News archives
2004 News

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Table of contents:

January

February

March

April

May

June

Completed Projects:

Construction was completed on al-Hammamat al-Tunisiyya Boulevard in Aqaba. SANABEL for Landscape Design and Services, in a joint venture with Tibah Consultants, designed the 6,000 square-meter landscape project for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), at a total cost of 700,000 JD (around 986,000 $US).

Construction was completed on the main Amman branch of the National Bank of Kuwait in the banking district of Shmeisani. Dar al-Omran designed the 450 square-meter project, which consists of the rehabilitation of a preexisting building.

Construction was completed on the Linear Gardens in Amman. The Municipality of Greater Amman project, which is located between the visitors’ entrance of al-Hussein Medical City and the People’s Gardens, is a continuation of al-Hussein Gardens project. The park, which cost 2.5 million JD (around 3.25 million $US), includes a running track, a skiing plaza, bike trails, a football field, volleyball and basketball courts, as well as restaurants. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 4, 2004)

Construction work was completed on the restoration of the South Wall of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The Ministry of Islamic Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places carried out the 100,000 JD (around 141,000 $US) restoration work, which includes stabilization of the wall and replacement of damaged stones. The ministry also is studying carrying out restoration works on the east wall of the mosque, which are expected to cost 1 million JD (around 1.4 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, January 20, 2004)

Construction on the infrastructure works for the Wadi Qitar Gardens was completed. The project is the ninth phase of al-Hussein National Gardens, which the Municipality started implementing in 1993. The project, which occupies over 500,000 square meters, includes the planting of 50,000 cypress and olive trees. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 21, 2004)

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 Initiantion of Projects:

The Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC) currently is implementing 18 housing projects in various parts of Jordan at an overall cost of 23.5 million JD (around 33 million $US). Additional projects are planned in Amman, Azraq, Irbid, and Zarqa. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 15, 2004)

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 Completed Designs:

Designs were completed for a new hospital in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ). The hospital, which will be operated by the Royal Medical Services, will occupy an area of 250,000 square meters, and is expected to cost around 20 million JD (around 28 million $US). The 200-bed hospital is intended to accommodate the increased needs for medical facilities in the rapidly growing ASEZ. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 8, 2004).

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 New Commissions:

Arabtech - Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects were commissioned to design the Queen Rania Rehabilitation Hospital for Soldiers with Special Needs in Amman for the Royal Engineering Department. The 4,000 square-meter project consists of a rehabilitation center that includes physiotherapy and hydrotherapy facilities, administrative offices, a library, a club, and an internal courtyard. In addition, the project includes an ancillary building that will accommodate an information center, dormitories, and offices. Arabtech-Jardaneh will carry out the architectural, structural, electromechanical, interior, and hard landscape designs, as well as medical planning for the project. The project is expected to cost 2 million JD (around 2.8 million $US). 

The Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect were commissioned to design the extension of the National Orthodox School in Amman for the Orthodox Educational Society. The 6,600 square-meter project consists of the addition of classrooms, a swimming pool, a theater, and playgrounds, as well as refurbishing the existing school buildings.

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News from Academia:

Amer al-Jokhadar successfully defended his master’s thesis at the Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology. The thesis is entitled The Morphology of Education Buildings in Mamluk Architecture.

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Lectures:

Researcher Adel Mustafa delivered a public lecture at the Cervantes Institute in Amman on the work of Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926). The lecture was in conjunction with the photography exhibition that the institute organized on the architect. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 15, 2004)

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Exhibitions:

The Cervantes Institute in Amman organized a photography exhibition featuring works of Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926). The photographs are by Spanish photographer Mark Lima Righas. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 14, 2004)

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Other News:

The Irbid Greater Municipality carried out site visits to a number of heritage buildings in downtown Irbid to assess their present condition, and to develop a work plan and budget for their renovation. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 5, 2004)

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Completed Projects:

Construction is nearing completion on the Queen Rania Center in Tafila for the Tafila Development Corporation. The 1,500 square-meter project is situated on a 1.1-hectare site in the midst of a pine and cypress forest, and includes exhibition halls, a children’s library, and a multipurpose hall with a 600-person capacity. The 320,000 JD (around 451,000 $US) project is funded by the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. (Source: al-Ra'i, February 16, 2004)

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Initiation of Projects:

The Municipality of Greater Amman awarded a tender for the construction of the second phase of the Amman Tourism Beach project in Sweimeh, along the Dead Sea. The 719,000 JD (around 1 million $US) project will include pools, restaurants, and recreational facilities, and is expected to be completed in November 2004. The first phase of the project, which aims at encouraging local tourism in Jordan, was completed in June 2003. (Source: al-Ra'i, February 10, 2004)

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Completed Designs:

Tahhan and Bushnaq Architects completed designs for the upgrade and extension of buildings in the Princess Sumaya University for Technology campus in Amman. The 5,000 square-meter project is expected to cost 1 million JD (around 1.4 million $US). 

Symbiosis Designs completed designs for the Madi Plaza, located in the Abdun area of Amman. The 2,900 square-meter project will cost around 350,500 JD (around 490,000 $US).

