Leave it to the design brains behind the SFMOMA and Europe’s first underwater restaurant to take something mundane and make it magical.

By Marisa Spyker
Updated: February 23, 2018
Courtesy of Snohetta

There are lots of things to admire in your average fish market: the glistening fillets of fresh-caught salmon; plump, juicy sea scallops; your local fishmonger’s encyclopedic knowledge of seafood preparation. The looks of the building, however … ususally not so much.

But the Muttrah Fish Market isn’t your average market. Located along the crescent-shaped harbor in Muscat, Oman, the brand-new building is designed to turn heads for both its aesthetics and its bounty.

Courtesy of Snohetta

Designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta—known for their artsy, modernist creations—the 43,000-square-foot building takes its inspiration from Muscat’s maritime history as well as the graceful forms of Arabic calligraphy. A sculptural canopy of curved aluminum fins references the motion of the waves while providing shade and natural ventilation. The canopy’s repeating fins also create a show of light and shadows on the ground below as the sun moves across the sky.

Muttrah, Oman’s largest harbor, is a growing tourist destination, and while the market is a hub for more than 100 fishmongers (plus fruit and vegetable purveyors), it’s also designed to be a modern tourist attraction. In addition to the market, the building offers office space, coffee shops, and a rooftop restaurant.

See more photos of the stunning architecture here:

Courtesy of Snohetta
Courtesy of Snohetta
Courtesy of Snohetta
Courtesy of Snohetta

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