February 2014

German University of Technology Oman

Oman has a careful approach to urban expansion which has so far proved successful. However its established model of development is increasingly being challenged by a range of factors – massive population growth, declining oil reserves, climate change, economic restructuring, changing lifestyles and an expansion of tourism. Key to resolving this challenge is the search for an environmentally and culturally appropriate architecture and urbanism.

Current discourse in Urbanism Often revolves around the use of high-rise buildings and high density living, however despite the potential this offers this at present is a typology completely absent in Oman. With the current pressures and the cost of developing and improving infrastructures and sustainable concerns this typology requires further examination to see how it could possibility contribute to the development of Oman.

This year we will look at high-rise buildings, the workshop will attempt to examine and learn from other gulf states and generate new architectural and urban solutions based on an investigation of patterns which reflects Oman Culture and history in architecture.  Fundamental to the development of our strategy will be environmental performance. We will challenge proposal put forward in the region and begin to re-examine these in regards to culture, climate and tradition in Oman.

We will look closely at natural patterns and attempt to analyse and understand their cause and effect. This analysis and understanding will feed our design process, allowing students to derive specific behaviours that have architectural capabilities and apply them to 1:1 scale prototypes. Aspects such as flexibility, economy, scale and beauty will be explored to understand the potential contribution of each project to a new Omani architecture. 

The workshop will end with a public exhibition of projects which will enable the students to present their ideas in a public forum and to discuss their views on the future direction of architecture in Oman. Our purpose is to challenge normative modes of thinking about architecture and to understand its influence in a wider context


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the AA Visiting School page. If you are not able to make an online application,  email for instructions to pay by bank transfer. 

2) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment of £695, you are registered to the programme. A CV or a portfolio is not required.

All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required. After payment of fees, the AA can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop. 


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting Membership. If you are already a member, the total fee will be reduced automatically by £60 by the online payment system. Fees are non refundable. 

Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation with local students can be arranged for visiting students. Participants need to bring their own camera equipment and laptops with a current version of Rhino and Grasshopper readily installed. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop.

The workshop is open to architecture and design students and professionals worldwide.

This course will be taught in English. 


Programme Director
Omid Kamvari

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

T +44 20 7887 4014
F +44 20 7414 0782

Links & Downloads

Programme site


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Visiting School Prospectus


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