The Oman Proton Therapy and Imaging Center AIA DC Chapter Unbuilt Awards

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1 The Oman Proton Therapy and Imaging Center

2 Project Overview The new cancer treatment facility is comprised of two separate buildings at the entrance of the German University of Technology in Muscat, Oman. The two independent buildings sit on a stone plinth parallel to a wadi bordering the triangular site on its longest side. The Imaging Center is a compact building in which the architecture is influenced by the vernacular small structures scattered along the Omani coast. The main building, which includes all of the cancer treatment facilities (proton, photon), is broken down in multiple simple volumes assembled like a kasbah. An elegant stone-laced facade conceals these volumes and marks the limit of the landscaped surface parking occupying the remaining area of the triangular site. Between the two buildings, a 100-seat auditorium with a distinctive Arabic calligraphy shape occupies part of a garden punctuated with orange trees. As it stretches Eastward, the garden becomes a bridge connecting the cancer center to the main university campus.

3 Inspiration, Culture, and Influences Calligraphy & Writing Calligraphy is an important part of the Arabic and Islamic culture. From the ancient Persian treatises binding together geometrical figures and narratives under the same calamus to the simplicity and beauty of the Quran, the Arabic alphabet has been used to share knowledge for centuries. Arabic calligraphy s sinuous alphabet speaks to the mind as much as it speaks to the eye. Geometry & Tiling Self-repeating complex geometry creates intricate patterns that are often classified by the number of folds: Eight folds for the square pattern on the great mosque of Kairouan in Tunisia, twelve folds for the hexagonal tiles ornamenting the mosque of al-nasir-muhammad in Cairo. New technologies such as CNC milling or resin injecting allows us to bring back this ancient tradition and integrate it in contemporary buildings. Arabic Landscape The Arabic landscape is a symphony of colors and textures. Sculpted by its climate, the landscape reveals its beauty in unexpected ways. The colors of its minerals can be found in the stone used to build civic and religious buildings or the plasters used in traditional architecture. The architecture blends with the landscape, if only for the abstract appearance of the settlements and villages. Arabic Architecture & Iconography The principles of Arabic and Islamic architecture rely on a codified language based on the knowledge of mathematics. Arabic architecture is universally recognizable because it mastered the use of iconic elements it created: The whitewashed natural color of its walls, the dome, the minaret, the crescent, the broken arch, tiles and ornament, girihs and wood shutters.

4 Inspiration, Culture, and Influences Climate & Environment Arabic architecture is vernacular in nature because it takes into account climate and landscape. Arabic architecture is porous and layered. Porous because it creates means to control the air circulation through buildings, layered because arcades, porches and canopies allow for transitional spaces between architecture and landscape. Extreme weather is also part of its richness and is a chance for innovative developments. Solar energy is abundant and vertical windmills could be installed on site to profit from the breeze. Muscat Architectural Heritage Muscat s skyline is defined by the accumulation of low-lying white buildings. With the mountains in the background, the pristine blue sky above them and the sea in the foreground, Muscat looks like a white horizontal band, a mosaic of buildings both similar in nature and different in proportions. Contemporary Arabic Architecture Globalization and the influx of oil-generated wealth changed the Middle East. On one hand, contemporary Arabic architecture is still vernacular. It often finds root into archetypes created in response to climate and environmental conditions of the Arabian Peninsula. On the other hand, it is at the forefront of innovation. By creating the tallest towers in the world, new islands to expand the shoreline, or by bringing opera where not long ago there was only desert and wind. Healing Environment When we design healthcare facilities, we want to proposed a design solution that not only to responds to the programmatic needs of the facility, but also to the emotional anxiety tied to the fight against cancer. By balancing natural and artificial light, bringing nature inside the building, creating a medical environment that is both efficient and healing, the architecture becomes another tool in support of the latest nuclear technologies.

5 Site Plan LAND CONTEXT NORTH MECCA LAYOUT

6 Site Layout and Circulation There are 3 vehicular entrances to the site and a pedestrian bridge connecting the SAH Global Imaging & Cancer Center to the opposite bank of the wadi. The main entrance to the site is located in the middle of the west boundary, on axis with the pedestrian bridge. The entrance divides the site in two parts: The Cancer Center to the right and the Imaging Center to the left. The 70-space parking surface is laid out in front of the Cancer Center in 3 areas separated by shaded pedestrian alleys leading to the main building. The VIP drop-off and the VIP-only parking spaces are found at the southern end of the site in a more densely wooded area creating an oasis while allowing for better privacy. The ambulance drop-off and the service area of the main building are accessible via a secondary entrance located after the guard-house at the entrance of the campus. The Imaging Center is also accessible from the main entrance. As you drive toward the two buildings aligned along the wadi, the main drop-off area of the Imaging Center is located to the left of the main site entrance, on the north side. Dedicated parking spaces for the patients going to the smaller of the two buildings and parking spaces for the staff is provided at the tip of the triangular site. The ambulance drop-off and the service area of the Imaging Center are accessible via a secondary entrance on the west boundary of the site, only 70 meters further north than the main entrance. This site layout provides both ease of circulation and flexibility. Valet parking services are provided both at the Imaging Center and the Cancer Center. NORTH MECCA

7 Floorplans Second Level Floor Plan NORTH Ground Level Floor Plan MECCA

8 West Elevation & Courtyard

9 East Elevation & Courtyard

10 VIP Drop-Off

11 Main Entrance

12 Campus View

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