The growing export of aggregates to neighbouring Dubai has fuelled a massive transformation of the surrounding hills into a degraded mix of spaces leftover from open cast mining activities. This is driving Muscat to turn its back on its surrounding landscape and to miss an opportunity to fabricate a new form of meaningful urban landscape which recognises the need for further expansion. The project tries to use the potential opened by the mining activity to think about the way in which urban growth relates to primary economies of mineral extraction, looking for opportunities for creating new synergies in terms of economies of scale and spatial outcomes.
The expansion of tourism and urban growth is ultimately organised by the mining technique through mass-produced pit formations accommodating specific programmatic requirements that converge from a central mining methodology structure system. A series of new public programmes was strategically distributed by responding to new artificial topographies generated during the mining extraction, maximising its tourist potential and residential use to host the city’s growing population. The mining organisation provides different phases which respond to the urban infrastructure growth and inform the urban typology and layout of subsequent residential developments.
Fang Chun Chieh