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intro: me My name is Nicolai Kudielka. I have been studying Architecture at the University of Kassel, Germany since october 2006. Currently i am in my 10th semester. In the following pages I will show you a selection of my works. The graphics were made with the following programs: Adobe Photoshop/ InDesign / Illustrator, Rhinoceros, Autocad, Vray and Grasshopper.

the project: The aim of the project was for every student to create an artistic work about Dubai based on the different experiences and impressions that were gained during the two semesters and the excursion to Dubai. In cooperation with students from Visual Communication Departement of the Kunsthochschuhle Kassel, we designed a publication featuring this projects. The final book is called Fact & Fiction Dubai and about to be published soon. On the next pages I will show some parts of the final publication, featuring the project i did: Lakshmans story.


This book is published in connection with Fact & Fiction Dubai: a two-semester project, accompanied by a two-week trip to Dubai, in the visual arts division of the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Kassel. Dubai, the emirate on the Gulf, is known in Germany primarily for the headlines made by

The publication in your hands, Fact & Fiction Dubai, presents a cross-section of our subjective

projects without parallel: the Palm Islands (the world’s biggest artificial islands), the Burj Dubai (the world’s tallest building), Dubai Marina (100 waterfront high-rises built in the last

appraisals and artistic practice in the form of observations, research, interviews, film stills, photographs and interventions. It follows our November 2008 exhibition at Traffic Gallery in

five years). Still a fishing village on a commercial harbor as recently as the 1950s, Dubai has since grown into a metropolis of millions thanks to petrodollars and tax-free real-estate investments, especially since the late 1990s. An artificially created neocapitalist base has

Dubai, the culmination of our two-week workshop.

arisen in the midst of a desert landscape, upon which the global convergence of business, consumption and tourism in the Muslim Middle East has taken place at blinding speed.

art history | Dirk Pörschmann, we created the editorial design, which, in the shape of a classical notebook, picks up on our subjective view of the city. Our sincere thanks to all involved for

One of the emirate’s much less well-known superlatives is the disproportionately high share of foreign workers in the total population. The greater part of Dubai’s economic productivity is

their valuable contributions.

generated by guest workers, and more than 90 percent of its inhabitants are foreigners, who come from more than 180 nations. However, this singular fact is barely mentioned in official descriptions of Dubai. Advertising campaigns and visions systematically portray a

The students’ projects and research are accompanied by guest authors from Dubai, whose professional perspectives also helped us dig deeper into certain topics during the research phase. Achim Bassa provides details on his experience as an architect and how construction

city run like a business. The maps, pictures and movies presented in magazines, on TV and on the internet are part of a deliberate branding of the city within an exclusively media-based

projects develop in Dubai. Joachim Schultz describes the planning of the Dubai Metro and a potential transformation of mobility in the city. Trevor Maltman gives us a look at construction

public sphere. Many of the animations and visualizations have yet to be built. Access to much of what has been built is limited or nonexistent. What is accessible is supplemented, in the branding’s spectacular birds-eye perspective, by an abrupt ground-level view from between

workers’ living conditions and everyday lives, while Scottish architect Ruth Christensen looks back on 18 years of living in Dubai, and Filipino architect Ben Kubba explains what he misses in the city.

cars or monotonous rows of identical apartment complexes. Copy and paste in reality. The sphere of activity is no longer an actual realm of experience, but rather the flat reality of a

Our thanks to our guests from Dubai at the University of Kassel—Achim Bassa, Joachim

In cooperation with students of visual communication | Prof. Gabriele Franziska Götz and of

rendering that is simply extruded into three dimensions. The built reality springs from a constructed image.

Schultz, Adina Hempel, Mirco Urban, Ruth Christensen—and our hosts in Dubai—George Katodrytis at the American University of Sharjah; Russell Sharfman of DSA Architects Intl. at Old Town Burj Dubai and Madinat Jumeirah; Trevor Maltman, Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd.; Do-

Fact & Fiction Dubai, a project in the visual arts division of the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Kassel, dealt with the

minik Wanders, Ticket DXB; John Kim and Tomas Gulisek, Burt Hill Architects; Green Building Council Abu Dhabi; RMJM at Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi; Nakheel at the Palm Jumeirah; Roswag

differential perception of the relationships between imagined, orchestrated, represented, planned, built and lived cities. Our methods were primarily artistic. An intentionally subjective view of the city was appropriate, we felt, for portraying the interplay of fact and fiction in the

& Jankowski Architekten at Fort Al Jahili in Al Ain; and Rami Farook at Traffic Gallery—as well as the Pfeiffer Stiftung in Kassel for their support of the project.

perception and construction of Dubai. Describing aspects of a place always means interpretation, just as it does in the writing of history in general. A personal focus and

Special thanks go to the participating students, who took up the challenge to strive for a productive openness in their perceptions and artistic practice. This book would not have been

researched facts are woven together into a story. In our project, we interrogated how fictions are created and what proportion of reality they comprise. We developed an especially acute eye for the aspects of the city that take place on the margins and behind the scenes.

possible without their involvement.

