The House of Arts and Culture (HAC), a new $20 million cultural center, is planned for construction adjacent to Riad El Solh Square.
The project, initiated in 2009, is under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture (MoC) and is funded by a grant from the Sultanate of Oman. An international architectural competition for the HAC’s design was won by Italian architect Alberto Catalano. Local cultural consulting firm, Gaia-Heritage, has been contracted by the MoC to act as the consultant for project concept and planning.
Oman had funded several previous local cultural projects.
Designs and architecture drawings are ready and launching construction is waiting for the building permit. “The land plot belongs to Solidere. A decision was issued by the Cabinet for turning the land into a State-owned property in order to host a cultural project,” said Georges Zouain, principal at Gaia-Heritage.
“If we acquire the permit soon, we could start excavations and works by summer 2015,” he said.
The center occupies a property of 3,600 square meters. The building will have a total surface area of 22,000 m2. It will consist of a 800-seat auditorium, a multipurpose room of 300 seats, a 200-seat theatre, exhibition rooms, rehearsal space, production studios, a library, a cinema, along with administrative offices and commercial spaces.
The HAC will cover a wide range of arts, including media and visual arts, performing arts, music and literature, Zouain said.