nra to design AUS $20million university campus in Oman
Brisbane firm Noel Robinson Architects’ (nra) have revealed first images of their design for a new 120 million Australian Dollars Sohar University campus in the Sultanate of Oman which they claim will revolutionise higher education design in the Middle East.
nra will design 12 buildings within the two-hectare campus of Sohar University on the back of their initial master planning commission including a new Library, Sporting Facilities, Multi-purpose lecture theatres, Graduation Hall, Faculty Buildings for Engineering, Business, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, Administration, Student Services and post-graduate residences.
nra founder, Noel Robinson, advised that this project is the ignition of the firm’s future in the Middle East and stated that Oman is the “sleeping giant” for sustainable development opportunities in the region.
“Oman is a largely untapped market and our appointment to complete the university master plan and now to design the campus buildings has opened the door to a wealth of new opportunities, which is beneficial in the current global economic climate,” said Robinson. “Oman is more understated than the neighbouring UAE and has a lot to offer in terms of its rich cultural heritage, natural environment, varied climate and beautiful coastline. Oman has immense potential to lead the region in sustainable development in the Middle East, particularly in integrated tourism development and education. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has set Oman on a path for sustainable development, which is a perfect fit for nra’s design approach.”
And this design approach, nra say is to “contemporise Islamic design traditions with leading international principals of campus planning and innovative environmentally sustainable design.”
nra expects to complete phase one of the Sohar University building designs in early 2009, with construction to be completed by 2011.