The division between fact and fiction was dissolved in some projects and thus consciously adopted as method in our creative activities.

Heike Klussmann, November 2009

PROJECT: NICOLAI KUDIELKA OBJECT: BOX SITE FOUND: DUBAI CREEK / HERITAGE VILLAGE At the airport in Qatar we had a layover before the flight to our ultimate destination, Dubai. Since we had no visa, we were not allowed to leave the airport. We were sitting near the entrance talking, slightly bored, when suddenly a man spoke to me. He introduced himself as Johannes Wegener, a fellow German. Like us, he was waiting for a connecting flight, so he sat down with us and asked where we were going. I told him what we were doing and described my personal project, which was supposed to deal with working conditions in Dubai. He told me he’d just come from Dubai, and as he did so he pulled a blue package out of his suitcase. He’d found it by Dubai Creek.


It came from a construction worker from India named Lakshman.

* The construction workers, according to their home countries’ embassies, are primarily men, most of them from rural areas and illiterate.


Intrigued, I examined the contents of the box, revealing a cricket ball and a sticker book, as well as a pocket mirror and personal photos with stories attached. I was especially fascinated by the pictures and notes, in which Lakshman described his daily life in Dubai and at the labor camp.

FAMILY: WIFE AND THREE CHILDREN HOME: INDIA GOAL IN DUBAI: TO EARN MONEY Johannes had tried to locate Lakshman through inquiries of his own, but to no avail. While he did find Lakshman’s camp, it seemed Lakshman hadn’t been there in quite some time. But though he failed to find what he was looking for, he had some interesting experiences along the way.

* Virtually no information describing actual working conditions in Dubai is available in the workers’ home countries.

RESEARCH: (....) i have to tell you, that we have more than 50 workers calles Laksman in our company (...)

Though Lakshman’s fate may be only that of a single person, there are many parallels to the lives of other workers in Dubai. Thousands of workers leave their homes in India to earn money in Dubai for their families. When our ight was called at last, Johannes gave me the box and wished me good luck with my project.

* 7KHUHDUHQRH[DFWÂżJXUHVRQIDWDODFFLGHQWVDWFRQVWUXFWLRQVLWHV as the companies deliberately suppress this information.

sample pages Fact & Fiction Dubai

the project: The goal of this project was to design a wood structure, that shows new and innovative ways on how to build with this traditional material. The structure was planned to be built on the premises of the Kunsthochschule Kassel.

the competition: In an internal project competition our concept (we designed the pavillion as a group consisting of Boris Koch, Andreas Brethauer, Velichka Strashimirova and me) was chosen to be realised.

the site: The site of the future pavilion is on the Kunsthochschule Kassel. Near the site are the main routes on the campus like the mensa, the library and the central auditorium as well as lots of green space bordering the Aue Park Kassel.

Fra nk fur ter Str .


The park is famous for beeing the spot, where the Aue Pavillion and the famous Ai Weiwei piece of art was located during Documenta 12.

A49 l Fu da


the design: Our design consist of four individual bands, that come from different directions of the building site and merge in an elegant loop. The structure offers different possibilities of use: sitting areas with tables and loungers, a bar, a tribune for watching the soccer tournament or cinema events on the campus and a small stage for perfomances. Our design supports the use that is already given in this area. The three main design factors in order of imortance were: functionality, the location and the form.








digital fabrication: The project is based on digital tools and automation of processes, to enable create many different components with high precision. That makes it possible to realise very complex and remarkable form languages. On this page you can see four different design systems. On the right hand side is my proposal: It consists of only one size of profile beams and is characterised by its always varying connection cuts. The structure on the left was chosen as the main construction system for the design. On the next page you can see the further development of this system.

