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Conference and Exhibition Hall at GUtech
Hoehler alSalmyOman (2012-2016)

December 29, 2016

The Conference and Exhibition Hall acts as a mediator bringing past Islamic sciences of the "golden age" in relation to the current university studies at the German University of Technology in Halban, Oman. The building aims to create a link between art and science with nature and geometry whilst symbolizing infinity and divinity. Thorough scientific research was conducted in order to create the geometrical design of the mashrabia: a standalone structure acting as an ornamental shell in relation to the windows and the inner main staircase. Both wind and solar studies were conducted in order to design and build the structure in line with the directions of Mecca, incorporating the chosen pattern of Qarawiyyin Mosque and University AD857/ AH243 and AD1056-1147 (“centre of knowledge and science for the entire Mediterranean region”) as well as develop the structure according to the sun ecliptic, sectioned in 3 widths for divers shading effect. Its macro level evolves a new readability of the meta-framework refining and shading space effects to the shell´s meta-scale form deduced from the regional window elements by processes of emphasis, transforming and morphing. The building is divided into two sections- the external mashrabiya mantle which is a concrete latticework shell acting as a simple shelter in housing the gallery area of the inner building. The main entrance to the exhibition hall is shaped like a star, with the inside structure elevated on a platform with the overall structural design transforming from thick to thin due to the direction of the sun, so as to help the temperature control as well as add to the architectural significance of the structure. The whole internal surface is inclined taking into account the sun and wind direction; another temperature control incorporated element. In addition to this, the mashrabiya affect allows sarooj colored surfaces to enter in to a dialogue with the whitish hull and dark shadows. Each 2-scaled window pattern is derived from the hourly sunspots, arising from the sun eclipse July 21st 2016. All varying patterns apply to a historical development, as reference for the “golden centuries of Islamic science.” The high entrance-hall is faced with an endless staircase resembling an architectural journey leading to the first floor where the museum is held with appropriately displayed international artifacts. Here, a sundial is found telling the time of day using the ray of sunlight coming through the mashrabiya façade. The lower level of the building is an additional attractor, a temporary exhibition and conference area gives opportunity to host cultural events. A free-standing box protected and wrapped by the facade above the core of the house offers 1,200sqm of elaborated exhibition space, displaying technology and history of Islamic science and the strong bound to Omani seafaring. Inside, you find an introvert, quiet area, free of distraction; only the walls of transparent concrete allow a contact to the outer world. The area will house a coffee shop, overlooking a dhow placed in the shallow water feature inside, which will resemble a marina as well as encompass a children’s play area, a temporary exhibition area and a heritage research library for both the locals and tourists. This space can also be used as a venue for cultural events. The sloped central square in front of the university campus expands as a public area to the ground floor of the building. The gentle slope stages the solitaire and protects it against rigors of the weather storms. The central square, describing a two times folded “carpet”, is equipped with green islands, water basins, as well hidden floor boxes for temporary events. Structural lines correlate to the structures of the surrounding developments. Following the architectural, interior, and landscape design, the exhibition concept was designed in close collaboration between the building constraints and the exhibits needs. As a result of this, a highly skilled construction company was needed in order for the structure to be completed at the highest quality and accuracy. The complicated statics were subsequently double-checked by engineers as well as the builder’s specialists to refine solutions targeting the best available technology. The high quality during the full construction phase was assured by a strong supervision and project management team implementing German control standards and visiting the site daily to react to on-site constraints immediately as of when they arise. Unparalleled to any other development in the Arabian region, the inner building, including all elements, had to be erected from inside-out. Several sequels of assemblage, balancing mantle and inner building, led to intensified pre-coordination and detailed solutions, from planning phase till post-contract. Last but not least, only tight coordination between the scientist, the designers and builders guaranteed the successful integration of a meridian sun dial, unique in Oman, in the first floor exhibition area. To create an economically feasible, technically sustainable mashrabiya structure with spans from 15-50m was the first challenge to be solved. The challenging design concepts referring to the ancient science of the importance of housing the eldest science library in Oman, being around for more than 100 years was explored through 3D imitations to analyze its full capabilities. This is to allow the planning of the full construction phases and design adaptations for the final constructed building to meet the requirements and expectation of the masterplan. Various intense structural studies led back to the application of in-situ concrete technology. 1:1 scale mock-ups were built near the premises to study all difficulties for the squeezed reinforcement, the process of the grid erection, casting methods, as well as the quality of Omani pebbles and concrete ingredients. The final design of the edges, the technical solution of illumination with LED and the challenge to achieve small openings was decided based on the mock-ups. All materials were locally sourced in order to minimise the travel and maintain full project sustainability.

