Godwin Austen Johnson Oman projects move apace
Partner Simon Chambers says firm has been in Oman since 2007
Architecture practice Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) has progressed on a number of its projects in Oman, partner Simon Chambers told Construction Week.
GAJ was the masterplanner/lead consultant for Saraya Bandar Jissah - an integrated tourism complex (ITC) on the outskirts of Muscat, which marked its debut project in the Sultanate in 2007.
“We were responsible for the design of all the residential areas, the recreation club and the staff accommodation,” said Chambers. “Those packages have been let for tender; the hotels are under construction now. There are nine different villa types ranging from apartments up to five-six bedrooms villas.”
GAJ has also undertaken a feasibility study for Omran’s Ras Al Hadd development. Chambers said the firm was given the responsibility to create a concept for the site and came up with an eco-resort based around wildlife and sea activities.
“I think that’s hopefully being moved forward over the course of next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, GAJ is working for OM Investments on a five-star beach resort project in Salalah. It is undertaking the hotel package which includes a four- and a five-star hotel, a souk and some apartments.
“It’s based on the concept of the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai in terms of two hotels and a souk in the middle that’s used by the two hotels,” said Chambers. “And again, it’s quite paired back, quite contemporary but there’s always an Arabic influence – contemporary Omani, as we like to do it.”
GAJ has a second project in Salalah, which is the Dhofar Beach Resort for Tameer Investment. This is a 287-key, five-star hotel that will be operated by Shaza and has just completed scheme design.
The firm was also responsible for the interior design, MEP and architecture of the Plaza Hotel at The Wave in Muscat, which will again be operated by Shaza.
“Oman I don’t think was hit quite as badly as boom towns like Dubai in 2008 and things are definitely picking up now. I think it has the right attitude to move forward,” said Chambers.