the system: The system uses three layers of veneer board that can be assembled like a puzzle. This system enables the boards to follow the curvature and the smooth and continous shape on the side of each strap. These board packages are kept on distance by the use of bar spacers made out of wood or alternatively threaded steel rods. On top and partly on the bottom, the construction is planked with two layers of veneer board to gain a closed shape and good seating accommodations.

the project: The aim of this project was to desig gn a hybrid d bu uildiing that connects th hree ma ain functions:: know wledge e, com mmunication and culture. The building site e is located in Istanbul, on the Asian part Kadikรถy ne ear the famouss trainstation Haydarpassa. Situated directly y at th he river Bosporus, with a future metro sttatio on and d the tunnel through the Bospurus, this site is predestin nated d to fe eature a cultural instiitution.

photos building site and surroundings


urban analysis: On this page, the most formative places around the building site can be seen. The most remarkable building forms are the haydarpasa trainstation, the mosque next to the building site and the port facilities, as seen on the photos on the previous page.




green space railroad


main roads bus stops









knowledge reference library

film library

culture media library


event area

communication hamam

tea room

exhibition space

conference centre

100m² 200m²

300m² 500m²

600m² 800m² 1500m² 2500m²



600m² 350m²





guest rooms

communal facilities


the program / chart use of space semi public


external areas

central building services

other other

guest house guest house public



artificial light

artificial / natural light

natural light

the design: In my design, I seperated public and private spaces into two complexes which are again connected with the communication spaces in the basement. Big stairs outside above the basement attract pedestrians walking along the promenade to take a look on events or exhibitions. These two shapes spin towards each other around their atriums and elevator cores creating a kind of flow between them. On the east part of the complexes, big stairways float along the floors, taking off their spin. Culture and communication, like the name of the building implies, are the key features of this concept. The communicative parts, for example the tea rooms, the cafeteria and the hamam are situated in the basement. They link the outside with the bigger represantative complex as well as with the smaller more private complex. The public complex includes the libraries, the event area and the exhibition space. The private one includes the guest rooms, the administration and the research labs for example.

site map a

haidarpasa trainstation


golden horn





floor plan level 0

floor plan level 1

floor plan level 2

floor plan level 4

floor plan level 3

floor plan level 5

section a-a

section b-b

the facade: The complete structure is covered with a double layer fassade enabling different possiblities for design, producing electricity, advertisement, solar protection and generating different atmospheres with the incoming light. The folded skin is made of synthetic foil that can be moved or replaced. The proposal in my design is just one out of many variations, to create a special ambient in each room. On the scheme on this page you can see that the fassade uses photovoltaic elements on the membranes to generate electric energy. on the other hand it protects from the sun, but still enabling the visitor to enjoy the view over the bosporus. The ventilation is shown on the detail as well.

the project: The project aim was to design a temporary pavillon for Hessen-Forst that should be built and displayed on different fairs in Germany. The pavilion is an open air construction and therefore weatherproof. The main material of the building is wood.

the design: Observed from the distance, forests seem to be very dense structures and a sculptural shape. This impression changes with every step towards it, till the barrier, where the structure opens itself and gives you the access to a wide open space sequenced with single trees. In this design, we (cooperation with Marijan Severdija) tried to create a similar impression. We used standardised materials (8x16 cm wooden beams) that provide the framework for all the different functions of the pavilion. By using standardised materials we solved numerous problems like easy connections, small amounts of material and an easy transport - but also genarated a contrast to the natural shapes found in forests by generating similar impressions simultaneously.

the system: The wooden beams are used for the supporting framework. They are sequenced in three rows vertically and connected horizontally, to enable the different systems shown on the next page. Beside wood, we used translucent, waterproof textile membranes. These membranes expose the interior as well as protect it from rain. They are planar surfaces, which makes it easy to modify their appearance, for example printings or perforations. For the windbreaking system, we use the same textiles, which can be opened and closed flexibly. They can also be used as projection surfaces or serve as poster displays.

supporting framework




the program: b

ausstellung lounge





Hessen-Forst wanted the design to be flexible and adaptable to any situation. Other criteria were a storage room, an information desk and accessibility from every direction, as well as a friendly and bright appearance.




Our design is easy to modify and multifunctional in its usage. It contains many different spaces of various atmospheres.


situation exhibition

leinwand mitarbeiter

vortrag lager ausgabe garderobe


publikum foyer



floor plan

situation presentation

array furniture / curtains

section a-a

elevation left

section b-b

elevation front

elevation right

Intro: my work (Nicolai Kudielka)  

Portfolio 07/2011 of my work during my Architecture studies..

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