The Jordanian Ministry of Education has invited tenders for the construction of three schools in the Karak Governorate at an expected cost of 1 million JD (around 1.4 million $US). The ministry also is carrying out expansions in eight schools in the governorate through the addition of fifty new classrooms, at a total cost of 0.5 million JD (0.7 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, February 11, 2004)

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News from Academia:

7 students received their bachelor's degrees in architecture from the Applied Sciences University in Amman.

Yamen al-Betawi successfully defended his master’s thesis at the Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology. The thesis is entitled Measuring Quality of Life in Cities: Setting Up Criteria for Amman. 

Siba Tawalbeh successfully defended her master’s thesis at the Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology. The thesis is entitled Re-Conceptualizing Urban Conservation Projects in Jordan: Towards a Multi-Discursive Approach.

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 Other News:

The Ministry of Public Works and Housing is proceeding with work on the first phase of the Airport Road Expansion project. The 4 million JD (around 5.6 million $US) project consists of expanding a 4.6-kilometer stretch of Airport Road - from the Eighth Circle to the Na’ur Intersection – into a six-lane, two-way road, and replacing the existing median with concrete barriers. This is the first phase of the 30-kilometer Airport Road expansion project, which is expected to cost 20 million JD (28 million $US). The first phase, which started in mid-October 2003, is set for completion in April 2004. (Source: al-Ra'i, February 10, 2004)

Construction continues on the first phase of the Salt Ring Road, which stretches 8.1 kilometers from the Amman-’Arda Road to al-Balqa’ Applied University in Salt. The 11.5 million JD (around 16 million $US) project carried out by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing consists of a four-lane, two-way road, and is set for completion in January 2006. (Source: al-Ra'i, February 11, 2004)

The Building Research Center at the Royal Scientific Society recently completed an Earthquake-Resistant Design Code that addresses minimum design requirements for earthquake-resistant construction. The code requirements are dependent on the specific location of buildings in the seismic areas of the kingdom, site geology, soil structure, building height, and structural system. The code requires, among other things, that a residential building has a maximum floor-to-ceiling height of 3.5m, and a maximum ratio of 1:3 for opening areas to load-bearing wall surface area. (Source: al-Ra'i, February 13, 2004) 

The Municipality of Greater Amman announced plans to commence a study on the conversion of the Amman downtown area into a pedestrian zone. The study, which will take into consideration historical, economic, social, and aesthetic factors, aims at restructuring the urban fabric in a way that would vitalize commercial and touristic activities, and to address the problems of traffic congestion in the downtown area. (Source: al-Ra'i, February 29, 2004)

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Completed Projects:

Construction work was completed on the Rehabilitation of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC) building in Amman. Bitar Consultants designed the project for HUDC. The 2,600 square-meter project cost 280,000 JD (around 394,000 $US).

The Municipality of Greater Amman inaugurated six public parks in Amman. The parks, which cost a total of 3.2 million JD (around 4.5 million $US), have included the planting of 17,000 trees, the development of open spaces and children’s playgrounds, and the installation of benches and umbrellas. The parks are located in the areas of Basman, al-Nasr, al-Zuhur, Marka, Muqabilayn, and Umm Tina, and occupy a combined total area of 5.2 hectares. The parks are part of the municipality’s efforts at increasing green open spaces in the city. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 5, 2004) 

Planting will be completed at al-Hussein National Park in Amman next April. Various components of this Municipality of Greater Amman project already have been completed, including museums, sports areas, and the cultural village. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 9, 2004)

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Initiation of Projects:

Construction work began on the first phase of the Shamiyyah Development Plan in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Dar al-Omran, in a joint venture with the American firm Gensler, designed the project for the ‘Aqar Holding Company. The project will be constructed in three phases with total areas of 800,000, 1,070,000, and 1,130,000 square meters, respectively, with project management carried out by the Lebanese firm Millennium.

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Completed Designs:

Bilal Hammad Associates completed conceptual designs for the 55,000 square-meter New Aqaba Mall in Aqaba for owner Eid al-Hawamdeh. 

The Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect completed designs for a School in Luanda, Angola. The 24,500 square-meter project comprises twenty-six classrooms housed in four buildings, in addition to a library, laboratories, and vocational and sports buildings. The project also includes landscape designs for the site.

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Lectures:

Rayan Abdullah, a leading corporate identity and corporate design expert from Germany, delivered a lecture at the al-Hussein Cultural Center entitled Building Brands: From Corporate Identity to Corporate Design- From Logo to Brand. The lecture was organized by Syntax Digital, in association with Bilal Hammad Associates, The Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE), The Municipality of Greater Amman, Maani Ventures, Media Scope, and The National Press. 

