Conservation and rehabilitation of the houses of Mr. Nader and Ms. Mazna Al Said in Old Muscat

Following the agreement of collaboration between ICCROM and the National Museum of Oman, including the conservation and rehabilitation of the houses of Mr. Nader and Ms. Mazna Al Said in Old Muscat, ICCROM-Sharjah Centre executed a mission aimed at collection of historical information and documents through meetings with His Highness Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, His Highness Nader Bin Mohammed Al Said and Her Highness Ghalia Bent Fahad Al Said, who are familiar with the history of the two houses and their historical significance. The interview meeting was carried out by Dr. Zaki Aslan, Director of the ICCROM-Sharjah Center and Mr. Jamal Al Moussawi, Director of the Omani Museum.

The information gathered during the meetings will shed more light on the original state of the houses before they were subjected to unfair repairs, giving more information on the form of floors and openings, the use of interior spaces and the living style, as well as the quality and shape of the furnishings used.

The mission also included a structural examination of the two houses and a preliminary assessment of the stability of their parts. Dr. Ayman Harzallah from the office of Croci with the help of Anwar Sabik and Hiba Kadri, architects from ICCROM-Sharjah. The initial induction of building materials and the cracking of some walls and floors due to the movement of foundations and humidity have indicated the necessity of carrying out detailed structural studies including laboratory and geotechnical studies. The team will design a complete proposal to strengthen the construction and address dampness and insulation problems.

These works are carried out in parallel with the reading of the historical documents that were available and the design of the architectural solution and the therapeutic intervention to restore these buildings to their original image as examples of traditional Omani life in the 18-19 century.