Oman Across Ages

Architectural Metalwork / Balustrades / Canopies / Ceilings / Facades / Fit Out / Internal Partitions / Staircases




Aluminium / Glass




  • Location Nizwa, Oman
  • Client Royal Court Affairs
  • Design Architect COX Architecture
  • Engineer Aurecon
  • Main Contractor JV Shapoorji Pallonji Middle East and Oman Shapoorji OSCO
  • Status Ongoing

The Vision

Located in Nizwa, one of the oldest cities in the country, on an area of around 40,000m², the building design is inspired by the geometric profiles of the Hajar Mountains and its canyons. It comprises 9000m² of permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a library, an auditorium, research and storage spaces, and children’s classrooms. It harmoniously coexists with the unique landscape.

The Oman Across Ages Museum is a celebration of the country’s rich history, culture, and economic growth through the time while offering an insight into Oman’s tomorrow. The museum is a cultural and educational landmark for all Omanis and visitors.

The museum takes the visitor on a vast, sweeping journey through time. It traces Oman from the first settlers of prehistory to the present, flying through different ages, dynasties and civilisations. Special importance is given on the nation’s modern renaissance since the 1970s, during which Oman has experienced remarkable economic, technological, political, and social modernisation. This unique journey is displayed with a series of installations and extensive use of interactive visual and sound presentations and devices.

Our Process

Grankraft’s involvement in the project was for the design, fabrication and installation of the glazing and metal façade cladding with a surface area of approximately 40,000m². In addition to that, Grankraft was in charge of the fabrication of all bespoke glass and metal interior works and parasol canopy. The design of the building and the materials are deeply connected with the local Omani landscape. The large-scale slabs were designed to be clad with weathered steel. Grankraft, in collaboration with the design architect (Cox Architects), carried out design optimisation to reduce the cladding load and provide the Client with a cost-efficient option by using double annodised aluminium instead of weathered steel.

Grankraft joined the project team at the main contract tender stage. The initial involvement was to review the Corten steel façade, which is one of the main features of the buildings design. Grankraft worked with Alumet, a Dutch anodising company, that provided double anodising in about 2000 aluminium panels with a copper-rust pattern.

The double anodisation achieves a unique pattern as it enables the combination of two colours within the finish to mimic the design intent of the weathered steel appearance but reducing the weight of the façade. The different colours on the panels are produced with the electrochemical deposition of metal salts in the pores of the anodising layer. The aluminium is durable, corrosion-resistant, UV resistant, and has a life expectancy of over 80 years, without losing gloss or colour.

Grankraft’s involvement started upon receiving an IFC package of information and developed the BIM models to allow for the coordination of the project and further construction. The complete involvement from start to completion was around 2 years. In that time, the 40,000m² of external metal and glass façade and 10,000m² parasol were engineered and built. All cladding panels were mechanically fixed and then weather proofed with a concealed silicon joint.

Achievements & Contribution

The façade allows for three-dimensional movements. The bottom connection between the concrete slab and mullion brackets was a pin type connection while the top connection included for a pin connection at the mullion and a slotted connection at the brackets. This bespoke system was designed and engineered in-house by Grankraft.

Reduction in weight of 75% – the original Corten façade design consisted of 8 mm thick steel panels with an overall weight of 10 kg/m². Through the use of aluminium, which has a weight of 2.5 kg/m², an overall reduction of weight has been achieved.

Reducing the weight of the façade panels also meant that the sub-structure design could be improved significantly. The aluminium panels had a thickness of 4 mm, achieving the desired flatness.

The reduction in weight but with similar aesthetics as the double anodised aluminium panels made them a great solution for this project. The double anodised panels were both used for the internal and external elements, achieving a continuation of the materials of the building inside and outside. The panels used had an average dimension of 1200mmx3000mm while the mullions cladding dimensions were 1200mmx4000mm.

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