Muscat: To develop their architectural and urban planning skills, a group of enthusiastic students and their professor from the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) participated recently in the International Architecture Summer Academy in Berlin.
Architecture students from New York City College (USA), Iowa State University (USA) and Beuth University of Applied Sciences and Technology in Berlin (Germany) participated in month-long summer academy that was held for the 16th time.
The German capital Berlin has been developing as a hub for international real-estate investment in the past decade. The Summer Academy developed strategies to meet some short-term and long-term goals.
“During different workshops, special software for energy efficient designs were introduced and practiced. Moreover, the students participated in field trips for energy efficient buildings in Berlin, Hamburg and Dessau. This gave the students an insight into how these strategies could be implemented in projects that were already built.”
“Visits to architectural offices in Berlin gave the students an opportunity to understand what the life of a professional architect could be,” said Prof. Alexander Kader, head of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) at GUtech.
Various experts and professors also delivered lectures, thus building up the knowledge of the students further. The student’s work was finally exhibited for the public at an art gallery centrally located in Berlin.
The team of five GUtech students, one GUtech alumni and intern and their professor worked intensively on the design proposals for developing energy efficient buildings while filling a gap between buildings at two different sites in the city of Berlin.
“Protecting the interior against the heat from the sun, yet bringing in light to living spaces were the major aims of our design proposals. One group worked with creating various angles with their roof to direct the sunlight for the required spaces. Another group worked with creating an atrium in the centre of the building and installing a mirror system, which would then reflect light into various spaces of the building. Designing creative circulation spaces was also the aim of one of the student groups, where they placed the circulation at the periphery of the entire structure, therefore being able to create spaces between their building and their neighbour’s. These spaces further acted smartly like light vents to bring in light to usable rooms in the building,” said Shaharin Annisa, a GUtech alumni and intern at the UPAD department.
Apart from workshops, presentations and field-trips related to architecture, the students also learnt more about the history of Germany. “We got the chance to visit the Berlin Wall, a Concentration Camp Memorial Site, a police academy and various districts in Berlin. Moreover, we attended German classes two to three times a week at the university,” said Shaharin Annisa.
In the future, the UPAD Department at GUtech might conduct a similar international workshop in Muscat.