A new chapter has been written in the history of the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Built Environment, BAU, under the leadership of the dean Prof. Ibtihal Youssef and patronage of President Prof. Amr Galal Al-Adawi. In light of the international track that the faculty always seeks to go ahead, a scientific trip to London was organized from 21 to 28 April, 2017. The traveled group consisted of 31 persons (28 students + 3 supervisors). The traveled students were selected among the high GPA students in the levels of 3rd, 4th, & 5th years. This trip reinforced the practical knowledge of students through visiting two of the best well-known architecture office in the globe; (Foster + Partners Office) and (Zaha Hadid Architects Office). It also targeted recognizing a different system of education in the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.
Outcome of visiting the Office of Foster + Partners After visiting Foster + Partners Office in Riverside, the students had an unprecedented chance to see on close distance the 3d Models of the well-known projects of the office. Mr. Miguel Vidal hosted the group inside the huge building for more than an hour. The students viewed the latest projects of the office and its design processes through a short movie. Three students could have a memorable photo with Lord Norman Foster himself while he was leaving the building. According to Mr. Miguel Vidal, our faculty can contact the HR of the office to organize internship for our students. The maximum time for the valid visa is 6 months which allows an opportunity for a student to live in London for one or two months spending the time of internship in the office and can rent an apartment-studio in a near address.
Outcome of visiting the Office of Zaha Hadid Architects After visiting the office of Zaha Hadid Architects and watching the design projects, students admired the vision towards future that is adopted by the office using free concepts, parametric design, new technological structures, free forms, and so on. Students called for applying similar attitude in the faculty which has truly started to become real through initiating a digital fabrication laboratory looking forward to find its echo throughout the forthcoming years. The students had a great opportunity to recognize the sources of inspiration for Zaha's concept through the meeting held with the Syrian architect Hussam Chakkouf who has worked in the office since 2006. Zaha Hadid Architects in London is the main headquarter office but it has other branches in different countries in the world; one in USA, one in UAE, one in Iraq, one in Germany, and others. More than 300 architects from 45 different nationalities are working for the office. In addition, Mr. Chakkouf said that Zaha Hadid had always been under the spot of attacking criticism not only because of her free thought but probably because of her religion and her feminism. Regarding the software programs that are used in the office for conducting such free shapes, the computer programmers in the office developed a new plug driven from 3 programs; Rhino, Grasshopper, and 3d Max. This unique plug is used only by the architects of the office and it is not public. Zaha Hadid Architects Office deals with certain German companies for making the 3d models, while Foster + Partners Office has its own digital fabrication workshop.
Outcome of visiting The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL After visiting the Bartlett School of Architecture, the students admired the variety and organization of spaces for their students. The Bartlett provides several spaces and facilities such as: Gathering spaces in each floor for students to work in teamwork groups. Each space has a wide table, a number of seats, and glass partitions that can everyone see them and vice versa. Each design studio has a large area for making 3d models freely. The pods were another interesting facility serving students, which were isolated sofas acoustically. These sofas had high backs made from a specific type of sponge to absorb sounds. Through these pods, students can study and work on their laptops safely and in a calm environment. On seen shelves, the distinguished 3d models (study models, final models, and urban scale models) were exhibited for all, not isolated in a separate space, to feed all students with experience of design and modeling skill.