Last but not least I started my trip to the Sultanate of Oman on the 20th of August 2014, to absolve my internship at the German University of Oman. Oman is a state in the Middle East, which is located next to Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Oman is ruled by a Sultan. His name is Qaboos bin Said al Said.
At the university I worked in the department of urban planning and architectural design under the supervision of Professor Nicolaus Knebel at whom’s house I stayed at as well. During the last four years he and five students have been working for a competition which is leant on the solar decathlon. When I arrived in the Oman it was only three more weeks to go until the jury was going to arrive to check the house. So it was my task to help fixing all the little things that had not been done yet. The main focus was put on the furniture. The plan was to create recycled furniture by using used wood from pallets. The Students had already drawn some plans but there was still to much wood in there. So it was my job to decrease it. On top of that we didn’t have much time left so it had to be easy and fast to make. After a self-made prototype we searched for a carpenter who built everything for us except for two sofas and one kitchen table. So Nicolaus and I spent one day at the workshop and built it by ourselves. The final concept was simple and elegant. We decided to only build to different types of frames which were planked all around with different lengths.
The next big step was the presentation of the house to the jury. Only the students were allowed to present so they trained themselves while talking with the other team members. That was quite interesting because during this I learned a lot of methods about how to build an energy efficient house which on top is friendly to the environment. As you can see in the pictures the house has big windows on the north side and only small ones on the south side. Also it is like a house in a house. The upper layer is like a shield which protects the inner parts from the heat. Another interesting thing is the reed bed in which some special plants are incorporated, which filter the bacterium out of the used water so that it could be used for the surrounding traditional Oman trees. The Jury’s visit was well planed and everything went fine. The results on which university will is going to be published in December after some measurements in the house to proof if it is really that efficient.
After that I started designing a little solar lamp which looks like the ECO-Haus. Unfortunately it has not been finished yet. In Oman I was not able to found a piece of plastic with a depth of 2mm. But I built a mock-up and I am going to finish one of the lamps in Germany and sent the right plastic to the University.
Besides working at the university I visiedt the Sultan Qaboos mosque and some old forts.I also discovered the beautiful landscape of Oman. But a picture tells more than a thousand words….
After all it was an inspiring experience at which I learned a lot about architectural designing and the Middle East. I hope I can come back some day.