Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The proposed Muscat Cultural Center

The proposed Muscat Cultural Center will be built [still looking to find out exactly where to figure out for myself if the plan included required parking and traffic ect...] is scheduled to include a National Library [which I have been waiting for forever] set to contain up to 5 million books, a National Archives [totally required because of the state some of Oman's most important publications and documents were in--- the last five years ago I saw some of the storage premises but I know the Minsistry of Heritage has been working on conservation of late since the old Minister left I guess], and a National Theatre (which houses a thousand seats) [didn't really think we needed this but cool right?].

---I was more hoping for a national museum like the Royal British Museum or the Royal British Columbia Museum, or the New York Museum of Natural History/combined ect... kind of like a Balboa park via San Diego kind of idea for the proposed cultural center (since I heard a national botony park was in the works also somehow). Natural history, archeological history, modern history, and art, housed in one place for central Muscat WOULD be AWESOME for the capital, yes?

However, disapointed as I am for the future career paths of Omani archeologists and anthropologists without a proper Museum, the center WAS the idea of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage (lovely people there), there will also be four other buildings. These will be: a children's library, cinema (yes, IMAX, please IMAX), gallery and workshop, litterary society headquarters (yes), and a lecture hall (as well as retail facilities to target our tourists). To quote the project development company, Mace, appointed to run this development, "Landscaping will comprise the lavish Oasis Fruit Garden which will accommodate 1100 palm trees, 750 fruit trees and 32,500 smaller trees and shrubs." And about the center Mace says "Due to the centre’s high profile it will act as a dedicated vibrant space to collect, preserve and display live and historic contemporary arts and culture in Oman. It will also aim to be a hub that will link local and international knowledge and cultural industries to help develop Oman’s cultural scene."
 So all that is great for Omani writers, artists, conservationists, musicians, and hopefully, traditional craftspersons, and linguists (Oman has some dying languages to preserve--- or at the very least, to document).

The architecture is, I believe, by AS Architecture studio. The project is set to be managed and cost-managed by Mace (hope they are good), but I have NO IDEA who in the Ministry is exactly in charge of monitoring the project (hope HM Qaboos follows this one as well as he did the Grand Mosque and the Opera house). That means I also have no idea when its deadline is, who the construction companies are on it, the contractor, ect... If anyone knows, please let me know, via the comments box of this post or by email.

Well, the architects did a great job didn't they?: So let's hope it gets built {on time and on budget and without scandal ;) }


Anonymous said...

looks expensive

Anonymous said...

this looks like the best use of oman's money