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Omani’s first children’s library is secured against heavy flooding which has caused much havoc in the desert state in recent years. It is built on stilts!
The library building oozes grandeur. And that is not only due to its architecture, glass front and coloured glass façade. It is also because it is in fact at an elevated height of 2.8 metres above the adjacent road.
Interestingly enough, the elevation was not part of the original architectural design.
“The site designated for the library just happened to be in a flood prone area," says COWI’s Project Manager Swati Haldankar.
"Therefore we modified the design by raising the building on stilts which allows the passage of water into the wetlands beyond in case of severe flooding."
Heavy flooding has hit Oman several times in recent years; most recently in April this year, where flash floods killed a dozen people. And the sultanate is still licking its wounds after the super cyclone Gonu which devastated whole towns back in 2007.
Securing buildings against flash floods is therefore of immediate importance. But these precautions have also given the library in the Omani capital Muscat an added bonus, Haldankar explains.
“This practical adaption to the weather gods, so to speak, raises the building up high which brings additional grandeur to the new library,” she says.
COWI prepared the complete detailed architecture, structure & MEP design and also modified the design by raising the building onto stilts due to the flood prone area
COWI is also commissioned to undertake the post contract supervision of the works including project management and cost consultancy
COWI’s client is Saud Bahwan Charitable Foundation.