The Palestinian Affairs Department completed a children’s park in the Baq’ah Refugee Camp for a total cost of 68,000 JD (95,600 $US). The park is part of a project that aims at achieving a sustainable improvement of living conditions in refugee camps in Jordan, for which a budget of 2.09 million JD (2.94 million $US) has been allocated. (Source: al-Ra’i, July 19, 2004).
Initiation of Projects:
Construction work began on a series of Primary Health Care Centers for the General Authority for Health Services of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The project is designed by Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects, in association with Hospital Designers & Planners (HDP Overseas) of the UAE. The project includes the design of five prototypes for health centers to be located in various locations in Abu Dhabi and al-‘Ain. The sizes of the prototypes range from 1,200 square meters to 4,500 square meters. Each center contains various facilities including radiology and dental departments, a laboratory, a maternity ward, administrative offices, and lecture halls. The total number of health centers is expected to reach twenty-two, and the cost for each center to range from 1.917 million JD to 5.68 million JD (2,7 to 8 million $US).
Construction work began on phase I of the Landscaping of the Applied Science University Campus, located in the Shafa Badran area near Amman. The project, which is designed by Maha al-Bustani, Ala Gammoh, and Anan Kakani of the university's Department of Architectural Engineering, occupies an area of about 11,000 square meters.
Construction work began on the Sports Health Center located in the 'Abdun area of Amman. Symbiosis Designs designed the center for Gravity Company for Athletic Investments. The 8,000 square-meter project will cost 2,5 million JD (3,5 million $US), and is expected to be completed in August 2005.
The Greater Amman Municipality commenced a 49,700 JD (70,000 $US) rehabilitation and maintenance project for Wasfi al-Tall Street, the busy three-kilometer long commercial road located between Nasir bin Jamil Street and the Jubilee Intersection. The project includes placing the electricity network underground and organizing traffic flow along the street. The service areas adjoining the street shops will be developed as parking areas separated from the main street by a slight difference in height. Also, street lights and landscaping will be improved, and benches will be provided for pedestrians. (Source: al-Ra’i, July 2004)
The Greater Amman Municipality has invited tenders for the construction of the Jordan Street / Yajuz Intersection. The 2,2 million JD (3 million $US) project, which is expected to be initiated in August 2004, will include a tunnel and eight loops to ease traffic flow in and out of the intersection. The Municipality also is preparing a tender for the Jabal al-Taj Tunnel, which will extend one kilometer and connect the Hashemite Plaza in downtown Amman with Yarmuk Street. (Source: al-Ra’i, July 2004)
The Ministry of Health has invited tenders for the expansion project of Jerash Hospital for the city of Jerash. The 640,000 JD (900,000 $US), 10,000 square-meter project will occupy a site of 6,500 square meters. The expansion will include clinics, a renal dialysis unit, a sterilization unit, administration offices, and a laundry. (Source: al-Ra’i, July 2004).
The Consolidated Consultants-Jafar Tukan Architect completed designs for the Shallalah Housing Project for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA). The final design is the result of several design development phases that have taken place since January 2003. The 28.4 million JD (40 million $US) project comprises the relocation of the 5,000 residents in the low-income informal settlements of the Shallalah area to 1,100 new residential units with playgrounds, schools, mosques, and other necessary facilities.
The Greater Amman Municipality completed the design of the Jabal al-Weibdeh Tunnel, and is gathering data for the design of the Jabal Amman Tunnel. The 600-meter long, two-lane wide Jabal al-Weibdeh Tunnel will connect the area of the Ministry of Finance with the traffic-light intersection next to Samir al-Rifa’i School. The 600-meter long Jabal Amman Tunnel will connect the traffic-light intersection next to the Samir al-Rifa’i School with the Ras al-‘Ayn area. The two tunnels will constitute part of the Amman Central Ring Road. (Source: al-Ra’i, July 25, 2004)
The Jordan Projects for Tourism Development (JPTD) signed an agreement with the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance for funding the construction of the Marina Beach five-star hotel in Tala Bay in Aqaba in the amount of 5 million JD (7 million $US). The hotel was designed by the Italian architect Alfredo Freda, and is estimated to cost about 12 million JD (17 million $US). The hotel, which occupies a site of 60,000 square meters, including a 280-meter long beach, is expected to open its doors to the public during the last quarter of 2006. (Source: al-Ra’i, July 12, 2004).
Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects were awarded the contract for the design and construction of the New Western District Hospital in Dukhan, Qatar for Qatar Petroleum. The 78,200 square-meter hospital is expected to cost 63.19 million JD (89 million $US). In developing the designs for this project, Arabtech-Jardaneh will collaborate on the project with Hospital Designers & Planners (HDP Overseas) from the United Arab Emirates, Gardiner Theobald International (GTI), the Arab Center for Engineering Studies (ACES), and MTC Surveys of Mustafawai Trading & Engineering Company (MTEC) from Qatar, and Interior Design Studio from Jordan.
The Consolidated Consultants-Jafar Tukan Architect, in a joint venture with HOK Canada, were commissioned to design the E-mall in the Shmeisani area of Amman for entrepreneur Wasef al-Jabsheh. The project comprises a hi-tech mall specialized in electronics and computers, as well as offices. The 17,500 square-meter project is expected to cost 5.68 million JD (8 million $US).
The Ministry of Public Works and Housing has commissioned local construction companies to carry out three road construction projects in Irbid, Amman, and Madaba for a total budget of 12.8 million JD (18 million $US). The first project includes the construction of a new 11.4-kilometer road connecting the main gate of the University of Jordan for Science and Technology with the city of Irbid as part of the city's Ring Road. The second project includes the reconstruction and expansion of the 16-kilometer road connecting the Na'ur / Hisban / Umm al-Basatin intersection with the main roundabout of the city of Madaba. The third project connects the Na'ur / Hisban / Umm al-Basatin intersection with the Yadudah Police Station. (Source: al-Ra’i, July 22, 2004)
Designs are being carried out for Jordan's tallest tower, to be named Burj al Urdun (Tower of Jordan). The 132-story structure, which will be located along Airport Road, is estimated to cost 355 million JD (500 million $US). The project also will include an Olympic sports stadium that conforms to FIFA standards, a hotel, a cultural center, and theaters. The top of the tower will hold a planetarium, a health club and spa, and restaurants. (Source: al-Ra’i, July 23, 2004).
News from Academia:
16 students graduated from the department of architecture at the Applied Science University.
The department of architecture at the University of Jordan held an exhibition featuring the graduation projects of its fifth year students. The projects included designs for the university’s Faculty of Art and Design, a Tourist Resort in ‘Ajlun, the King Hussein Memorial Library, the Ahl al-Kahf Historical Site Development, a Planetarium, and the Baq’ah Development Project. (Source: al-Ra’i, July 21, 2004)
Rami Daher, Chairman of the Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology, published an article in the Lebanese English daily newspaper The Daily Star entitled The old families of the Levant Rehabilitate their Cultural Heritage.
The Greater Amman Municipality and the Jordan Valley International Center for Studies organized a seminar entitled Traditional Architecture in the Northern Jordan Valley. The seminar was conducted at City Hall in Amman's Ras al-'Ayn area, and consisted of two sessions.
The first session was headed by Majdi Tawfiq, professor at the University of Jordan's Department of Architecture, and featured papers by architects Bilal Hammad, Mahmud Abu Jaber, and Mohammad al-Daghlis, as well as writer Hashim Gharaybeh.
The second session was headed by Rami Daher, assistant professor and chairman of the Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology, and featured papers by architects Ammar Khammash, Ikrima Gharaybeh, and Mervat Mamun, as well as writer Mohammad Miqdadi. (Source: al- Ra’i, July 22, 2004).
Construction was completed on the temporary location of the International Academy located in al-Hussein National Park in Amman. The project was designed by Tibah Consultants for the Greater Amman Municipality. The interior of a pre-existing 2,700 square-meter building in the park was adapted to accommodate the needs of the school. The project also included the addition of two new buildings, each of which is 2,000 square meters, adjacent to the old building in a manner that defines an outdoor gathering space for students. The new buildings are meant to contrast with the revivalist architectural vocabulary of the preexisting building through the use of simple forms and the introduction of color.
Initiation of Projects:
Construction work began on al-Manshar Rotana Suites Project in Fahaheel, Kuwait. The 33,000 square-meter project was designed by Dar al Omran for Tamdeen Real Estate Company. The project was designed in collaboration with the Dubai office of the Swedish firm LW Interior Design Group.
Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects completed designs for the Food and Environmental Laboratory in Aqaba for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA). The 2,600 square-meter project provides all facilities and satisfies international standards required of a nation-wide food and environmental quality control laboratory. The project is expected to cost about 1.1 million JD (1.55 million $US).
The Consolidated Consultants - Jafar Tukan Architect completed designs for the Apartment Hotel in Luanda, Angola for Sigma Gibb. The project is expected to cost 20 million JD (28 million $US).
The Consolidated Consultants-Jafar Tukan Architect completed designs for al-Qaddafi International Award Site for Human Rights in Tripoli, Libya. The 2.84 million JD (4 million $US) complex includes an auditorium, offices, audio-visual rooms, halls, a bank, and a restaurant.
The Consolidated Consultants-Jafar Tukan Architect were commissioned to design the Umm Bab Tower in Doha, Qatar for investor Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri. The 55,000 square-meter, 31-story residential/commercial tower consists of 235 apartments, restaurants, a health club, multipurpose halls, and retail stores. The project is expected to cost 25 million JD (35.2 million $US).
The Greater Amman Municipality announced the winning designs for the 'Abdali Park Project. Seven designs were submitted for the competition. Of those, Ammar Khammash Architects and Safwan Al-Naser Architects shared first place, and architect Marwan al-Jamal / Regional Engineering Office received third place. Construction on the project is expected to begin after the bus terminal that currently occupies the site is moved to Jordan Street during the second quarter of 2005. (Source: al-Ra’i, August 31, 2004).
Mamdouh Bisharat and the French Cultural Center held an exhibition of photographs by the Iranian photographer Payram entitled 12 Faysal Street. Payram took the black and white Polaroid photographs featured in the exhibition during his stay in Jordan in 2003. The photographs focus on Faysal Street, one of modern Amman's oldest streets. The exhibition was held at Mamdouh Bisharat’s Diwan, which is located along Faysal Street in downtown Amman. (Source: La Gazette du Centre, no. 19, August/September 2004)
Gulf International Exhibitions organized the Middle East International Building Exhibition: Buildex 2004 in the Amman International Exhibition complex. Over 120 international construction companies participated in the three-day event. (Source: al- Ra’i, August 2004)
The Department of Lands and Survey registered a 67% increase in income during the first half of 2004 in taxes on real estate transactions. Statistics also indicate there has been a 35% increase in the total square area of construction projects in comparison with the past year, whereas there has been a 29% increase in the number of permits given within the period under study. (Source: al-Ra’i, August 28, 2004).
Initiation of Projects:
The Public Transport Regulatory Commission invited companies to bid for the construction of a 25.9-kilometer light railway commuter network connecting the Raghdan area in Amman with the city of Zarqa. Most of the railway's main route will be constructed within the existing Hijaz Railway right-of-way connecting al-Mahatta (Amman's Hijaz Railway station) and the Zarqa New Garden City. The railway system is intended to meet the needs of the continuously increasing passenger traffic between Amman and Zarqa, which together have a combined population of 2,900,000 residents. The dual-track railway is expected to cost around 70 million JD (100 million $US), and will be developed either on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) or a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis. The electricity-powered trains will be environment friendly, especially when compared to trains running on diesel fuel. Work on the railway is expected to start in a few months and to end in 2008. An additional 18 kilometers of railway connecting Raghdan with the 'Abdali area, the Sports City, the University of Jordan, and Sweileh will be built by early 2009. A feasibility study for the railway was prepared by Australia Rail Engineering in 1996. The study was updated in 1998 and in 2003 by the Japanese firm PADECO and the Consolidated Consultants. (Source: The Jordan Times, September 2, 2004)
The Greater Irbid Municipality completed a tender for a project to turn the city business center into a cultural area that includes piazzas, cultural venues, public parks, restaurants, and entertainment facilities. The project aims at preserving the cultural identity of the old city, and will include the adaptive reuse of some of its historical buildings. The area will be divided into three separate zones: 'Arar Street, the Gold Market (Suq al-Saghah), and al-Afrah Plaza. (Source: The Jordan Times and al-Ra’i, September 5, 2004).
The Consolidated Consultants - Jafar Tukan Architect completed designs for a Multi-story Car Park in Doha, Qatar for the Ministry of Municipal and Agricultural Affairs. The six-story, metal-façade building will provide parking space for 750 cars. The project is expected to cost 5.85 million JD (8.24 million $US).
