‘Building Embassy’ – An architecture student project

HALBAN As part of an integrated project, entitled ‘Botschaft-Bauen’, in English ‘Embassy building’, a total of 44 students of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) planned and designed a new Turkish Embassy building during the winter semester. The group of UPAD students included four German exchange students from the University of Applied Sciences in Buxtehude and from RWTH Aachen University, who are currently studying at GUtech. “I am very much impressed of the projects inspired by the Turkish architecture, houses, and the culture like the evil eye, the whirling derwishes or the Turkish yali, a mansion beside the waterfront. I would like to congratulate all students,” said H.E. Ayşe Sözen Usluer, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Oman. The Ambassador attended one of the presentation sessions. First Counsellor at the German Embassy the creative ideas as well as the technical skills of the students are impressive. It was a pleasure to discuss the designs with both the students and their professors. Kudos to GUtech for producing such quality!” said Joachim Düster.

During the initial phase of the course the students and their professors discussed different aspects of Embassy buildings. “An Embassy is a representation of a nation, a symbol for cultural exchange, a place of refuge for citizens and it is like an island, isolated from the rest of the city,” said Prof. Ercan Agirbas while Prof. Wayne Switzer of the UPAD department added: “An Embassy is a place and at the same time an Embassy means building diplomacy with another country. On the one hand an Embassy is the face of a nation and on the other hand this representation must be balanced with real issues of security.” To learn more about the design of different Embassies in Muscat, the group visited the German and the French Embassy in the beginning of the semester. For the presentation of their results, all Ambassadors were invited and the cultural attaches from France, Turkey and from the German Embassy attended different sessions where the students recently presented their final results. In addition, the students also traveled to Istanbul last semester. The excursion was an important part, where they experienced the place in reality. Moreover, the project manager of the newly build German Embassy from Hoehler + AlSalmy Architects, Daniel Schulze-Wethmar attended the sessions. “Each students had 5 minutes to present and 10 minutes for the discussion. Drawings, models and renderings like physical or digital models were presented,” said Prof. Ercan.

“We had very diverse projects related to aspects of Turkish culture like the evil eye, domes etc. One design was buried in the ground and another one was floating over a garden. What made every project very good was the level of engagement of the students and how they were committed to the task,” said Wayne. Both professors stressed that “there were many best ideas, for example the most creative ideas or the most rational layout.” Currently, an architecture office is working on the design of the Turkish Embassy, possibly some student ideas will influence their planning process.

(c) GUtech/ Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: UPAD Department

 

Students from the French School in Muscat learn about Smart Cities

HALBAN As part of the university’s local community engagement, a group of fifteen international students and two teachers from the French High School in Muscat visited the GUtech campus today morning. They met with different professors from the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) and the Department of Computer Sciences (CS).

Prof. Dr. Nabil Sahli, Head of the CS Department, gave an introduction to the concept of smart cities and the future of cities worldwide. He also elaborated on smart transportation and the social aspects impacting societies in smart urban developments.

Amal Al Balushi and Olivera Petrovic, both from the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design at GUtech then spoke about the work and responsibilities of urban planners and they showcased some recent students’ works to the group. After a short tour around the GUtech campus, the group visited the EcoHaus where they met with Prof. Nikolaus Knebel from the UPAD Department (pictured). He elaborated on the architecture design of the EcoHaus and several smart interior design features such as the cooling system, the solid wall insulation and the recyclable building materials.

© GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

 

Creating Awareness on Electric Transportation – The eMobility Forum held

HALBAN To create awareness on electric mobility in Oman and to bring together various stakeholders from the public and private sector, the eMobility Forum Oman was held at the Hormuz Grand Hotel in Muscat today. GUtech was the official Academic Partner of the event, which was organised by GlobalEVRT.

The electrification of the transport system is seen as one of the best ways to improve the overall quality of the environment, to increase the air quality and to lower global CO2 emissions. Dr. Oualid Ali, Director of Training and Smart Solutions Centre (TSSC) at GUtech and Founder and President of the Future Cities Council gave one of the keynote speeches entitled “Electric vehicles for future smart and sustainable cities: opportunities and challenges for Oman”. In his talk he mentioned some of the challenges facing Oman, such as the implementation of governmental regulations, the citizen’s adaptation of electric vehicles as well as the infrastructure upgrade including charging stations that need to be set up all over the country. According to Dr. Oualid, there are currently twelve existing charging stations for electric cars between Dubai and Muscat. “The network of charging stations is a very important factor,” said Sam Alawiye, CEO of Green Parking while adding that Dubai has one of the largest numbers of charging stations worldwide. “Our company’s goal is to provide charging stations all over the GCC region along with parking facilities so that it is possible to drive from Riyadh to Salalah within a network of charging stations based in commercial centres and hotels,” said Alawiye. On the sidelines of the event, the participants had the chance to test-drive one of the latest electric car models from Renault, GM, Chevrolet and Tesla.

