Renowned Spanish firm Estudio Lamela, the architect behind the remodeling of Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, has been appointed by Bank Sohar to construct its new head office in Muscat.
The signing ceremony at the bank’s existing head office located in the CBD area was attended by Shaikh Dr Salim Said Al Fannah Al Araimi, chairman of Bank Sohar, and Carlos Lamela, CEO at Estudio Lamela.
“The architectural design of the headquarters building combines themes of modernity, globalism and the Omani architecture of Sohar city, with its history of trade and strategic location within the sultanate. The design embodies both the Sultanate’s long history and its modern renaissance,” said Dr Al Araimi.
The building comes complete with an internal oasis traversed by three internal bridges, hanging gardens and sea views. The project, budgeted at $43.2m, occupies a 36,000m2 site in Airport Heights, Seeb.
In order to accommodate local climatology as well as to provide security, the concept design referenced the classic scheme of an Omani fortress.
“The Bank is keen to apply the criteria that will make this building environmentally friendly with appropriate specifications, in order to achieve efficiency and conservation in energy and also embed recycling process to be eco-friendly,” said Carlos Lamela.
A key advantage of Lamela’s design is its elevation of the main entrance, which extends outwards at the same height as the surrounding street level, avoiding 16,500m3 of rock excavation, or 43% of the potential, compared with competing schemes.
Estudio Lamela is best known for both its 1993 remodeling of Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, which increased the number of seats by 20,000 at a cost of $44.1m by constructing a new upper tier. Lamela subsequently enclosed the roof and added new facades to the stadium at a cost of $39.3m in 2004.
Lamela also designed the new $1.2bn passenger terminal for Madrid Barajas Airport in 2000.