Oman expands culture offering with opening of new national museum by Jasper Jacob and Arts Architecture.

by Tom Anstey | 18 Aug 2016

More than a decade on from its conception, the National Museum of Oman has opened its doors to the public, showcasing the cultural heritage of the sultanate from prehistoric times to the modern day.

The 13,700sq m (148,000sq ft) development in Muscat includes 4,000sq m (43,000sq ft) of space allocated for 14 exhibition halls, each covering different part of the history of Oman, with an additional 376sq m (4,000sq ft) of space allocated for temporary exhibitions.

The museum contains several firsts for the country. It is the first in Oman to offer a fully-equipped Learning Centre and the first conservation facility designed in accordance with International Council of Museums standards. It also houses the first open plan storage concept (its Collections Gallery), where visitors can see how the museum’s collection is preserved and maintained.

The museum also features a 50-seat AV theatre, gift shop, corporate hospitality suite, and conservation and restoration studios for the 12,000-plus artefacts in the museum’s collection.

Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Culture is behind the development which is a collaboration between UK-based practices Jasper Jacob Associates (JJA) and Arts Architecture International.

First commissioned to prepare a design study for the museum in September 2005, the duo were retained for full design and supervision of the development. A joint venture was later formed with COWI & Partners, with the engineering firm taking care of construction.

Looking very much like a palace in its own right, the design is in keeping with the overall feel of the district, with the museum facing the Qasr al-Alam Palace at the opposite end of Muscat’s ceremonial boulevard.

During its initial opening phase, the museum will be available to the public four days a week, with the new attraction expected to be opened for more days from 30 September onwards. Officials expect the museum to attract 120,000 visitors in its opening 12 months, increasing to 150,000 in its second year.

Oman  Museum  heritage  history  Jasper Jacob Associates  Arts Architecture International 
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More than a decade on from its conception, the National Museum of Oman has opened its doors to the public, showcasing the cultural heritage of the sultanate from prehistoric times to the modern day. The 13,700sq m (148,000sq ft) development in Muscat includes 4,000sq m (43,000sq ft) of space allocated for 14 exhibition halls, each covering different part of the history of Oman, with an additional 376sq m (4,000sq ft)
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Looking very much like a palace in its own right, the museum faces the Qasr al Alam Palace at the opposite end of Muscat’s ceremonial boulevard
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