Muttrah fish market
West of Muscat, on the coast of Gulf of Oman, a new fish market has taken the stand as a new landmark on the waterfront along the lively corniche in Muttrah, the country’s largest harbour.
The 4.000m2 fish market which is close to the city’s original fish market, built in 1960, is designed to unite the old and the new, merging tradition with innovation and creating a public meeting space where local fishermen and worldly tourists from all over the world can meet under the same roof.
The architectural concept is inspired by the playful qualities of light and shadow through the shape of a double radial wall defining the spine of the building. The dynamic canopy, whose fishbone-referencing form derives from the sinuous flow of Arabic calligraphy, is built from aluminium fins which provide shade, natural ventilation, and an ephemeral appearance. The canopy roof’s complexity contrasts the simple solidity of the concrete structure below.
The marketplace provides space for more than 100 fish sellers and cutters and a new market for vegetables and fruit, as well as refrigeration, packaging, and storage facilities alongside offices, coffee shops, and a rooftop restaurant. Seen from afar, the curved wall relates to the radial shape of the corniche and the wider bay area, defining the boundaries of public space and interconnecting the city, the mountains, and the waterfront.
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