Multi-story Car Park
Bitar Consultants were commissioned to design the APMT Administration Building in Aqaba for APM Terminal Jordan. The 2,500 square-meter project is expected to cost 1.2 million JD (1.7 million $US).
The Consolidated Consultants - Jafar Tukan Architect, in a joint venture with Sigma Group from Angola, were commissioned to design the ESSO Housing Community Project in Luanda, Angola for ESSO. The 40,000 square-meter project will include single-family houses, a community center, a fitness complex, and open spaces.
Bitar Consultants were commissioned to design the redevelopment of the gateway to the historical city of Petra for the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The 5,485 square-meter project is expected to cost 3.36 million JD (4,7 million $US).
Rami Daher, Chairman of the Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology, delivered a lecture at the Amman City Hall on the rehabilitation of Amman’s social and urban heritage. The lecture inaugurates the Heritage Lecture Series organized by the Heritage Department at the Greater Amman Municipality.
The French Cultural Center held an exhibition for the Jordanian architect, painter, and graphic designer Ala' Younis. (Source: La Gazette du Centre, no. 19, August/September 2004)
The Jordan Construction Contractors Association and the Ministry of Labor are developing a training plan for the local construction labor force in order to meet the increasing demand on skilled labor in the domestic construction sector. With 100,000 job opportunities available in the construction sector, this training plan can help reduce Jordan's 12.5% unemployment rate. (Source: The Jordan Times, September 19, 2004)
The prices of cement and steel bars have risen sharply in the domestic market. The price of cement has gone up by about 25% to reach 63 JD (90 $US) per ton, and the price of steel has gone up by 50% to reach 445 JD (630 $US) per ton. (Source: The Jordan Times, September 19, 2004)
The Greater Madaba Municipality signed an agreement twinning Madaba with one of the suburbs of the Spanish capital Madrid. (Source: al-Ra’i, September 16, 2004)
The third issue of the Jordanian engineering and architecture magazine Ab'ad came out. The magazine includes articles by architects Majdi Fasheh, Jamal al-Joucka, Ayman Karazon, and Firas Sharaf; planner Anas Qattan; and engineers Ammar Khalifeh and 'Abd al-Wahab al-Ruwwad. (Source: al-Ra’i, September 19, 2004)
Initiation of Projects:
Construction work began on the E-Services Center in Libb Village in Madaba. The project is for the Amir Program (Achievement of Market-Friendly Initiatives and Results program), an economic opportunity project funded by USAID (the United States Agency for International Development) and implemented in partnership with the Jordanian private sector and government. The project, which was designed by CDG (Community Development Group Engineering and Management Associates), involves the restoration of two preexisting traditional rubble-stone buildings, and aims at preserving the village’s cultural and traditional heritage while providing modern services. The project consists of 300 square meters of built areas and 275 square meters of landscaped areas, and is expected to cost 48,265 JD (68,000 $US). ZARA Office carried out the electro-mechanical designs for the project, and al-Karnak Contracting Company is the project’s construction contractor.
Construction work began on the E-Village for UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) in Libb Village in Madaba. CDG (Community Development Group Engineering and Management Associates) designed the project, which involves the restoration of two preexisting traditional rubble-stone buildings. The project, which includes 220 square meters of built areas and 992 square meters of landscaped areas, is expected to cost 35,600 JD (50,000 $US). ZARA Office carried out the electro-mechanical designs for the project, and al-Karnak Contracting Company is the project’s construction contractor.
Jordan launched the first major restoration of the walls of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jeruslalem since the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent in the 16th century. The work is part of a long-term program funded by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to restore the historical sites of the Old City. Earlier in 2004, the restoration team finished a year-long mission to repair the southern wall of al-Aqsa after detecting bulges and holes caused by rainwater infiltration. In February, they carried out similar work on the east wall. The latest restoration work uses a sophisticated "tension rod system" to drill holes into columns of the wall. The work also involves injecting a special lime binding material into the cracks and holes that have appeared across the outer layer of the wall. The cost of the current operation is estimated at 140,000 JD (200,000 $US), and the full restoration work of the other walls and of other structures in the city is estimated to cost 100 million JD (140 million $US). (Source: The Jordan Times, October 28, 2004)
The Greater Madaba Municipality announced that it will commence the Development of the Center of Madaba City Project within the first quarter of the year 2005. The total cost of the project is expected to reach 7 million JD (10 million $US). Sigma Consulting Engineers has completed technical, social, and economic studies for the area. The project will include several small projects including the transformation of Madaba into an arrival gate to Jordan by linking the city with the Queen Alia International Airport and developing it as a transit station for travelers. This includes providing necessary facilities such as hotels and restaurants. Also, as part of the project, the city will be linked to the Dead Sea through the Dead Sea Panorama Project.
