Location: Muscat
Date: 2018
Client: Al Mouj
Status: Completed
Size: 5.000 sqm
Credits: Architect: ACME (Reiner Beelitz, João Brás, Molly Hibberd, Duarte Lobo Antunes, Friedrich Ludewig, Borja Madrazo)
Landscape and Utilities: Parsons 
MEP: T20 Engineers
Steelwork and facades: Dubai Metal Structure Civil engineering: Muamir Design & Engineering Consultancy
Photographer: Francisco Nogueira
Muscat is the ancient capital of Oman, tightly wedged between the beach and harbour on one side and the steep mountain range at its back. Constrained in its urban development, the city has started to expand outwards into the adjacent valleys and along the coast, with several new city quarters under construction. The Marsa Plaza is the largest of these new developments, seeking to define a new urban quarter for Muscat in the coastal strip towards the airport.The urban heart of the Marsa Plaza is formed by a large new Port and Marina as well as a new central avenue; serving as a civic space, an urban square is planned at their junction.
The Plaza is designed as both a focused space, allowing visitors to meander down the amphitheatre towards the central water feature, and as an outwards-looking square, taking advantage of the views and the activity surrounding it. Two new restaurants provide animation at the edges of the space. The irregular lines of the amphitheater echo traditional Omani geometric floor patterns. A series of large scale overlapping canopies offer shade and accentuate a diagonal visual axis. The canopy design is inspired by the simple tectonics of traditional Omani architecture. Water features, the hard and soft landscaping and the stepped seating have been used to create a number of different characters and shade conditions within the square to allow different forms of occupation by children, large families, flâneurs and concert-goers.