OITE - Oman 2011

Aurel presented the 'Qurm' redevelopment project during the Urban Oman conference in Muscat. The lecture demonstrated how to develop and use parametric tools to incorporate environmental data into urban design. The software prototype optimizes the climatic performance of the building envelope, distribution of programme, accessibility within the plot and land-use.

Case Study PDO camp redevelopment

The PDO camp in Qurm was built in the 1970s and is prone to redevelopment. In the larger context of a research project on the urbanisation process of Muscat Capital Area it serves as a testing ground for innovative engineering, sustainable urbanism with the use of advanced parametric tools culminating in a sustainable design.

A holistic approach to Sustainability - as defined by the UN millennium goals - needs to address multiple levels of life simultaneously: Only economical, ecological, social and cultural sustainability combined guarantee success. Therefore the case study of the PDO camp bases its economical viability on the integration of ecological, social and cultural parameters particular to the site, climate and culture of Oman.

Within the research project, we developed tools and methods to map these environmental, cultural and programmatic parameters into a cohesive urban design mechanism. This mechanism can be adapted and applied to any site in Oman or the Gulf region from the scale of a few houses to larger mixed use developments. Parametric tools interpret environmental data to generate urban design according to rules governed by climatic fitness criteria. The software prototype optimizes the climatic performance of the building envelope, distribution of programme, accessibility within the plot and land-use and, as a result, produces a coherent urban design that is considerably more sustainable than the “cooky-cutter” patterns of most developments in the Gulf.

Institution: OITE / Oman

Contributors: Aurel von Richthofen 

Year: 2011

related: 

Parametric Urban Design Model / Qurm

Within the research project, we developed tools and methods to map these environmental, cultural and programmatic parameters into a cohesive urban design mechanism. This mechanism can be adapted and applied to any site in Oman or the Gulf region from the scale of a few houses to larger mixed use developments.

Sustainable Patterns of Urbanization in Oman

Since 2011 Aurel von Richthofen is Co-Investigator on the research project entitled "Towards Sustainable Patterns of Urbanization in Oman" funded by The Research Council Oman (TRC). He is a main contributor responsible for writing the report, editing the material, leading research assistants, coordinating symposia, conferences and exhibitions.

Featured in Muscat Daily

Article featuring Aurel von Richthofen in Muscat Daily, Sept. 21st 2011: The two-day conference on Sustainable Urbanisation in Oman concluded on Tuesday with a message that there is an urgent need to conserve energy and adopt eco-friendly measures to cope with rapid urbanisation that the nation is witnessing.

Qurm Villas

The Qurm Villas originate in the clients desire to built four houses for his four grown up kids: In order to avoid a quarrel between the siblings all villas needed to be the same size and layout, but each with a different orientation and expression. The four villas are designed like genetic siblings.

House Like Her

The House Like Her – an artist studio and home – is located by the sea south of Muscat along the magnificent coastline of the Indian Ocean between Quriat and Sur. Linked by the new coastal high-way to the capital the location offers the serenity and unspoilt beauty unique to Oman.

Eco Friendly House Competition

A team of GUtech students lead by professors Nikolaus Knebel, Martin Werminghausen and Aurel von Richthofen win the first prize in the Eco-Friendly House Competition organized by the Research Council Oman. The house will be built on the new Campus premise in Halban, Oman. The house features a radical design to minimize heat gain, includes passive and active energy-efficient technologies, the use of local materials (adobe). The building will serve as guest house for guest faculty coming to Oman.