AUREL VON RICHTHOFEN

German born in Geneva, Aurel von Richthofen studied architecture in Switzerland and the USA. He holds a Dipl. Arch. from ETH Zurich, and a M. Arch. from Princeton University. He is a registered architect in Berlin and Zurich. His research focuses on analyzing and interpreting urban space with means of parametric design tools. His current research project examines sustainable patterns of urbanization in Oman. Aurel is currently working as Module Coordinator for Alternative Construction Materials at the Future Cities Lab in Singapore. His CV can be found here: https://www.zotero.org/aurelvr/cv

PROLOGUE

Aurel von Richthofen on Research / Teaching / Tools / Practice

Coordinator FCL

Aurel von Richthofen has been appointed Module Coordinator at the Chair of Architecture and Construction at the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) in Singapore since September 2014. He will coordinate the research done at the Advanced Fibre Composite Materials laboratory (also known as Bamboo Lab) and contribute to the interdisciplinary Tropical Town project in Indonesia.

Arab Gulf Cities in Transition: Space, Politics and Society

The cities in the Arab Gulf are developing in a fast and unprecedented way. The vast majority of the growing population of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are concentrated in these cities. While they are a focal point for immigration, they are unique spaces and places on various other levels, too: In many cases the Arab Gulf cities represent the exclusive political and economic centres of their countries; they consume a vast amount of energy; they have surpassed other Arab cities in their size and scale; their exponential growth is driven by diminishing fossil resources and, therefore, they have realised the urgent need to adopt sustainable development policies.

Sand: an (in)finite Resource?

The E4D Summer School 2016 with the topic of "Sand: an (in)finite Resource?" is organised by ETH Global in collaboration with the Chair of Architecture and Construction of ETH Zurich Assistant Professor Dirk E. Hebel, Aurel von Richthofen and the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at TU Delft, The Netherlands.

Constructing Sand

Dirk E. Hebel, Aurel von Richthofen: Emerging selective laser sintering technology applied to an untapped resource – retrieved sand – opens new possibilities in light-weight durable and recyclable construction materials at FCL’s Sand Lab.

The Atlantic - CityLab: Muscat

Muscat sits on the Gulf of Oman, where the rocky Hajar Mountains rise up behind the city, leaving only a narrow strip for building. This geography—combined with the fact that the favored architectural style is one of whitewashed, low-rise buildings—has created a city design with incredible lengthwise sprawl. The capital is physically the size of Los Angeles, but houses less than a quarter of that city’s population of 3.9 million. It’s a very low-density city.

Baumeister Journal: Oman - the Anti-Dubai?

Aurel writes about urbanisation trends and sustainability in Oman in Germany's oldest architecture magazine - Baumeister. The conservative development in Muscat is seen in contrast to fast paced Dubai. The specificities of urban sprawl, land allocation system, destruction of landscape are descrtibed as well as typical modern villas and sub-urban settlement patterns. The article concludes with a manifesto for sustainable urbanism adapted to Oman.

New Bouwkunde

New Bouwkunde is a radical design for a new school of architecture at Technical University of Delft. The program called for more than 2000 spaces. These were organized algorithmically and optimized for spatial efficiency. Study, project and research within a school of architecture are normally shaped by an intimate relationship of scholars and students within a tight educational community. Not at Delft where the sheer number of more than 5000 students of architecture outgrow any sense of personal scale.

Mobility Museum

Rotterdam Mobility Museum is a linear structure occupying abandoned tracks next to the railroad station in Rotterdam. The facade is designed parametrically to respond to the surroundings. Its design resembles an illusive creature with metallic scales reflecting the surroundings. Its body is changing in width along a main linear direction of the tracks.

School Vevey

School Vevey is a design for an secondary school in the town of Vevey on the shore of lake Geneva including three sport halls, student restaurant, library, auditorium and 70 class rooms.

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.

Maribor Bridge

Maribor Bridge is a design for new footway and bicycle bridge Lent–Taborsko nabrežje. The proposed bridge is a light-weight construction combining air beams and tension cables in a new structural concept called “Tensairity”.

Tetra – City / House

The house of the future is a tetrahedron. In fact, it is a set of tetra- shaped rooms forming a little city of tetra-spaces that form a tetra-shaped house. Fractal in geometry, the ideal house can be applied as ideal city on a different scale. Recursive in time, a partial realization anticipates the future expansion.

Warsaw Rotunda

Warsaw Rotunda is a renovation and a tactical urban space project at once. The design takes an existing building, strips its facade and turns its inner space into an observation platform. The reversal of a closed hermetic space into an open public lantern reclaims a central place in Warsaw for the public.

Dubai Tensegrity Tower

Tensegrity Tower is a design for an iconic monument of 170 meters height in Dubai. Tensegrity Tower is the pure exhibition of structure. Calling for an iconic tower devoid of program the elevator company sponsored competition merely indicated a desired height of 170 meters.