Thursday, February 16, 2017

Belgium and The Netherlands 2017: the postgraduate story...

The School of the Built Environment runs 4 postgraduate programmes in construction: MSc Construction Project Management, MSc Project Management in the Built Environment, MSc Building Information Modelling and Management and MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management. All the programmes are available as full-time or open-learning (a combination of online learning and on-campus study weeks).

A few of the MSc students at the Museum aan de Stroom

The field trip to Europe is an annual event which brings together full-time and open-learning students from across the 4 programmes. The aim of the field trip is to integrate knowledge gained in the early part of the programme, to develop team skills and to build relationships. During the European field trip students are exposed to project management practices outside of the UK and are asked to observe and report on the different approaches to project management in the UK and overseas. Site visits are backed up with a series of presentations from local experts focusing on: planning strategy, sustainability and urban design considerations, the mix of dwelling types, retail and community buildings, infrastructure plans, planning for flooding/rising sea levels, and sustainable and innovative building technologies.

And so we come to the 2017 field trip. As usual, the postgraduate students joined the undergraduate students in construction to travel to Belgium and The Netherlands, but once again this year there are two blog posts as the itineraries had a different focus. This is the postgraduate story (photos by Esra Kurul). Click on the blue links for more information.

After crossing over to Belgium on 22 January, the first stop was in Antwerp for a visit to the Antwerp Central Rail Station and the Museum aan de Stroom. The award-winning redevelopment of Antwerp Central Rail Station manages to combine old (the original late 19th century building) with new (transforming it from a terminus to a through station suitable for high speed trains). The students moved onto the Museum aan de Stroom which was completed in 2011 and is the centre point of the regeneration of the Antwerp dockside area. The building was designed by Willem Jan Neutelings, of Neutelings Riedijk Architects.

The Museum aan de Stroom (and some climbers)

The students travelled on to Amsterdam, their base for the next few days. The next day featured a carefully planned itinerary shared with the students during the morning the places they visited for yourself by clicking on the blue links. The day started with a presentation at Amsterdam Museum, by Ton Schaap (Amsterdam Development Office) about urban planning and development in Amsterdam and was followed by a visit to see the development at Amsterdam Central Station. The students took a ferry across the river Ij and enjoyed an afternoon tour of the Eye Film Museum and the areas of Eye and Overhoeks, Kraanspoor, Kunststad, Patch 22, Bosrankstraat, finally arriving at De Ceuvel for a look around one of the most sustainable and unique urban developments in Europe (and drinks) before heading back to base.

Presentation at the Amsterdam Museum and the visit to Central Station

Afternoon visits to: the Eye Film Museum, Eye, Eye and Overhoeks, Kraanspoor, Kunststad, Patch 22 and Bosrankstraat

And finally...De Ceuvel

The next day, Tuesday 24 January, and the students visited Rotterdam. They were there to visit the Central Station and also attend a presentation about the building of Rotterdam Central by Ria van Wingerden from Geemente Rotterdam. In the afternoon they went for a look around Markthal (the first covered market in the Netherlands and a beautiful building), and then onto Unielocatie Rotterdam, a visit hosted by JHK Architecten.

Rotterdam Central Station and watch a video of Markthal below...

The final full day in Amsterdam and the students made an early start for a visit to the BAM offices in Amsterdam. After an introduction to BAM from Eelke Stellingwerf, the students were introduced to the ABN AMRO Pavilion Project at Amsterdam Zuid by Henk Rebel. The students visited the project and were introduced to the Project Manager (Nick Jaring). The afternoon was spent in Amsterdam at the Rijksmuseum where the students listened to a presentation about the recently completed refurbishment project before exploring the museum.

Site visit in Amsterdam

At the Rijksmuseum

The last night in Amsterdam

Thursday 26 January and the last day of the field trip. The students left Amsterdam for Utrecht where they had a presentation about the (historic and modern) city of Utrecht and a city tour, before boarding the coaches for the return trip to Oxford. Take a look at Utrecht's bid to be Cycling City 2016 (they didn't win, but it's a great way to see the city)...

Exploring Utrecht

Back to Oxford Brookes. For more information on our MSc programmes in construction, take a look at the following links:

MSc Construction Project Management
MSc Building Information Modelling and Management 
MSc Project Management in the Built Environment
MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management

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