OABC member 23 Degrees North received Oman’s 2017 Best Architect and Best Sustainability Project this October. The Dossier Construction awards continue a long line of firsts achieved by 23 Degrees North since its founding in 2011 by Nadia Maqbool, starting with Nadia’s achievement of being the first chartered female architect in Oman. Sustainability has been at the heart of 23 Degrees North’s passion for delivering world-class architecture that is both cutting edge and authentically Omani.

With the opening of the Outward Bound Oman Desert Centre earlier this month, 23 Degrees North delivered Oman’s first self-reliant, 100% solar-powered, water-efficient and totally off-grid building. This approach allowed Outward Bound Oman to set up a learning centre in a remote desert location in the Sharqiyah Sands without requiring prohibitively invasive and expensive infrastructure to be built to connect power, water and waste utilities. The Desert Centre benefits from carefully considered passive-energy design and water conservation strategies to minimise the demand on air conditioning and water. The Best Architect and Best Sustainability Project awards recognise the unique way in which 23 Degrees North approaches celebrating both Oman’s distinctive heritage, climate and innovation-inspired future.

In accepting the awards, Nadia Maqbool spoke about her team’s commitment to contributing further to Oman’s sustainability capability and diversification agenda. 23 Degrees North is proposing a new self-reliance typology for urban planning at Duqm including integrated approaches to sustainable power, water and waste while promoting community interaction through increased year-round enjoyment of outdoor urban space utilising walking, shading, wind-shadowing, leisure, sports and performance places.

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