MIN - HLM EHAF MoI submission_Atrium ground floor view MIN  - HLM EHAF MoI submission_Main facade view MIN  - HLM EHAF MoI submission_Plaza view MIN  - Minister Office MIN  - Minister Penthouse MIN  - Minister Reception MIN  - Under Secretary Office MIN - HLM EHAF MoI submission_Atrium high-level view MIN - HLM EHAF MoI submission_Drop-off view MIN -Executive Lounge

A contemporary iconic design for a civic building

Commercial / Institutional / Civic

Ministry of Information

Muscat, Oman

The Ministry of Information set out a competition for the design of their new office headquarters building located on a hill overlooking Muscat. The programme called for extensive office space, a portion of which was for the ministry and a portion let out to tenants, parking, a retail component, and ministerial penthouses.

The intention was to create a building of civic stature that would be an iconic structure that raised the profile of the ministry. The building was also to be a cool haven in the searing desert heat, with shading and sustainable principles entrenched. HLM Africa coordinated an international design team, combining input from Cairo, Abu Dhabi, London, Sheffield, Belfast, Bangkok and Shanghai, to complete and deliver the project.

The building is conceived as two separately served building masses connected by a central atrium that forms the heart of the scheme. The full-height atrium is populated by meeting spaces, walkways, staircases and lifts, and forms a spine that connects the southern drop-off plaza with a northern public plaza. Both plazas have pools that are the focal point and reflect shimmering light into the building. The southern plaza is the official civic approach to the building with drop-off, parking and ceremonial gardens for public and private occasions. The northern plaza, a meeting point, connects to an adjacent existing ministerial complex with a landscaped avenue and underpins a broader urban vision. Perimeter retail arcades open onto the street. The building form undulates with horizontal shading and sweeps into the entrance atrium. Planting is set in the façade, growing through voids between the glazed curtain-wall and shading fins. The interiors are inspired by the desert landscape and Arabic patterns, with the material choice and furniture lending a sophisticated elegance to the ministerial offices and penthouses. Environmental factors such as solar, wind and thermal impact were simulated through the design process to optimise building performance.

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