When the sun rises in Manah in northeastern Oman, the gleaming parts of the steel-clad monumental structure of the Oman Across the Ages Museum glow from afar. This new-build museum, located 160 km away from the capital city Muscat and at the beginning of the road leading to the ancient city of Nizwa and to the administrative capital of Salalah in Dhofar governorate in the south, was inaugurated in March 2023, by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik. The foundation stone of the museum was laid in 2015 by the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
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As the sun gradually climbs higher, it becomes clear that the iconic structure of the building emerges, so to speak, from “the soil” of Oman. Omani stone from the governorates of A’Dhahirah and North Al Batinah was used to clad the walls of the museum both inside and out. A technique that was used in castles and ancient buildings. After all, the museum takes visitors on a high-tech journey through very early times, different eras, dynasties and civilizations, focusing on the country’s modern renaissance from 1970 and beyond. At the same time, this type of stone cools the surrounding heat from the walls.
Steel-colored glass facades, sometimes up to 25 metres high, emphasize the clear silhouette of the building. At the same time, it underlines the angular and geometric volumes. The abstract structure is reminiscent of the region’s unique landscape, namely the peaks and ridges of the Hajar Mountains. A mountain range that starts in the north and houses Jebal Akhdar, the highest and wildest terrain in the country. And just as the peaks of mountains have triangular forms, triangular motifs mark the structure of the museum.
Also a masterpiece in its media, the Oman Across the Ages Museum enshrines a legacy specifically aimed at the younger generation as youth is the main pillar of Oman Vision 2040. A Vision crafted under the guidance of the late Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and continued by His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik.
Courtesy architectural pictures OAAM