Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Belgium and the Netherlands: the Undergraduate Field Trip 2016

The 2016 field trip to The Netherlands (and Belgium). As usual, students on the BSc Construction Project Management and the BSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management travelled alongside the postgraduate students in construction, but this year there are two blog posts as the itineraries had a different focus. This is the undergraduate story (photos by George Blumberg). Click on the blue links for more information.

This year the undergraduate field trip project focused on the redevelopment of a historic, disused industrial site that would be ideally reconfigured as a cultural destination. The students were each given a workbook which contained questions on each site and area visited. The workbooks were used to record information, observations and ideas together with their photographs, drawings and sketches. The field trip guide asked students to think about:

  • how the planning and design approach delivers high-quality, high-density, accessible residential urban environments. 
  • how design of museums and public spaces contributes to the appeal of The Netherlands.  
  • the challenges that contractors and designers play in delivering projects. 
  • the companies, groups and organisation involved with constructing the built environment in The Netherlands.  
  • innovative building technologies and construction techniques.

After crossing the English Channel on 24 January, the first stop was in Antwerp for a visit to the Antwerp Law Courts, a building designed by Richard Rogers and completed in 2005. Take a look at the iconic roof design. After a visit to Antwerp Central Rail Station, the students arrived in Amsterdam in the early evening for the group dinner.

At the Amsterdam Museum listening to a presentation on Amsterdam from urbanist Ton Schaap 

On Monday 25 January, the students made their way to the Amsterdam Museum and joined the MSc students for a presentation about Amsterdam from urbanist Ton Schaap. They moved onto the Amsterdam Central Library for a group meeting and lunch (and a great view of the city). Read more about the design and construction of the library here. The group meeting was followed by a self-guided tour of Amsterdam.

Outside the Amsterdam Royal Palace

Amsterdam as seen by George Blumberg

The next day, Tuesday 26 January, the students visited Rotterdam. The visit started with a walking tour, via the Rotterdam Infocentre at Coolsingel and onto Markthal (Rotterdam's covered market hall) for lunch.

Arriving in Rotterdam

In the afternoon the students joined the MSc students at Futureland for a tour (by boat) of the massive development taking place in Rotterdam to expand the existing port into the North Sea. The development is called Maasvlakte 2 which is being built directly on top of deep water. Take a look at the construction cam.

The boat tour...

...and the views of the port of Rotterdam.

Wednesday 27 January started with a visit to the museumplein (or museum quarter) and the museums located there. Then the students were back on the coach for a trip to Utrecht. After a self-guided tour of the city, the students attended a presentation at the Utrecht Infocentre.

Thursday 28 January and the last day of the field trip. Just time for a visit to the National Military Museum before returning to Oxford Brookes.

For more information about our undergraduate courses in construction take a look here:

BSc Construction Project Management
BSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management

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