Author: Ar. Mustakeem Raza Khan, Engineering Department
A site visit was organized and conducted for students of Architectural Engineering on October 17, 2019. The group consisted of a total of 25 students and four staff members from the Civil and Architectural Engineering section, namely, Ar. Mustakeem Raza khan, Ar. Prashant Kumar Yelagi, Dr. Senthamarai Kannan Kulanthaivelu and Dr. Smitha Krishna Warrier, who made a visit to the Bait al Ghasham, at Waadi Al Maawil in Oman.
Bait al Ghasham is an old house/building constructed in the period starting from 1791 to 1856 and is, thus, more than 200 years old. It has a dimension of 40m length and 30m in width and consists of 15 rooms for different uses, spread over two floors. It has several fortified rooms. One room that was constructed to shelter from enemy attacks, as well as several imposing watch tower structures, are all arranged around the perimeter of its big open courtyard.
The house or building was actually named after Sayyid Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Nasser Al Ghasham Busaidi , a minister of Sultan Talmur bin Faisal
He lived in this house with his family for several years and thereafter, the house became the property of Mr. Ahmed bin Hilal bin Ali Al Busaidi.
The Ministry of Heritage and Culture recently conducted restoration and maintenance works on this priceless building, which has lasted for more than four years, using the same old traditional materials such as slurry, Omani sarooj and plasters, flat mountain stones and several kinds of special timber or wood.
The site visit proved to be beneficial to students of architecture of Al Musanna College of Technology, as the traditional elements of architecture design they witnessed within the walls of the Bait al Ghasham house/ building further enhanced their appreciation of Omani Architecture as well as their culture in general. The students left the site with a better understanding of the purposes as well as the use of the elements of design in traditional architecture.