The basic engineering requirements for the project was to construct a fully functional and sustainable building with all its relevant elements such as mechanical, electrical and plumbing, work in line with the lighting, structure and overall design of the building. The primary factor was not to just construct an attractive building but to also meet the intend needs of the Client. The main aim was to construct a functional complicated structure to become a national landmark as well as a technical construction benchmark in the region. Specialist work force had to be recruited to conduct several elements of the sophisticated design before construction. Dedicated researchers for example were appointed to conduct thorough research on the lattice work shell taking into consideration both the wind and sun direction so as to provide the exact measurements of the mashrabiya effect to be in line with the meridian sun dial. Constructing the lattice structure was one of the major macro engineering challenges as it had to be constructed as per the exact given measurements so as to provide the intended effects and outcome of the project. The GRP roof works was also another engineering challenge as the roof top ceiling was also designed the same as the rest of the building. The whole structure has the same all round design even at a birds eye view. The same challenge was faced when constructing the sky lights of the lattice works for the same. Last but not least, the design for the floor for both the internal and external structure is inclined at 5% so as to produce a carpet affect throughout the building. Maintaining the slopes also proved to be a challenge and needed to be studied for further explanation and technical directions. Unparalleled to any other development in the Arabian region, the inner building, including all elements, had to be erected from inside-out. Several sequels of assemblage, balancing mantle and inner building, led to intensified pre-coordination and detailed solutions, from planning phase till post-contract. As a result of the found challenges, only tight coordination between the scientist, the designers and builders, guaranteed the successful integration, provided a detailed method statement, reaching to a feasible solution within the set budget and time constraints, and successfully implementing a meridian sun dial, unique in Oman, in the first floor exhibition area. The fact of high coordination, collaboration and communication skills indispensable from all stakeholders sitting round the table led to the conclusive success of the project. Since day one, the Client (Oman Educational Services (OES)), the Consultant and Project Management team (Hoehler + alSalmy), and Contractor, all worked together to deliver the project’s success. Weekly meetings, workshops and continuous communications were conducted by the Consultants to make all parties aware of their responsibilities and tasks to be done in order to make the project a success it is today. Due to all the dedicated efforts of all involved parties, the project did not differ from original design and has been constructed as per the given specifications as an exact replica of the previously assembled model.
Hoehler + alSalmy
Engineering Design Center and Idea Forge, University of Colorado, College of Engineering and Applied Science
Victoria DavidUnited States (2014-2014)

