The Conference and Exhibition Hall acts as a mediator bringing past Islamic sciences of the "golden age" with the current university studies at the German University of Technology Oman (GUtech). The building creates 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 inside structure is 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 building. An inclined internal surface is incorporated in line with the sun and wind direction as an additional temperature control element.
The star shaped entrance leads the way to the high entrance-hall faced with the endless staircase resembling an architectural journey to the international artifacts museum on the first floor. 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. The space includes a children’s play area, a temporary exhibition area and a heritage research library as well as a coffee shop overlooking a dhow placed in the shallow water feature resembling a marina. The space can also be used as a cultural events venue.
The courageous sophisticated structure is unique in the entire Gulf region. A one of a kind geometrical concrete mashrabiya shell with the overall structure designed and built in line with the directions of Mecca, as well as incorporating the chosen pattern of Qarawiyyin Mosque and University AD857/ AH243 and AD1056-1147 (“center of knowledge and science for the Mediterranean region”). The structure was developed according to the sun ecliptic, sectioned in 3 widths for divers shading effect for the entire building, creating a transforming and morphing effect throughout the structure and adding to the design and appearance of the building.
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.
The project has been constructed as per the original design and given specifications as an exact replica of the original assembled model.
Since completion, the projects has already gained international attention from around the world. Winning the WA community awards 2017 in February followed by being named as the national winner for Building Project of the Year at MEED quality project programme awards in March 2017.
The Client (Oman Educational Services, OES) is ecstatic with the results as the project has gone far and beyond their expectations by becoming the new must see tourist destination rejuvenating the area of Halban, Oman- a contemporary landmark and reference point along the busy Sultan Qaboos highway. The area has even seen a rise in population and providing various opportunities for the locals. A true success from the early stage of completion.