The project will include the improvement of the city’s road network and parking areas. It also will develop a traditional market in the old bus station complex, as well as a Turkish bath and a fruit and vegetable market. The King Talal Street will be converted into a pedestrian area; surrounding streets will be upgraded; and a modern information center and public open spaces will be created. In addition, the Madaba Museum, along with several other historical buildings, will be rehabilitated.
Sigma Consulting Engineers also is conducting a study on the development of the nearby historic Mount Nebo area. The 7,000,000 square-meter project will include the establishment of promenades, parking spaces, restaurants, and public toilets.
The municipality also announced that a tourist village will be constructed in the town of al-Faysaliyyah for a cost of 400,000 JD (560,000 $US). The project will include restaurants, cafes, and traditional shops. (Source: al-Ra’i, October 11, 2004)
The Greater Amman Municipality has completed preliminary designs for the King Abdallah II Park project. Construction is expected to begin by the end of 2005. The 150,000 square-meter park will be located in the Basman area of Amman, along Istiqlal Street. The park will include playgrounds, bicycle tracks, surfaces on which artists may paint, an art gallery, a library, an information technology center, restaurants, as well as open spaces and parking lots. The project is expected to cost 4 million JD (5.635 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, October 5, 2004).
The Ministry of Public Works and Housing received technical offers for the Amman-Zarqa Railway project from 15 international companies. The project is estimated to cost 85 million JD (120 million $US), to be covered by private investors, 40 million JD of which will be spent on infrastructure. The project will comprise four phases: The first will be 28 kilometers long and will extend from Zarqa to the Raghdan station in Amman, the second phase will be from the Raghdan station to the Ras al-'Ayn area, the third phase will be from the Raghdan station to the 'Abdali area and to Sweileh, and the forth phase will be from the Raghdan station to the Queen Alia International Airport. (Source: al-Ra'i, October 20, 2004)
The traffic department in the Greater Amman Municipality has recommended projects for the establishment of parking spaces in the commercial area of Sweifieh. The municipality will commission a specialized organization from the private sector to carry out the project. The recommendations included the use of empty plots in the area as parking spaces on a temporary basis, requiring building owners to provide parking spaces for those working in their buildings, and organizing the road network inside the area to relieve traffic congestion. The municipality also will be buying empty plots for use as parking spaces. It is allocating a budget of 1 million JD (1.4 million $US) for this purpose this year, and 2 million JD (2.8 million $US) next year. (Source: al-Ra’i, October 12, 2005)
Dr. Yaghmour & Associates Consulting Architects & Engineers won first prize in a closed competition for the design of the University Graduates Union Complex in the Jubayha area of Amman for the University Graduates Union. The 12,000 square-meter project is a mixed-use complex that will consist of a shopping mall, offices, and furnished studios. The project is expected to cost 3 million JD (4.225 million $US).
The Greater Amman Municipality has announced it will assign a monthly award of 500 JD (700 $US) for the best suggestion regarding the beautification of Amman. The award will be initiated in November 2004 and will continue until the end of 2005. (Source: al-Ra'i, October 12, 2005)
News from Academia:
Prince Charles of Wales visited the College of Islamic Art at the Balqa Applied University. More than 30 architects, planners, and designers attended the visit. During the visit, several issues were discussed, including local identity and the heritage of Islamic art, the role of traditional architecture in the preservation of the identity, and the impact of architectural projects on the identity of urban spaces. (Source: al-Ra’i, October 28, 2004)
The Greater Zarqa Municipality announced that its revenues for the past year reached 10.5 million JD (14.79 million $US), and that its expenses amounted to 10.75 million JD (15.14 $US), 6.75 million JD (95 million $US) of which were spent on employees' salaries. With this, the municipality’s budget deficit is 250,000 JD (352,000 $US). The municipality also announced the creation of a few income-generating projects to enhance its revenues, including the construction of a cement tile factory and a brick factory, and expanding its preexisting metal containers factory. Through the past year, the municipality completed several projects in the city including the installation of traffic lights and the opening of new streets. There are also plans to replace existing road bumps with vehicle-friendly ones. (Source: al-Ra'i, October 7, 2004)
The Greater Amman Municipality has approved its 2005 budget, which will amount to 114.11 million JD (160.7 million $US). Expected revenues for 2005 are estimated to reach 99.175 million JD (139.7 million $US). Accordingly, the municipality expects a budget deficit of about 14.934 million JD (21 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, October 13, 2004).
