Al-Barka Resort Residences is a residential project situated in the coastal city of Barka in the region of Al Batinah, in the north of the Sultanate Oman. With a total built-up area of 53,200 square meters, the program consists of a 394-apartment complex located on a 38,000-square-meter plot within the masterplan of a resort that will include other residential interventions, hotels, commercial and public spaces.
Strict zoning regulations could have led to repetitive floor plates that would have resulted in building blocks scattered on the site, creating an ordinary fabric consisting of relatively limited setbacks and narrow view corridors. Instead, we opted for a more radical singular gesture that attempts to maximally enhance the potential of this project on this specific site.
This was achieved through a circular footprint creating an introverted situation localized around a central open space. The dwellings are grafted onto the periphery, forming a double-loaded ring with the inner residences overlooking an expansive and lush courtyard, while the units located on the outer ring enjoy views of the greenery and surrounding resort beyond. On the one hand, panoramic view corridors are achieved along the full periphery of the site, whereas on the other, an exceptional environment is formed by creating the largest park of the entire planned development.
The proposal should comprise 40 one-bedroom apartments, 256 two-bedroom apartments and 98 three-bedroom apartments. All apartments possess private balconies, whereas a few prime units connect to an outdoor bridge linking to an exceptional sunroom atop an elaborate open-air tower camouflaged within the planned vegetation. Access to the units is through an exterior middle platform located between the outer and inner rings of dwellings, planted with scattered gardens on the ground floor and punctured on the upper floors to create bridges overlooking these same open-to-sky gardens below.
The entire project materializes as a scheme whose monumentality is blurred through the addition of a dynamic skin of scaffolding, seemingly disintegrating as a vertical jungle into the vernacular landscape of local Omani trees.
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