Courtesy of Snohetta

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

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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