Construction work was completed on the upgrade and extension of the Princess Sumaya University for Technology campus in the Jubayha area in Amman. The 5,000 square-meter, 1 million JD (1.4 million $US) project was designed by Tahhan and Bushnaq Consultants. The construction contractor for the project was Raja Samawi Contracting Establishment.
Phase I of work on establishing a national park in Petra, which started in July, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2004. The park is to be developed on a 50,000 square-meter site, and will overlook the main sites of the historic city, including the tomb of the Prophet Harun (Aaron), the Byzantine Church, and Qasr al-Bint. The whole project is expected to take three years before it is completed. According to official figures, Petra has experienced a 237% increase in the number of tourists visiting it during the first half of 2004 compared to 2003.
The Petra Region Authority has completed the development of more than 45 kilometers of new roads, and paved around 75 kilometers of streets, in addition to erecting 500 road signs in the Petra area. It also is implementing a 400,000 JD (534,000 $US) project for using treated wastewater for irrigation. This wastewater treatment project is part of a 27 million JD (39 million $US) project for the development of the sewage system in the area that is funded by the USAID (United States Agency for International Development). The first stage of the project includes planting an area of 1,069,000 square meters surrounding the water treatment facility and irrigating it with treated wastewater. (Source: The Jordan Times, November 8, 2004)
Initiation of Projects:
Construction works on the new Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs building will start within the next three months. The 12,500 square-meter building will house all the departments of the ministry, and is expected to cost 3,5 million JD (5 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, November 8, 2004)
The Consolidated Consultants-Jafar Tukan Architect completed designs for the Ministry of Agriculture building in Amman for the Ministry of Public Works and Housing. The 15,000 square-meter building is expected to cost 7 million JD (10 million $US).
Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects were awarded the contract for the design of the Uweirij Site Development Project in Baghdad, Iraq for Gulf Group Contracting Company. The project includes the development of a master plan as well as the design of various facilities for the site. The 50,000 square-meter project is expected to cost 142 million JD (2 million $US).
New from Academia:
Ala Gammoh joined the Department of Architecture at the Applied Science University as an instructor.
As part of a project that aims at documenting architectural facades in Jordan, Mu'ta University published a volume on the city of Karak by author Nayif al-Nawayseh. The complete project will cover a number of Jordanian cities, and will consist of 12 volumes. The volume on Karak includes geographic and historical data on the city, detailed architectural drawings, and over 300 photographs. (Source: al-Ra'i, November 6, 2004).
Claude Chaline, professor at the Urbanism Institute of Paris – University of Paris XIII, delivered a lecture entitled City Growth and Urban Regeneration at the French Cultural Center.
As part of the activities of the Sixth Annual Exhibition for Graduation Projects, the University of Jordan held a series of lectures on modern architecture in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. The lectures were delivered by professors from the universities participating in the exhibition. (Source: al-Rai, November 30, 2004).
Mohammad al-Asad, Director of CSBE, and Majd Musa, Documentation Manager and Web Site Administrator at CSBE, co-authored an article on energy efficiency in architecture entitled The Built and Natural Environments: Reaching a State of Positive Coexistence. The article appeared in a special issue of Architectural Design entitled Islam and Architecture. (See al-Asad, Mohammad, and Musa, Majd. “The Built and Natural Environments: Reaching a State of Positive Coexistence.” In Islam and Architecture (a special issue of Architectural Design) 74, no. 6, London: Wiley-Academy, 2004. pp. 54 – 63.)
