Oman’s new national museum
Oman Across Ages is a new national museum that will celebrate the creation of a nation, praise human endeavour and inspire young Omanis to connect to their rich history. The project has been many years in the making and is the vision of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said.
We began working with the museum team in 2014 when the museum was nothing more than an idea. From a blank sheet of paper, we developed a proposition, consulted with the Royal Court, created the architectural masterplan and designed the museum, turning the Sultan’s vision into a reality.
A mesmerising journey
The sheer scale of the building is something to behold. It includes galleries, a library, an auditorium, cafés and social and research spaces. The permanent exhibition space alone is 9,000 square metres and some galleries stretch more than 20 metres high. This gave us the freedom and space, literally and metaphorically, to create something truly dramatic and utterly jaw dropping on a scale that does justice to Oman’s rich history.
The museum takes you on a vast, sweeping journey through time. Starting with the first settlers of prehistory and ending in modern day Oman, you fly through different ages, dynasties and civilisations. The Renaissance Gallery marks the culmination of this long national story. It follows the country’s remarkable economic, technological, political and social modernisation under His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said. Importantly, the museum sits at a crossroads through time – it is a journey through Oman's past, a celebration of its present and an insight into its future.
Painting a picture of each era
The museum is a masterpiece in its use of media. Archival and contemporary film footage, photography and the considered use of augmented reality combine with stunning object displays to spectacular effect. A series of virtual environments let you step back in time to each period. A moving floor creates a magic carpet effect sweeping you through the breath-taking Omani landscape. The centrepiece of the museum is a large videomapped gallery showcasing five of Oman’s most iconic buildings complete with a series of interactives that invite you to create your own digital artwork.