Sudan has great people from different walks of life. The professionals, especially those in architecture, have contributed immensely to the nation’s economic growth and transformation.
Murtaada Maaz, and his team of over 200 talented professionals, is an efficient, creative, and transformative architect whose stunning designs feature in the list of memorable land marks in Sudan”
Sudan’s architecture has over the centuries undergone various transformations. One of the influences on the type of architecture was religion.
Before the 16th Century, Sudan’s population was largely Christian. However, Arabs started settling in Sudan in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is during this time that buildings in Sudan started changing.
Islamic kingdoms and mosques were built, and buildings bearing Islamic signs quickly became the norm. Today, 90% of Sudan’s population are Muslim, and several buildings reflect this.
Sudan’s traditional African architecture also had other influences. The Turkish invasion in the 1820s led to the growth of two and three-storeyed houses characterized by roof terraces and vertical walls with numerous shuttered windows. Curved wooden doors and white-washed outer walls were also features adopted during this era.
European-style building infiltrated the African architecture in Sudan during the Anglo-Egyptian leadership in the early 20th Century.
Given the quick adaptation of different architectural styles and designs in Sudan, it is not surprising to see Sudan quickly adopting modern structures.
Like the team at Murtada Maaz Consultancy (MMC), African architects have found ways to merge sustainability and modernity in their designs.
History of Murtada Maaz Consultancy
Architect Murtada Maaz established Murtada Maaz Consultancy in 1995. Since then, the team has worked on more than 900 projects. Some of the projects were done in collaborations with other equally talented and committed architects.
What started as a one-person vision has grown to accommodate close to 200 employees. MCC is not just about creating world-class designs, but the team offers opportunities for upcoming African architects who need hands-on experience in design.
The following at some of the projects that Murtada Maaz Consultancy has undertaken over the years.
The Sudanese French Bank – Almashtal Street
While this building contains features typical of a bank, such as the strong room, lobby, and offices, the design aimed to provide much more than operating space. The design merged the security and functional needs of the institution.
It also provided adequate space for alternative services. For example, the second floor of the building has a public library, while the rooftop has a cafeteria, kitchen, and prayer room. The building has multiple entrances to allow clients and staff to get to their preferred floors.
Hegleeg Headquarters, Khartoum
The Hegleeg Headquarters has a total floor area of 4,578m2. The architects who came up with this design wanted to maximize the use of the land space, and at the same time, create a comfortable working space. The semi-circle façade has an aesthetic appeal for the people in the building but those that are outside.
Since the design is eye-catching, it is a landmark for many people. The ground floor has large entrances, which allow plenty of natural lighting.
NISS Information & Citizens Service, Khartoum
This building is quite stunning and one of the modern buildings that stand out in Khartoum. It has large blue windows, white walls, and a unique design. The layered floors taper towards the top, giving observers a visual of the different floors.
Sudan Customs Building Headquarters
When designing this building, as has been the case with African architecture for decades, the people matter. Since this building has police present, smart technology, such as audiovisual systems, has been installed. The canopy at the top of the building is also a symbol of the police cap.
The entrance of the building has a cylindrical façade and a horizontal glass opening. This feature is unique to only this part of the building, so anyone visiting for the first time can easily identify the entrance from afar.
The customs building was the first in Sudan to have terracotta tiles. Since then, more African architects have incorporated terracotta tiles in their design concepts for buildings in Sudan.
National Congress Party Building, Khartoum
The total floor area of the National Congress Party Building is 22,532m2. This massive masterpiece overlooks Africa Street, one of the busiest in Khartoum. It has several offices and conference halls.
The circular design concept gives a 180-degree view of the surrounding. The façade is made of glass, which allows plenty of natural light into the building. The architects opted for Islamic arches at the front of the opening. Besides the aesthetic appeal, the arches shade the green glass façade.
The dome at the apex of the building has skylights, which are functional and aesthetic.
Since this building hosts thousands of people, an adequate parking area is provided around the building.
Higher Academy for Strategic and Security Studies
The National Intelligence Security Service contracted MCC to design this academy in Western Soba on a stretch of land overlooking the Nile. This was one of the largest projects that MCC has ever done. A massive higher education project is expected to have a floor area of at least 97,000m2.
The entire complex is made up of fifteen buildings. Since the surrounding has plenty of bare agricultural land and views of the Nile, the African architects at MCC had to find ways to create a design that would fit the environment.
The design had to be functional and attractive. Since the education complex has hundreds of students moving from one building to the next at the same time, the rooms and corridors needed to be spacious.
Additionally, the safety of the students was crucial. This is why solid materials, such as precast concrete and steel, were used.
The various facilities included in this project include academic buildings, a library, hostels, a conference centre, sports centre, clinic, and hotel. Since the focus is security studies, the buildings have modern security features integrated into the design.
Council of Ministers
This building design was requested as part of an extension of the existing Ministry. The facilities in the building include a conference hall that sits 100 people, a meeting hall, the office of the President, and other spaces for miscellaneous services. The total floor area for this project is 2,626m2.
The focal point is the circular meeting spaces that give a 360-degree view of the surrounding. The green arches on the first floor, the sleek white finish on the rooftop, and the marble finish are quite impressive.
General Secretariat Government – North Kordofan State
This building is in Al-Ubayyid town. The buildings in this area are unique yet similar. The architects at Murtada Maaz wished to create a unique design, and at the same time, have a building that fits with the environment. This is why they opted to use locally available materials.
The façade of this building matches those of the surrounding buildings. The distinctive arched roof creates a shaded entrance.
Presidential Guest Palace
This palace is made up of three floors, covering an area of 3,471m2. The façade wall has natural stone cladding. It has arches on the lower and upper floors leading to the entrance and shaded areas.
Other projects under Murtada Maaz portfolio include;
- Shawaheg Hotel
- Sendyan Hotel
- Abboud Park Hall
- Omdurman National Bank-Club
- Décor House – Beach Area
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