112 newly graduated engineers joined the Jordan Engineers Association, thus bringing the number of registered engineers in the country to 57,000, of whom 5,028 are architects. (Source: al-Ra'i, November 7, 2004)
The Greater Amman Municipality began construction work on a youth club and shops that will occupy a significant part of al-Wifaq Park, located near al-Wahah roundabout. The 8,700 square-meter site originally was donated by local residents for a public park for the neighborhood. Since the club and shops project will greatly reduce the area of the only open public space in the neighborhood, a number of the neighborhood’s residents have taken the municipality to court on the grounds that the decision changes the public use of that site and therefore is illegal. (Source: al-Ra'i, November 7, 2004).
Construction work was completed on the King Hussein bin Talal Convention Center along the Dead Sea. The center was designed by Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects in collaboration with al-Sharkyoun and Wimberly Allison Tong & Geo (WAT&G) for the King Abdallah II Development Fund. The construction contractor for the 24,100 square-meter project was Haddadin Engineering Company for Contracting.
Construction work was completed on the E-Services Center in Libb Village, Madaba. The project is for the Amir Program (Achievement of Market-Friendly Initiatives and Results program), an economic opportunity project funded by USAID (the United States Agency for International Development) and implemented in partnership with the Jordanian private sector and government. The project was designed by CDG (Community Development Group Engineering and Management Associates) and involved the restoration of two preexisting traditional rubble-stone buildings. The project, which cost 48,265 JD (68,000 $US), consists of 300 square meters of built areas and 275 square meters of landscaped areas. The construction contractor for the project was al-Karnak Contracting Company.
Construction work was completed on the E-Village for UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) in Libb Village, Madaba. CDG (Community Development Group Engineering and Management Associates) designed the project, which involved the restoration of two preexisting traditional rubble-stone buildings. The project, which cost about 35,600 JD (50,000 $US), consists of 220 square meters of built areas and 992 square meters of landscaped areas. The construction contractor for the project was al-Karnak Contracting Company.
Construction work on the second and third phases of the 2,000,000 square-meter Amman Tourist Beach project along the Dead Sea is scheduled for completion by the end of March 2005. As part of its plan for the development of the tourism sector in Jordan, the Greater Amman Municipality is planning to build chalets on the Dead Sea shore that would be rented at affordable rates. With a budget of 1 million JD (1.4 million $US), the second phase of the project will include swimming pools, playgrounds, a cafeteria, toilets, parking, green spaces, showers, plazas, terraces, pergolas, and benches. The third phase includes an amusement park. The total number of tourists to have visited the Amman Tourist Beach in 2004 was 300,000 people. (Source: al-Ra'i, December 30, 2004)
Initiation of Projects:
Construction work started on a new bus terminal, two commercial towers, and an old market area in Aqaba. The new projects are to be run by the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC). Current projects in Aqaba include the Intercontinental Hotel, which is expected to open in the spring of 2005, two new four-star hotels that currently are under construction in the suburbs of the city, and a new five-star hotel that is being built in Tala Bay. With 330 rooms, this five-star hotel will be the largest in Aqaba. Also, construction work on the Aqaba lagoon is expected to start during the first quarter of 2005, and the American University in Aqaba is due to open in 2009. In addition, ASEZA (the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority) has signed a deal with International Global Education System to build a new school in Aqaba at a cost of 5.68 million JD (8 million $US). (Source: The Jordan Times, December 6, 2004).
The Consolidated Consultants-Jafar Tukan Architect completed the design of the King Hussein University Campus in Ma’an. The design includes administrative buildings, colleges, classrooms, and multipurpose halls with an area of 50,000 square meters. The cost of the project is estimated at 15 million JD (21.185 million $US).
The Consolidated Consultants-Jafar Tukan Architect completed the design of the QIPCO Residential Towers in Qatar. The project comprises two 29-story towers that house 330 apartments, in addition to restaurants, multipurpose halls, and retail stores. The 115,000 square-meter project is estimated to cost 60.35 million JD (85 million $US).
