Clarke, Associate Director and Project Manager commented, “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.  The Oman Botanic Garden must surely be one of the most marvellous projects in the world.”

Alisdair Hinshelwood, Designer and Director at hsd, summed up, “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.”

The project is due to start on site imminently.

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