The Bait as-Sail Rehabilitation and Restoration Project, Salalah, Oman

Bait as-Sail is one of the grandest houses of Salalah, Oman, built by some of the community’s successful overseas traders.

Spatially the merchants houses consisted or large compounds, which served more than just residential functions, but also housed part of the owner’s business. The ground floors were in most cases reserved for the storage of goods and equipment.
Apart from the general proportions of the architecture one of the defining features of Salalah’s grand residential buildings are the heavily decorated windows, which can be broadly categorised as either masonry or wooden.




Adaptive Reuse and Restoration


17°00’44.7″ N
54°05’47.4″ E
Salalah, Oman


Ghassani Family

About the project

The rehabilitation of Bait as-Sail is a pilot project to test through implementation and monitoring of concepts and designs proposed in the Heritage Management and Development Plan for Salalah, Oman, commissioned to ArCHIAM by Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Oman. An adaptive reuse proposal has been put forward for the programmatic conversion of this prominent merchant house into a cultural centre.

This has enabled ArCHIAM to test – for the first time in Oman – the applicability of restoration, rebuilding and reuse concepts developed by the team and internationally. A detailed environmental modelling of the indoor environmental conditions of Bait as-Sail – temperature and humidity levels – has been conducted at the University of Liverpool, by Prof Steve Sharples’ research group. The findings of this study have informed ArCHIAM’s design concepts and solutions in response to issues of natural lighting, ventilation and evapotranspiration in the building.

A series of drawings has been produced including:
• detailed plans, sections and elevations of the building, illustrating all new build, revitalization and reuse actions undertaken;
• illustrative technical details and key specifications of materials and methods.
ArCHIAM was also in charge of monitoring and recording the implementation of work undertaken by an independent contractor through all the stages of the construction.

Find out more

View the booklet

Key people

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    Prof Soumyen Bandyopadhyay

    Principal Investigator

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    Dr Giamila Quattrone

    Research Fellow

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    Dr Martin Goffriller

    Research Fellow

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    Dr Haitham Al-Abri

    Honorary Member

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    Musallam Mahad Almashani

    Associate Member

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    Désirée Campolo

    Research Assistant

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    Claudia Briguglio

    Research Assistant

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    Konstantina Georgiadou

    PhD Student

Design Drawings and Visuals

Project Gallery