© GUtech/ text & photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

 

GUtech signs MoU with the Department of Architecture, Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

HALBAN The Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule 21) in Germany. The university is specialized in the fields of Building Sciences, Technical Sciences, and Health Sciences. The Department of Architecture at Hochschule 21 offers a four year Bachelor of Engineering programme in Architecture, combining theory and continuous practice at architecture offices for two to three months each semester. “In the frame of an exchange programme funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) entitled ‘University Dialogue with the Islamic World’ our universities have been working in cooperation with each other, in the past two years. During that time we conducted a project on the duality of professional practise in architecture. Due to its success we wish to extend and enhance our cooperation in all fields, including student and staff exchange as well as in research during the next five years,” said Prof. Dr. Ing. Karsten Ley, who is an urban planner, architect and the Head of the Department of Architecture at Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences. Prof. Dr. Karsten Ley has been working as a regular fly-in professor at GUtech since the foundation of the GUtech in 2007.

A group of twenty architecture students and professors from Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences visited GUtech and a group of GUtech students and their UPAD professors visited the university in Germany last year. Three German students are currently studying in the 5th and 7th semester in UPAD at GUtech. In the next semester three students will conduct their BSc thesis at Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences. “We are looking forward to strengthen our cooperation in the coming years. In the next year a small group of students will conduct their Bachelor thesis at Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences,” said Prof. Dr. Gustavo De Siquiera, Head of the UPAD Department at GUtech. “The project will be applied research and conducted for the Ministry of Environment Schleswig-Holstein in cooperation with two other Universities of Applied Sciences,” added Prof. Dr. Karsten Ley. GUtech students will get some insights and benefit from an international research environment and architectural research practises in Germany.

“Our university focuses on application-oriented courses. Therefore the students are well prepared for their professional lives in their field,” said Prof. Karsten Ley. Buxtehude University of Applied Sciences was re-founded as a private university in 2004, looking back at a continuous tradition as academic institution that originally started in 1875. Currently a total of 1,100 are studying at the university, including 200 students at the Department of Architecture. The University is located in the Hanseatic City of Buxtehude, in the greater Hamburg Metropolitan Area and the wider region of the rivers Elbe and Weser in Northern Germany.

(c) Text & Photo: GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

 

GUtech will partner with the eMobility Forum in Muscat

HALBAN To enhance awareness on electric cars and the electric mobility in the region, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) is proud to be the official Academic Partner of the second annual eMobility Forum Oman to be held on 20 January in Muscat.

When asked about the collaboration with GUtech, Ben Pullen, CEO of Global EVRT, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with GUtech for our second eMobility Forum Oman. The event is designed to help business and government leaders understand the coming wave of disruptive innovation being unleashed by electric vehicles. The global shift to electric mobility is an inevitability and the forum will help ensure that Oman does not get left behind.”

Dr. Oualid Ali, Director of Training and Smart Solutions Centre (TSSC) at GUtech will give one of the keynote speeches on smart cities entitled “Electric vehicles for future smart and sustainable cities: opportunities and challenges for Oman”. “In my talk I will present the challenges and opportunities of the adoption of electric vehicles in the capital Muscat and overall in Oman. As examples of such challenges, I would like to mention the so-called ‘government buy-in’, in terms of regulation and the ‘citizen buy-in’ and adoption of electric vehicles and the infrastructure upgrade such as charging stations.” Said Dr. Oualid. In addition, students from the Mechanical Engineering Club at GUtech will have the chance to test-drive some of the latest electric car models from Renault, GM, Chevrolet and Tesla.

For more information check out the following links:

Register here: https://www.evrtmiddleeast.com/forum-tickets

Media pass: https://www.evrtmiddleeast.com/press-registration

 

© GUtech/ Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet, photo: provided by GlobalEVRT

‘Solar Decathlon Middle East’ – International ‘Sustainable Architecture Workshop’ held in Dubai and in Oman

HALBAN A group of international architecture students recently visited GUtech and conducted an excursion to the old district of Nizwa. Following their visit to GUtech the students participated in an international student workshop within the Solar Decathlon Middle East competition held at Zayed University in Dubai. The sustainability of contemporary architecture projects including the building performance and quality control were leading themes of the workshop.