The Greater Amman Municipality has completed the first draft of the study for the amendment of sidewalk regulations in Amman. The study included specifications for sidewalks and street vegetation. Accordingly, only canopy deciduous trees with trunks of no less than 2 meters high will be allowed so as not to impede pedestrian movement. The trees also should have relatively deep roots so as not to damage the sidewalks or surrounding walls; should be able to withstand pollution and disease; and should be water conserving as well as relatively fast growing. In addition, sidewalks to be planted with trees should be no less than 2 meters wide. The trees should be planted at 50 centimeters from the edge of the sidewalk. The width and length of the tree pits should be no less than 60 centimeters, the depth should be no less than 80 centimeters, and the tree pits should be insulated against water leakage. The trees also should be planted 6-8 meters apart. (Source: al-Ra'i, December 5, 2004)
The Greater Amman Municipality has finished a study for the development and renovation of the old houses of Jabal Amman. It also is setting up a mechanism for the preservation of old houses in Amman in general. The study includes the rehabilitation of urban spaces in Jabal Amman, including streets, intersections, stairs, sidewalks, and street furniture. The project is part of a series of similar projects that the municipality intends to implement. The municipality has allocated 300,000 JD (420,000 $US) of its 2005 budget for buying a number of houses for the purpose of renovation and reuse as heritage museums. The municipality also has started putting instructions and regulations for the preservation of historical buildings that include prohibiting the demolition of these buildings or any part of them, prohibiting additions without the prior consent of the municipality, and adhering to pre-set standards of architectural and urban design in historical sites. (Source: al-Ra'i, December 12, 2004).
Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects, in a joint venture with Swanke Hayden Connell and architect George Trew Dunn (SWHC/GTD), were awarded a contract to carry out a feasibility study for the design of hospitals in the cities of Aden and Hudeida in Yemen for the Yemeni Ministry of Health. The Aden hospital is intended to occupy an area of 55,000 square meters, and the Hudeida hospital is intended to occupy an area of 45,000 square meters. The cost of both projects is estimated at 71 million JD (100 million $US), to be funded by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and the Yemeni Government.
The Consolidated Consultants-Jafar Tukan Architect were commissioned to develop the Irbid Urban Regeneration Project in Irbid for the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The project includes preparing a development plan, historical studies, heritage studies, traffic studies, and historical documentation. The Irbid Urban Regeneration Project is expected to cost 15 million JD (21.260 million $US).
The results of the King Abdallah II Award for Creativity were announced at al-Hussein Cultural Center in Ras al-‘Ayn. The development of Riyadh project in Saudi Arabia won first place for the field of the Arab City. 38 entries from 8 Arab countries were submitted to the competition. These included written books submitted by architectural historians; completed architectural projects submitted by architects and artists; urban development projects submitted by municipalities and institutions; and research papers submitted by individuals. The jury consisted of architects Kamel Mahadin and Ali Abu Ghanimeh, both from the faculty of the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan, and Mashari bin ‘Abd al-Na’im from Saudi Arabia. (Source: al-Ra'i, December 29, 2004).
News from academia:
Hazim al-Nijaidi, assistant professor at the Applied Science University, presented a paper entitled Tradition and Criticality: Architectural Concepts and Form in the Arab World in the Post Traditional Environments in a Post Global World conference held in Sharjah, The United Arab Emirates.
The French Cultural Center held an exhibition of photographs of the city of Salt that featured photographs of city’s historical buildings. (Source: La Gazette du Centre, no. 21, December 2004)
Majd Musa, Documentation Manager and Web Site Administrator at CSBE, presented a paper entitled Water Conserving Landscapes: The Jordanian Experience to the Cityscape 2004 Conference held in Dubai between November 29 and December 1. The paper mainly describes the CSBE Water Conserving Landscapes Project, which CSBE initiated in 2001. The project is concerned with the introduction and dissemination of the principles and practices of water conserving landscapes in Jordan.
Preliminary reports from the Central Bank of Jordan showed an increase in construction activities for residential and non-residential purposes for the year 2004. The area of non-residential construction was 213,100 square meters, marking the highest figure since the beginning of the year. Amman took the biggest share in construction activity. Irbid came in second in residential construction, and Zarqa in non-residential construction. The total constructed areas in the country from January to October 2004 were 8,442,300 square meters, and the total number of building licenses was 23,000. Corresponding statistics for the same period of last year were 6,972,700 square meters and 20,000 licenses. Residential construction in Amman amounted to 710,700 square meters in October, 710,000 in September, 747,800 in July, 746,500 in June, 718,700 in May, 724,200 in April, 732,700 in March, and 440,300 in February. Non-residential construction in Amman was 213,100 in October, 140,000 in September, 179,100 in August, 211,600 in July, 157,700 in June, and 89,200 in February. Residential construction in Amman amounted to 61% of the total construction area in the Kingdom, 14% in Irbid, 8% in Zarqa, and 17% for the rest of the country. (Source: al-Ra’i, December 30, 2004)
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