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A new futuristic botanic garden in Oman
Arup imagined the development of 420 hectares to gather all the country’s vegetation under one dome
Arup’s new big project in partnership with Grimshaw and Haley Sharpe Design has just been revealed: a futuristic new botanic garden in Oman. The aim is that of gathering all the vegetation species of the country in a 420-hectares space to preserve them and to show them to visitors. It will be a small green paradise supported by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said. The project will allow the vegetation to grow and to reproduce and, at the same time, it will be a controlled study field for scholars.
700 specialists, including engineers and architects, collaborated to develop the best solutions for what is going to be a long-term project, the world’s biggest of this kind.
The main spaces are two: the Northern Biome (picture above) presents the same climate conditions of the mountains under a wavy glass dome; the Southern Biome (initial picture) recreates the temperature, humidity and conditions of the Dhofar.
Clearly, there have been many expedients to optimise the structure so that it could be visited by the public. From the exploitation of active and passive shade, to a rainwater irrigation system, these expedients won the platinum LEED.
For architects, this project was also an opportunity for landscape design. Located at the base of the Hajar mountains, 100 metres above sea level, the garden is nestled as a disruptively modern element that is also integrated within its context. For instance, the architects decided to keep the ridges and ravines and to include them in the project. The aim was to combine the morphologic and topographic conditions of the country, allowing visitors to walk through Oman’s mountains, forests and deserts simultaneously.
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