A total of 53 international students from Germany (University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt), Dubai (Zayed University) and GUtech participated in the workshop. The workshop was led by Assoc. Prof. Alexander Kader (GUtech), Prof. Thorsten Lomker (Zayed University) and Prof. Sven Steinbach (Erfurt University of Applied Sciences). Thirteen students from the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) at GUtech worked along with 20 students from the Department of Interior Design from Zayed University and 25 students from the Departments of Architecture, Engineering and Building Technology of the University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt.

The Dean’s List Award Ceremony – 55 students awarded

HALBAN The Dean’s List Award Ceremony was held in the large GUtech amphitheatre to celebrate the achievements of 55 GUtech students and to commemorate the 6th anniversary of His Majesty’s visit to the university. “We only recently introduced the Dean’s List as a way to recognize outstanding academic achievements. The Dean’s List is a very enviable accomplishment that is only given to our top students” said Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs.

The criteria for the award were an outstanding academic achievement, the top 10% of the students, a minimum GPA of 3.5, registered for a minimum of 25 credit points, no incomplete or failing grades, no disciplinary written warning letters and an IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. Dr. Armin congratulated the students along with the Head of each academic Department. “You should be proud of the award. You worked hard, attended many lectures, and in addition spent many hours studying on your own or in groups. And it paid off. Your efforts were worth it. However, efforts alone are not sufficient to get on the Dean’s List. You also need to have the intellectual abilities that are needed for this distinction. You need to have the skills to work through complexities, solve problems, find solutions and communicate them well. Today you are being recognized for this combination of your efforts and your skills,” said Dr. Armin. Moreover, the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs stressed that the university commemorates the 6th anniversary of the visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said to GUtech. On the 24th of December His Majesty honoured the university with a special private visit. “We are proud of His Majesty’s recognition of our achievements. It shows how His Majesty values us as individuals, our university, our educational ethos, and the benefits that we as an institution bring to the country of Oman. Ultimately, it is through you, our students that GUtech contributes to Oman. You get a superb education here at GUtech. In a few years when you join the workforce, you will be the ones who add value to the Omani economy. And this is what makes me proud of being part of GUtech. It allows me to not only educate individuals for the sake of getting a degree, but I can help develop the future leaders of Oman. This is a real privilege,” said Dr. Armin Eberlein. Many GUtech students and friends attended the ceremony. Finally one GUtech student mentioned that this award ceremony serves as a motivational event for other students to study hard in order to be part of the list next year.

(c) GUtech: Text Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: Fatma Al Balushi

The following GUtech students were awarded for their outstanding achievements:

Majd Al Kayyal
Murooj Mohammed Al Busaidi
Mohammed Salim Al Haddabi
Jawaher Said Al Ghadani
Maram Mudather Mohamed
Maha Surur Al Busaidi
Halayel Ahmed Al Saadi
Aisha Salim Al Balushi
Arwa Saud Al Zadjali
Firdaus Nabil Al Barwani
Reem Said Al Mushikhi
Mohamed Saleh Al Alawi
Shadhan Hamood Al Rashdi
Sara Haroon Al Bartamani
Loay Imad Al Lawati
Husam Yaqoob Al Siyabi
Khamis Hassan
Fatma Fuad El Sheibany
Zoudat Mohamed Al Aufi
Ahmed Juma Abdulla
Khuzama Salim Al Shezawi
Badria Humuod Al Mauly
AL Ghaith Ali Al Ghaithi
Anwar Rashid AL Hajri
Fatema Nour Al Din Al Farsi
Belqees Ali Al Hinaai
Riyan Yahya Al Wahshi
Sara Tariq Al Bulushi
Maisa Mohammed Al Hinai
Lora Awadh Al Alawi
Maryam Abdul Razzaq Al Raisi
Haitham Anwar Al Rawas
Taif Mohamed Al Kindi
Eilaf Khalid Al Busaidi
Marah Khalfan Al Aufi
Abir Talib Al Kharusi
Ghazalah Nabi Baksh Al Balushi
Shurooq Mohammed Al Busaidi
Nama Yousuf Al Bulushi
Manaf Mohamed Al Raisi
Alaa Mohsin Al Ajmi
Fatema Jamal Al Busaidi
Sanad Sulaiman Al Rawahi
Mallak Yousuf Al Senani
Shaima Hilal Al Jahwari
Fatma Mohammed Al Farsi
Noorin Adil Al Busaidi
Fatma Ali Al Barwani
Ammar Abdulhameed Al Kiyumi
Sara Hamood Al Naamani
Melika Naderi
Juhaina Abdullah Al Salmi
Qatr Al Nada Abdul Rahman Al Hinai
Samahram Is’haq Al Hashli
Melina Naderi

 

Architecture students from Nagpur (India) visited GUtech

HALBAN A group of architecture students and their professors from the Institute of Design Education and Architectural Studies (IDEAS) in Nagpur (Maharashtra/ India), has visited GUtech’s Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) recently.

