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Artist Impression of the project
Location of the project
Project Plans

Arup: Oman Botanic Garden

Former students of Leeds Beckett University Landscape courses went on to work for Arup and this project include:

  • Tom Armour (graduated in 1982)
  • Alex Brown (graduated in 2012)
  • Nicole Gonzalez-Tarrio (graduated in 2006)
  • Esther Kilner (graduated in 2012)
  • Amy McAbendroth (graduated in 2009)
  • Emma Sharpe MA LAD (graduated in 2012)
  • Chris Wright (graduated in 2015)

The Oman Botanic Garden (OBG) was initiated by Royal Decree and follows as a grand project, from the construction of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Royal Opera House. The garden will be the largest botanic garden in the Arabian Peninsula and one of the largest in the world. The Oman Botanic Garden is located on a spectacular 430 ha nature reserve site at Al Khoud, about 20km from the capital Muscat. It is an ambitious project that will celebrate the unique flora, diverse landscapes and cultural traditions of Oman, inspiring people to conserve and cherish the biodiversity of Oman looking towards a sustainable future. It also provides an educational and research facility and an important visitor attraction. The project is built upon a foundation of environmental sensitivity and sustainability.

When it opens the gardens and biomes will showcase the entire flora of Oman (comprising 1,200 species, of which 80 are endemic and endangered). The landscape design carefully creates, naturalistic habitats from dry and gravel deserts to rich wadi landscapes, dramatic mountain habitats and spectacular monsoon cloud forest. The garden provides the setting for two major biomes that are technically complex and climatically controlled to support the flora of the cooler Northern Mountains and the dramatic cloud forests of the South. The garden will also showcase the traditionally cultivated crops and the many ways that people use plants in Oman.

The garden will also contain a range of supporting components including a working nursery, visitor centre, research centre, field study centre. The main garden and biome area occupies 60ha within the 450ha site. Much of the site is being carefully maintained as a nature reserve area where a 'tread lightly' approach has been followed, both in concept and construction.

The project is applying for certification for some of the buildings through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), operated by the US Green Building Council. This places stringent criteria on energy efficiency, sourcing and use of materials, minimising the use of resources and communicating best practice. Arup landscape architects are working closely with a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers, and specialist consultants, to produce the design from concept masterplan, to detail design and construction. The project will start construction in mid-2017.