Oman Across Ages is a new national museum that will celebrate the creation of a nation, praise human endeavour and inspire young Omanis to connect to their rich history. The project has been many years in the making and is the vision of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said.
Oman Across Ages is a museum in two parts; the history of Oman up to 1970 and the 50-year renaissance that followed under the reign of the late Sultan Qaboos. The museum is of epic proportions and forms a unique legacy built to inspire the next generation. Squint/Opera produced over 50 media installations ranging from ultra-large format film and animation, interactive content and VR. Over the course of five years, we collaborated with Omanis to elevate their rich stories into experiences which will inspire generations to come.
Royal Court of Affairs
Museums & Attractions
Event Communications, Pico
Inspire the next generation with Oman’s history.
Squint/Opera approached the project with an understanding that we would be designing media at an architectural scale with a commitment to a unique cultural story. Scale and cultural immersion are the two key pillars from which we built our media for this immense project.
The ability to imagine, design, create and integrate media on an architectural scale was critical. Not only are the canvases a playground for media but the volume of media and depth of storytelling is vast. For the array of interactives, VR, film and animations we created, many required new tools and techniques.
For canvases as wide as 20 meters, we pushed real-time software to run at new resolutions. We used LiDAR scans to previsulaise drone flight paths and radar sensors for gesture-based interactive experiences. Large format screens enable us to engage audiences, animate objects in new ways and create impact; the next generation expects digital experiences, and this museum has them in abundance.
Oman itself is vast, and its history is complex. Equal and fair representation across the Sultanate is a unifying and beautiful principle shared by all Omani’s.
Squint/Opera’s five-year journey to create Oman Across the Ages involved deep cultural immersion. To endue our work with the unifying principles of Omani national identity, we had to fully integrate into Omani society. So, Squint onboarded Omani talent, artists, drone operators, tour guides, academics and teachers. We wanted to help them tell their story, not tell it for them.
The project required touring the country over several seasons for five years; Squint filmed in deep caves, rainforests, mountains, and remote islands and photographed over 300 Omanis of all ages from each of Oman’s governorates in that time.
The landscape of Oman played a crucial role in this project. Squint/Opera travelled to remote and often challenging locations, from the Musadam Fjords to the Dhofar Mountain range. Navigating the treacherous terrain of Mountain tops or working with camels in the desert required a commitment and understanding of the locality, which we could only obtain over time and only with the expertise of local Omanis.
In one particularly demanding shoot, the team ventured into a cave that required specialised training for drone operators to descend 120 meters on a rope. The cave shoot was not only the most challenging in the project but also one of the most difficult in Squint/Opera’s history. Naturally, the payoff of these extremely difficult shoots is that the subsequent media is simply breathtaking. It will expose the people of Oman to parts of their country that they could never have seen or accessed otherwise.
We have collaborated with a multi talented museum team, consulted with subject experts across multiple fields, interviewed eminent Omani’s, and have been granted access to architecture that will be revealed, in VR, to the public for the first time.
Designed to impress, every aspect of this magnificent building by Cox architects is monumental and so too are the media canvases and stories inside designed by Event Communications.
The museum is an extraordinary legacy and gift that will impact the nation. There is a longstanding special relationship between Oman and Great Britain and it is a privilege to exchange ideas and contribute in the same tradition.
“It is always an absolute joy to work with the Squint/Opera team. For OAAM, they really understood our creative vision and approached every challenge with such creativity and skill, building on ideas to create pieces that are even better than we imagined. They created remarkable audio-visual experiences, at staggering scales, that seamlessly integrate into the exhibition spaces.” – Esteban Botero, Creative Director, Event Communications.
“An understanding of media design at an architectural scale and a commitment to a unique culture to tell its story are both essential to this project,” – Ben Townsend, Project Director Squint/Opera.