The students and professors exchanged ideas about urban planning and architecture in the region. The group was also introduced to the ongoing work and research projects of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design including the GUtech EcoHaus.

UPAD student wins Roca ‘One Day Design Challenge’

HALBAN Mohammed Al Balushi, 4th year student in the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) at GUtech has won the ‘One Day Design Challenge’ held in Muscat by the Interior Design Company ‘Roca’. The jury was led by the Omani architect Hilal Al Balushi. The Design Challenge by Roca is held regularly in more than 10 countries; in Oman the competition was held for the second time. “The idea of this competition is to design a bathroom product with a time “challenge” in only 7 hours! This year’s challenge was to design a product that can be used by patients with bed-bound zero mobility in hospitals or at home. I started the design without any expectations. I finished on time and submitted my proposal to the jury. It was an honour for me as an undergraduate student to win the first prize among 113 participants including architects, interior designers, and product designers! I couldn’t contain myself out of excitement. This was one of the moments I will never forget. I give the credit for this achievement to my university, GUtech, because the education gave me a solid foundation which yields in an obvious way. I also want to thank my mentor Professor Ercan Agirbas (GUtech) for his continuous support. Thank you for believing in me,” said Mohammed Al Balushi.

This summer, Mohammed conducted two internships in Europe, including one with the interior design company Roca, based in Barcelona (Spain). “I believe, the most effective way of learning is practice. This summer I had the privilege to travel abroad and to practice what I have learnt at GUtech.” In the interior design company Roca, Mohammed worked with more than ten different nationalities. The training included a workshop on digital architectural photography including post-editing skills by famous photographers like Anna Devis and Daniel Rueda. Mohammed enjoyed being in Spain and experiencing Barcelona as a city. “I fell immediately in love with the city. The city is rich in architecture. Just by walking through the streets and reading building facades I learned a lot. All of that was under and through GUtech, I can say that I am privileged enough to have such an amazing summer,” he said. In Paris (France), Mohammed conducted a second internship, where he worked with Veolia, a leading resource management company. “I had a very intense training experience with Veolia, which is a huge company that works with sustainable energy and waste management. My task was to create an ideal city in terms of energy expenditure. The challenge was to manage all the aspects of city planning by providing an accessible, yet efficient plan. This includes putting all other major aspects of urban planning such as waste and water management. The practical experience made me aware that urban planning can be a very cooperative, participatory process, thanks to my solid background that I gained from studying in GUtech,” said Mohammed.

© GUtech/ Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photos: provided by Mohammed Al Balushi

“Perception of Shapes and Spaces” – A Unique Art Exhibition at GUtech

HALBAN GUtech students of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) walked along the staircases of the university to showcase their ‘hat art works’ to other students and GUtech staff members. A special student exhibition entitled “Perceptions of Shapes and Spaces” was inaugurated today on campus. The exhibition showcases a large number of unique art works realized by more than 60 students within the past two weeks.

“Perception is a key concept in design,” said Prof. Michael Schulze, Department of Design at RWTH Aachen University (Germany) who gave a lecture on the importance of arts and sculptural design within the education of architects. During his talk Prof. Schulze highlighted the importance of imagination, the ability to transform ideas and to develop a work concept along with the freedom to play with different materials like wood, glass, plaster, metal, stone, ceramic and others. “Human beings are only human when they play,” said Prof. Schulze while adding that the use of different materials in a creative way is very important for future work concepts, architectural designs and even technical projects. “While experiencing different materials, students are enabled to be create and to plan and design in future,” he said. In the student exhibition held in the large GUtech amphitheatre the students showcase different hat designs as well as other art works made of clay. “Each student had to find his own aesthetic expression,” explained Professor Michael Schulze who has been teaching a block course in the UPAD Department. “We worked for the first time with clay and plaster. For the hats we used tissues and bamboo sticks,” said Zahra Al Hasani, who works as a research assistant in the UPAD department. The exhibition of the various artistic works is temporary and on display in the GUtech amphitheatre.

Caption: UPAD students showcase their hat designs in the GUtech amphitheatre

Prof. Michael Schulze during his talk at GUtech.

© Text: GUtech/ Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photos: GUtech/ Fatma Al Balushi