Project: Al Barza Omani Resort

Client: Confidential


This special Resort is based around a first class, low-rise resort hotel and associated facilities.  It was designed to respect and reflect traditional Omani buildings – both exterior and interiors – and to introduce the various distinctive geographical regions of Oman and their traditions.

The Resort will provide a unique destination of regional importance that will also encourage visitors to stay in other places throughout Oman.

It has been designed to accommodate tourist vacationers, business travellers and day visitors.  The facilities will include a main resort hotel with a separate complex of suites, and resort villas.

There will be speciality restaurants, guest lounges and atrium space, external terraces, restaurants, and coffee shops. In addition, there is a function/conference area/meeting rooms, a health/gym club, a holistic spa, and retail outlets. 

Of particular importance is a heritage centre with artisans craft school and souk, and an equestrian/camel riding centre.

The Resort is set in landscaped grounds with trails, lawn areas, pools and shade structures laid out and designed to reflect traditional Omani styles.

Our 3D software was used to visualise the Resort and its facilities based on procedural modelling for the various buildings within their setting.


Project: Nungwi Views Resort Master Plan

Client: Confidential


This project was conceived as a superior residential beachfront community with a range of leisure and recreational facilities.  These offer a range of different experiences for residents and day visitors.

The project is intended to be a unique destination for East Africa.  It will reflect the region’s great architectural heritage and its trading traditions.

The accommodation is a mix of private villas and apartments in a landscaped setting. The main buildings reflect local architectural heritage with balconies and verandas, surrounded by native planting. 

The centre of the Resort is marked by 3 and 4/5-storey residential/commercial buildings grouped to frame a small harbour around which a promenade stretches. It has harbourside restaurants, cafes and shops. 

The beach area will be accessed from the promenade and walkway running the length of the resort frontage. Visitors will be able to swim and dive or go fishing alongside a pleasure pier. 


Project: Nasiriyah Master Plan

Client: Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, Baghdad

Collaborators: Iraqi Planners Group


We were commissioned to prepare a new master plan for Nasiriyah city, the provincial capital of Dhi Qar in the south of Iraq.  It was produced over six linked phases that together served to provide a sound procedure for future planning. Nasiriyah’s population is projected to grow to 839,500 in 30 years. 

Preparation of the final master plan was the culmination of a comprehensive planning process stretching over six phases and many months of effort.  Central to our studies was the desire to repair the damage inflicted on the city in recent decades and to achieve a sustainable and robust city form for future generations.

Our work produced an overall development strategy in the form of an Urban Development Framework and the City Master Plan itself.  The latter consisted of a systematic description of the various land uses and supporting infrastructure for which a set of policies and proposals was produced.   

Avoidance of large-scale road construction and the introduction of a tramway system were recommended as part of moving towards a sustainable city for the future.  Nasiriyah is close to the ancient city of Ur which even today attracts international visitors. A conservation area was recommended for the historic core as part of positioning the city to exploit future tourism potential. 

Implementation of the City Master Plan was envisaged in several phases guided by a set of zoning regulations modelled on contemporary international practice. We explained how the various levels of plan-making should be carried out and also recommended how best to restructure the planning administration of Nasiriyah to respond to the new era of urban planning being introduced by the new Master Plan.


Project: Yenkit Resort Community, Oman

Client: Yenkit Tourism Development LLC


We were commissioned to prepare a detailed master plan and urban design proposals for a major new resort community.  This was located in a tourism development area being encouraged by the government in pursuit of the ‘Vision 2020’ long term development plan.

Our work consisted of detailed site planning and visualization of a comprehensive community incorporating a town centre together with major 5-star hotels, apartments and villas, a championship golf course and community and tourist facilities.

The community was envisaged as a model resort based on principles of sustainable development and sound urban planning.  It sought to embrace Omani heritage and environment in order to fulfil cultural aspirations.  Our designs sought to build upon the great Arabic Islamic heritage while adding new influences from historic European and American sources.

The resort housing took a variety of forms inspired by the architecture of Omani jebel villages, the historic Islamic towns of Spain and Portugal as well as the Andalusian-style developments in California.


Project: Kut City Master Plan, Wasit, Iraq

Client: Wasit Provincial Council

Collaborators: Iraqi Planners Group, Project undertaken by Howgill Planning Ltd, a GDL company for Iraqi projects


Kut is a city in south eastern Iraq, on the left bank of the Tigris River, about 100 kilometres south east of Baghdad and is the capital of Wasit province. In 2003 the estimated population was about 400,000 people projected to increase to over 750,000 by 2035. The heart of the city is located within a tight bend of the Tigris River which constrained its development.

Kut’s main role is as the regional, commercial and service centre for Wasit and the new plan was to accommodate its expected growth in the best way possible. The vision for Kut City provides a longer-term framework as well as a focus for immediate development.

We used new UN demographic data and the results of the recent Census of Buildings for the analysis and forecasting of population and employment growth. Such analysis revealed substantial changes over the last five years, showing the need for a flexible and sustainable approach to development prospects.

A review was undertaken of the prevailing urban planning hierarchy based on a community structure that was rarely realised.   Instead we advocated a return to the importance of the Neighbourhood, blending traditional Arab and contemporary urban models. Planning alternatives were prepared using constraints and opportunities mapping.  This was based on field surveys and identification of the various factors. A detailed assessment framework was compiled as a means of engaging with local interest groups and stakeholders.  It was used to help select a preferred growth option for elaboration into the final master plan.

We prepared three substantial volumes for the Master Plan: Policies and Proposals; Detailed Studies; and Zoning Regulations. In addition, we submitted a full set of display sheets consisting of thematic maps and detailed proposals and a comprehensive GIS database to aid implementation.


Project: Duqm Town Master Plan, Al Wusta Region, Oman

Client: Supreme Committee for Town Planning

Collaborators: Conser Engineering Consultants


We were commissioned with Conser to prepare a master plan for the new town of Duqm in Al Wusta Region.  This is to be built in response to the construction of a port and dry dock complex at Duqm in order to extend regional development to this presently small and remote part of the Sultanate.

Our work consisted of contextual studies for the new town and then the appropriate urban design framework. We undertook demographic studies and population forecasting, as well as appraisals of existing conditions, constraints and opportunities and visual and landscape analysis. These helped inform the study of planning alternatives and the selection of the preferred option. 

Our work was guided by a detailed ‘Vision’ statement which set out what the town would be like in 20 years’ time. The new town is expected to grow to around 65,000 persons and provide a new focus for the region.  We prepared detailed site plans for the first phase of priority development including land allocation documentation and set out the various plots on site.

We used GIS techniques to analyse the site and its surroundings and to provide a base for 3-D visualizations of our proposals.  The resulting GIS model will provide the foundation for guiding development of the town and for land allocations in the future.