December 29, 2016

In accordance with the nation’s commitment to invest in technology workforce development, the University of Colorado has made it a priority to play an aggressive role in attracting, inspiring and engaging students to pursue STEM careers. In the Dean’s words, “ Our vision of being recognized as a world leader for excellence and innovation in engineering research education is evident in our efforts to better serve global society, design a dynamic student experience and promote a culture of innovation”. Our charge was to create a WOW skunkworks environment that would immediately draw in the new user with the message that this place is different, and the work you will do will be exciting. The purpose of the Design Center is to provide a flexible, user friendly and innovative work/learn environment that encourages and develops collaborative skills, emboldens design experimentation and nurtures entrepreneurialism. As an existing building, the room heights of the upper floors limit the availability of overhead space for utility distribution and contribute to noise. The Idea Forge is the centrally located skunkworks arena – a makerspace for the 21st century engineer in training. Fleming is at the south end of the main campus, adjacent to the Kittredge Complex, a neighborhood of live-study dormitories focused on the engineering undergraduate. Synthesizing a renovation program into a meaningful design solution is like working through a complicated jigsaw puzzle: the “pieces”– the structure, ceiling heights and existing utility systems - are “precut” and “predetermined”. Oftentimes, the pre-approved budget hasn’t considered the age or distribution of the HVAC or lighting systems to suit the optimal solution. Instead, you dump the pieces you’re given out on the table and learn what you have to work with by providing collaborative field investigations in order to discover how the building operated and what the options were for future design efforts. Maintaining on-going adjacent operations that existed in the facility was paramount. The approved budget was capped at $2 million, but a new air handling unit supporting a large student population, additional upgraded power to support industrial grade machinery and new lighting had not been figured into that scope. As such, the design team engaged a general contractor to provide real time pricing for the list of scope items needed and desired. With the Scope Matrix, we were able to help the users prioritize their needs vs. wants, identify alternatives and deliver a project that exceeded their vision for an impressive and unique Idea Forge. The renovation design presented several budget challenges since we were transforming an obsolete storage space into a vibrant design center. The Design Scope Matrix listed Wants, Needs and Code Requirements in the first column; provided a Priority Column adjacent for assigning values to Life Safety, Nice to Have, Integral to Program Success; and finally a column for the estimator to assign a Dollar Value. Though somewhat surprising and a bit painful for the users, the Matrix facilitated decision making and allowed the users to consider alternative funding sources and donor opportunities. Since the intention of a maker space is to be informal, user inspired and completely reconfigurable,the design invited opportunities for such creative ventures by leaving the spaces as a blank canvas begging for experimentation. The students embraced the opportunity to “own” the spaces, by building their work benches and storage, designing and fabricating a ceremonial Gate to separate design studios. Understanding that student projects are often suspended, the design provided a unisrut grid that would support these creations, and designed a conference “Box” as a eye-popping sculpture suspended above the Idea Forge. The program includes Classroom space, Project Assembly space, and Machine shop with Welding Booths on the ground floor. The first floor is dedicated to the Idea Forge – an open, flexible design arena left as open as possible to allow for varying configurations from semester to semester and project to project. A small lounge area is nearby and available for meal and coffee breaks. All this openness and noisy collaboration is balanced by an adjacent fabrication studio and teleconferencing space for more global collaborations. The second floor is dedicated to senior Design studio space. Coming generations of scientists and engineers will be characterized by their collaborative and social natures. While there are a few closed offices for faculty, these will soon give way to the flatter, hands-on organizational structure of the skunkworks. The Idea Forge has done a great job of forging new relationships and making new friends by providing an inspirational Creating Space where students want to reside. The notion of locating the tools for serious and sophisticated fabrication - providing classes on how to master them - along side hacker studios that encourage “out of the box” thinking has been a tremendous boon to CU’s engineering programs. The Design Center plays a critical role in cultivating innovation and creativity by providing multidisciplinary project based technical collaborations . These platforms integrate small teams of graduate and undergraduate students, a faculty advisor and an industry mentor. Students work on assigned projects across two semesters and provide real world design solutions to the industry mentor at the project’s completion. The fundamental mission of the space is as a learning environment. The challenge was how to mix structured teaching and unstructured exploration and discovery. The University is lucky to be located in Boulder, Colorado, a locale with a global reputation as one of the brainiest most entrepreneurial places in the country. With national rankings in aerospace engineering, ceramics, environmental law, geology, physical chemistry and quantum physics (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), the Design Center plays an important role in furthering the commitment of the university to provide excellent education needed by 21st century engineers. While located in an older building, the Design Center immediately draws you in with a dramatic two story entrance into the Idea Forge.

Category: Building Additions, renovation or adaptive reuse Project Name: Idea Forge, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Institution: University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO Institution Type: Public Campus Population: 36,555 Project Completion Date: 2014 Project Occupancy Date: 2014 Project Cost: $1,995,000 Construction Cost: $1,487,805 Size (gross and assignable square foot): 22,119ASF Site area affected by the project: 3,200SF Receiving Area
Design Architect: Iron Horse Architects MEP Engineering: Cator Ruma Associates Structural Engineering: MartinMartin General Contractor: PCL Construction
Fernanda Marques Arquitetos Associados Brazil (2013-2015)

November 7, 2016

In line with the owners’ aspirations, a basic parameter guided the project for this farmhouse in Porto Feliz, São Paulo: to create a country home that emphasized its integration with the landscape, preferably by means of a lightweight structure, with large openings and glazed surfaces. So the architecture created here differs from the surrounding houses, for its contemporary language and structural boldness. Measuring 700m², the steel framed house follows the shape of the terrain. The spaces, in turn, were laid out so as to offer a view of the lake and the golf course from every single on. The whole façade is made from seamless sliding panes. Few and refined materials, such as wood, stone and glass reaffirm the project’s essentiality. At sunset it becomes completely permeable to the view: a large light box reflected on the swimming pool water. In terms of architecture, special attention was paid to the design of the concrete pillars to impart the project with more lightness. There are two clear volumes: the main one, where the living area, kitchen and master suite are and the side one, with 4 guest suites. Given the plentiful daylight most of the spaces were fitted with zenithal lighting, while the cross ventilation system implemented throughout the living area, combined with the fully-opening panes that create a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors provide excellent ventilation conditions.

