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Conference and Exhibition Hall at GUtech

Hoehler + alSalmy

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hoehler_alsalmy, Hoehler + alSalmy


Project Name

Conference and Exhibition Hall at GUtech

Project Status

Built

Year Completed

2016

Client/Owner

OES Oman Educational Services LLC


ARCHITECT



Style

Modern

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Project Description

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 Oman, (GUtech). The building aims to create a link between art and science with nature and geometry whilst symbolizing infinity and divinity.
The sophisticated design is divided into two sections- the external standalone mashrabiya is a concrete latticework shell in housing the gallery area of the internal 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.
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 exhibition space is a free-standing box protected and wrapped by the facade. 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 challenging design was explored through 3D imitations to analyze its capabilities, and be able to plan the full construction phases and design adaptations in order for the final constructed building to meet the requirements and expectation of the masterplan. All materials were locally sourced in order to minimise the travel and maintain full project sustainability. With zero reported injuries, the construction was finalized within schedule, budget and high client satisfaction.
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