Snohetta has lately completed a fish market in Muttrah, Oman. The project’s main feature is the great aluminum canopy which shades the commercial spaces below from the blazing sun of the Middle Eastern country. In addition, the canopy’s undulating ribs were inspired by the flowing Arabic calligraphy which is the main language of the country.
“The canopy’s form is derived from the sinuous flow of Arabic calligraphy,” Snohetta stated. “It follows the logic of a playful movement of light and shadow built from aluminum fins which provide shade, natural ventilation, and an ephemeral appearance.”
The new building resides near the city’s old fish market which dates back to the 1960s. Snohetta aimed to create a design that would become a distinct feature of the important coastal city and port, Muttrah.
“The Muttrah Fish Market is created to serve as a focal point for the community of Muttrah, while simultaneously functioning as a hub for Oman’s thriving fishing industry,” the Norwegian firm commented.
“Merging tradition with innovation, the market is designed to sympathetically unite the old and the new.“
The new market, which is spread across an area of 4000 sqm, encompasses several spaces for both fish trading and tourist activities.
“Referencing both the former waterfront and the continuation of the corniche, the fish market defines the boundaries of public space, interconnecting the city, the mountains, and the waterfront,” the designers explained.
While the curvaceous building lies by the sea, its design remarkably matches the undulations of the terrain.
The concrete walls, well-positioned staircases, and the welcoming central entrance, all highlight Snohetta’s design.
The design also shows hexagonal openings in the walls of the building for aeration and letting in daylight. The market, which will house about 100 fish traders, will also accommodate a vegetable/fruit market as well as several restaurants and cafes at the roof.