Type: House Architect: Fernanda Marques Arquitetos Associados Project Name: Fazenda Boa Vista Start date: 2013 Completion date: 2015 Location: Porto Feliz, SP - BRAZIL Area: 700m² Structure: Metallic Photographer: Fernando Guerra
Forests of Grid
Yoshitaka UCHINOJapan (2014-2015)

November 7, 2016

The main concept of this housing is putting a forest into the public area where nature and the architecture stimulate with each other.The image is cloudy walls fold housing units made of grids. Inserting uniform grid results in bringing a harmonic rhythm into the daily life of the residents. The rigid grids express order and calmness in the spaces of the housing. The housing consists of uniform grid of square columns and beams and two walls. The forest is placed between the two walls, and stairs are put around the court. Putting the forest in the route from the entrance hall to the stairs, residents always feel nature. I placed plaza in the 2nd floor next to the stair. The curved wall surround the forest is a node . Through the hole dug in the wall,one will see the city and people outside the housing will see the trees in the forest. The column inserted into the forest integrates the architecture and nature. The outer walls are freed from the grids, so light and wind go through the housing units from tall sashes. This was an attempt to expand living spaces and to make an environment softly connects it with the city by creating public spaces which are open to the city.

Site area : 446.74m2 Total floor area : 1254.05m2 6-stories building Structure:Reinforced Concrete
Lead Architect : Yoshitaka Uchino Architect : Mana Muraki / YDS Architects Engineer :Yukitoshi Ishikawa/Toshi Kozo Engineering
Gijang Waveon
Heesoo KwakKorea, South (2015-2016)

December 30, 2016

Gijang Waveon Kijang adjacent to Pusan (second largest city in Korea) facing with the East Sea is famous for beautiful scenery of seashore rendered by inspiringly eroded rock, wave of clean seawater and groups of pine trees at a height of about 30 feet. WAVEON, the unique cafe in the beach, is located in a hill overlooking the shore in Kijang. Our client wanted to get a 500m2-sized building just for cafe where we can look down the sandy and rocky shore wherever we are. In fact, depending on where and how we see the beach, the sea shows diverse views for us. Accordingly, the significant matter of this project is how we can grasp and deal with the relationship between natural scene and architecture. Place stacking The condition of architecture oriented to outside view from inner space is placed on maximization of length of openings facing with sea and beach. Within given Floor area ratio, void space in center can be decent solution to make more seats viewing scenery. This was embodied by stacking long and sequential spaces that had various heights and were connected each other via a bridge. Wide and long corridor bearing seating space with ocean view deliver internally void in the center and, at the same time, embraces more and diverse scenes from outside. Seating place Furthermore, outer space of this building consists of Pyeongsang that is a dutdoor furniture traditionally used for small group activities like talking and siping a cup of tea in community. Instead of setting a wide terrace in the beach, a series of Pyeongsang under pine trees plays a meaningful role as semi-individualized spaces where we can have an opportunity to enjoy meditative time with a cup of coffee surrounded by natural scenes. Obliquely punched concrete wall offers a pleasure to peep sea shore beyond tall pine trees. In rooftop area, we can notice a certain line where sea and sky become the one. In this building where nature and artificial setting meet together via more meditative but playful ways at the same time, we can experience a new type of retreat beyond cafe.

Architect: Kwak Heesoo / IDMM Architects Location: 533(522-2), Wolnae-ri, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, Korea Programme: Cafeteria Site area: 1,381.53m² Building area: 253.19m² Gross floor area: 497.33m² Building scope: 3F Parking: 4 Height: 11.22m Building to land ratio: 18.33% Floor area ratio: 36.00% Structure: RC Exterior finishing: exposed concrete Design period: Jul. 2015 - Dec. 2015 Construction period: Dec. 2015 - Dec. 2016 Completion: Dec. 2016 Photo credit: Kim Jaeyoon