Architecture, Muscat, Muttrah Fish Market, Oman, Snohetta

Snohetta-designed Muttrah Fish Market in Oman is inspired by local topography

Norwegian architecture firm Snohetta has recently completed the Muttrah Fish Market in Oman. Situated on Oman’s largest harbour in the province of Muscat, the new fish market aims to serve as a public space for the local community, as well as a hub for Oman’s thriving fishing industry.

All images courtesy Firas Al Raisi, Luminosity Productions

The port city of Muttrah has long been known for its traditional fishery and commercial trading activities. Located close to the original fish market built in the ’60s, the new venue is a nod to Oman’s past, while also heralding its future. Combining tradition and modernity, the landmark structure is also positioned to play a vital role in the country’s growing tourism industry, which attracts a few million visitors each year.

The design characteristics of the 4,000m2 fish market are inspired by the interplay of light and shadow, and its topographical context. The double radial walls reference the radial shape of the corniche waterfront and the surrounding mountains.

On street level, the communal space is further enhanced by a dynamically shaded canopy, which is inspired by the sinuous flow of Arabic calligraphy. Built from aluminum fins which provide shade and natural ventilation, the striking spinal roof presents a stark contrast to the solid concrete structure underneath.

In addition to housing more than 100 vendors selling fish, vegetables and fruits,  the new facility also offers refrigeration, packaging, storage spaces, offices, coffee shops and a rooftop restaurant.

Read about Oman Botanic Garden here.