What is BIM? And why we use it?

  Omrania has integrated Building Information Modeling (BIM) into our practice to offer clients better designed, optimized buildings and a more efficient construction process.   What is BIM? At Omrania, we understand the benefits and challenges of BIM not only from our own perspective, but that of the client, developer, and contractor. Building Information Modeling,…

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The Story of Omrania’s Headquarters Building

  The Waha Office Building in Riyadh, home to Omrania and other companies, demonstrates Omrania’s ability to innovate through high-performance design while respecting the urban context.   Tucked into a triangular site in a mixed-use neighborhood, the Waha Office Building does not immediately call attention to itself. Its 3.5-story height and clear-cut geometry fit in…

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Transcending Tradition: Tuwaiq Palace, 20 Years After the Aga Khan Award

  It’s been two decades since Omrania’s collaborative design for the Tuwaiq Palace was honored with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in the 1996-1998 cycle. We take a look back at what the judges found so remarkable about this landmark project.   The design of Tuwaiq Palace came out of an international competition organized…

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Vernacular Architecture of Makkah

  This post is one in a series on the vernacular architecture of Saudi Arabia’s Western Region, known as the Hejaz, which includes the important pilgrimage towns of Makkah and Madinah as well as the economically important city of Jeddah.   The plan and character of the Holy City of Makkah (Mecca) was shaped by…

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Engineering and Details: The KAFD Grand Mosque

. The mosque’s crystalline structural enclosure integrates all of the building’s systems, producing a consistent architectural experience from exterior to interior.   The KAFD Grand Mosque’s contemporary design adapts traditional Islamic architectural principles to complement the modern architectural language of the KAFD and respond to the desert climate, as discussed in our previous post. Here,…

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How Mass Timber Is Making Wood Construction Viable Again

. Thanks to new innovations in wood construction, one of the oldest building materials may become the building material of the future. “Mass timber” products such as glued laminated timber and cross-laminated timber are being used for increasingly large structures. They offer environmental and cost benefits — and they don’t burn like ordinary wood.   Although…

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Water Management: How the Ancient Nabataeans Built a Desert Paradise

. The 2,000-year-old city of Petra, Jordan, known for the magnificent temples carved into its red sandstone cliffs, is also home to an incredible feat of hydraulic engineering. An extensive water supply system turned this ancient city into a man-made oasis supporting a substantial population.   At its peak, Petra was the thriving capital of…

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A Salute to Fumihiko Maki at 90 Years Old

. The esteemed Japanese architect continues to produce warmly modern buildings that blur influences from the East and West. His thoroughly modern design sensibility is tempered by a regard for the human scale, as seen in the traditional architecture of his home country.   Fumihiko Maki was born in Tokyo in 1938. He experienced the…

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Omrania founder Basem Al-Shihabi speaks at the 2nd Falak Unreasonable Thinking Summit in Bahrain

. Participating in a two-day international forum intended to promote innovative thinking and creative problem-solving, Basem Al-Shihabi, the Managing Director of Omrania, shared insights from his early career as well as current projects that transcend ordinary thinking.   The second edition of the ‘Falak Unreasonable Thinking Summit’ was hosted by Falak Consulting, a Bahrain-based strategy…

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Book Review: Construction Matters

. Construction Mattersproposes that architects consciously think about spatial design as an expression of technological innovation.   The thesis of Construction Mattersis clearly established by its openings sentence. “The materials of construction establish the essential shape and character of architectural space.” Author Georg Windeck suggests that innovations related to four elemental materials — brick, concrete,…

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The Multiple Meanings of Function in Architecture

  The importance of function has been enshrined in architecture since ancient times. But what is the nature of that function? We identify five distinct kinds of function that can, at best, be interwoven through skillful design.   The primacy of function in architectural design appeared as early as the 2,000-year old treatise by Vitruvius,…

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Omrania Participates in 2018 Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference

. The 13th installment of the international conference, attended by six Omrania partners and senior Directors, reaffirmed the Kingdom’s commitment to the goals of Vision 2030. Architecture and sustainable urban planning remain central to the nation’s ambitious economic development framework.   Omrania was pleased to attend the Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference in Riyadh on 2-3…

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