MUSCAT Forth year students from the Urban Planning and Architectural Design Department (UPAD) have presented their concepts for an extension of the GUtech campus, ‘The Walk’, recently.
While temperatures are high on the Arabian Peninsula, GUtech students showcased some eco-friendly ideas during their final presentations at the end of the semester. Several UPAD students focused on environmental sustainable building solutions. For example, Najlaa Al Marhoon and Noor Al Ibrahim focused on concepts of a suitable environment for administrative and managerial employees within a mixed-use office building providing restaurants, coffee shops and other facilities. “The concept was inspired by the archaeology of valleys and mountains. The shape of the two buildings are following the natural look of valleys having different directions and angles creating a modern facade. Our project is consist of two offices and mixed-use buildings, each building designed as a three-story connected with a bridge on the second floor. At the middle of the bridge, there is a waterfall going inside a tube glass from the top to the bottom cutting through the bridge reaching to a fountain on the ground level between the two buildings,” said Najlaa. The layout of the two buildings is purposely shifted back and front of the main horizontal and vertical axis of the building envelope creating shade under the slaps of the floors and to reduce heat and direct sunlight from working space.
Another UPAD student, Iman Al Mughairi, designed a Spa retreat for a hotel. The concept of this building is to have strong privacy while still maintaining features of openness. The main features are a swimming-pool along with massage and steam rooms, an open-air jacuzzi and several saunas. A cafe was also added to serve the rooms and as an extension of the main concept. “By adding trees and skylights, the atmosphere has shifted from dark and humid to a more light and airy atmosphere. As an extension of the idea of privacy, there are many separation walls that act as both structures and as a means of concealment,” said Iman.
(c) GUtech, Photo and Text: Petrit Pasha, Dr. Manuela Gutberlet