Khaled Kahhaleh, director of the Building Research Center at the Royal Scientific Society, delivered a lecture atc the Jordanian Architects Society entitled Architectural Considerations in the Design of Earthquake-Resistant Buildings. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 9, 2004)

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Other News:

The Municipality of Greater Amman has commenced studies and designs for the development and rehabilitation of heritage neighborhoods in the Jabal Amman area. The study aims at upgrading existing urban spaces through the refurbishment of sidewalks, and the introduction of planting, signage systems, and new paving. The municipality, through its newly–formed Heritage Section, plans to advocate a law that extends legal protection to Jordan’s cultural and architectural heritage beyond 1700 AD, the year to which current legislation extends. The Heritage Section is in the process of preparing a draft of special instructions for the protection of heritage buildings, and will present recommendations to the Jordanian Cabinet for the compilation of a registry of heritage buildings. It also intends to carry out fundraising activities to support restoration work for the buildings. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 2, 2004) 

The Municipality of Greater Amman has announced plans to close off a number of roads in the Amman downtown area to vehicular traffic for several hours on Fridays in April, on a trial basis, to assess the impact of the closures on the area. This move will be carried out in preparation for plans to convert the Amman downtown area into a pedestrian zone. The plan aims at vitalizing commercial and touristic activity, and putting an end to traffic congestion in the downtown area. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 16, 2004) 

The state-run MAWARED (The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation) hosted a meeting with representatives of the local banking sector. The meeting introduced investment opportunities in Mawared’s development projects in Jordan, including the ‘Abdali Regeneration Project in Amman, and the Zarqa New Garden City Project in Zarqa.

Mawared's development projects have drawn interest from several regional and international developers and investors. Last year, the corporation signed a strategic partnership agreement with Saudi-Oger, the Riyadh-based construction company, for the development of the ‘Abdali site.

The ‘Abdali Regeneration Project, a 30-hectare site, will represent an integrated mixed-use real estate development in the heart of the capital. Mawared and Saudi-Oger will form a Jordanian company that will manage the project. The new company’s responsibilities will include attracting investments, marketing, property management, and supervision of the implementation of the master plan for the ‘Abdali area.

Among the project’s foremost plans is setting up a “smart” infrastructure system of computer networks and speedy telecommunications. The project also will develop pedestrian streets, underground parking areas, and landscaped areas. It primarily will include a university, office buildings, recreational facilities, housing complexes, cultural facilities such as the King Hussein Memorial Library, and a ceremonial plaza that will link the site to three adjacent national complexes: the Parliament Building, the Justice Palace, and the King Abdullah I Mosque.

The project is expected to attract investments of about 570 million JD (800 million $US). The project’s American University of Amman, which will occupy an area of 6.2 hectares, will help attract such investments.

The Zarqa New Garden City Project is located on the site of the old military camp of Zarqa. The 2,500-hectare site will be built in six phases, starting with the pilot project, which covers an area of 250 hectares and is expected to cost 15 million JD (around 21 million $US). The site will include residential neighborhoods, shopping centers, and various service facilities. Bab al-Madina Suq, a gateway to the commercial heart of the Zarqa New Garden City, with its 3.3 km-long pedestrian commercial spine, is located within a civic plaza that also accommodates the proposed Zarqa Grand Mosque. The Suq will be easily accessible by public transport and pedestrian streets, and will offer new and diverse retail outlets, including dining, entertainment, and cultural facilities in a well-tempered indoor/outdoor environment.

The pilot phase of the project will provide housing for 23,000 inhabitants, while the whole project is intended to accommodate about 500,000 people over the next twenty years. The project will help relieve population densities and infrastructure pressures in Zarqa, which is considered one of Jordan’s most densely populated urban centers. Zarqa, the country’s second largest city, has a population of about 750,000 inhabitants. (Source: The Jordan Times, March 25, 2004) 

The Jordan Engineers Association issued building permits covering a total area of 8.1 million square meters in Jordan during 2003. Of these, 51% are located in Amman. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 30, 2004) 

The Municipality of Greater Amman developed a new amended Jordanian Building Code that allows buildings up to 30 stories high if certain requirements are met. The previous building code had a 15-story limit. The code stipulates a minimum site area of 1 hectare for high-rise buildings, surrounded by no less than two 20-meter-wide streets, and a maximum floor area ratio of 7.5. Other requirements include availability of a water well, and the on-site installation of water treatment systems for landscape irrigation purposes. The new code aims at meeting increased demand for construction licenses for large investment projects such as hotels, commercial centers, and office buildings. The code was amended in consultation with the Jordan Engineers Association, the Jordan Contractors Association, the National Electric Power Company, and the Jordan Hotel Association. (Source: The Jordan Times, March 31, 2004)

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Completed Projects:

Construction work was completed on the National Bank of Kuwait, located in Amman’s banking district of Shmeisani. Dar al-Omran designed the project. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 14, 2004)

Construction is nearing completion on the Wadi Rum Visitor Center in Wadi Rum for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), at a cost of 1.5 million JD (2.1 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, April 14, 2004)

Construction is nearing completion on the Prince Hamza Hospital in the Amman district of Tabarbur for the Jordanian Ministry of Health. The 55,000 square-meter project is located on a 13.8-hectare site, with a capacity of 420 beds, expandable to 530 beds. The new 24 million JD (33.8 million $US) hospital is intended to relieve pressure on Amman’s main public hospital, al-Bashir Hospital. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 21, 2004) 

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Initiation of Projects:

Construction began on the Madi Plaza, located in the Abdun area of Amman. Symbiosis Designs designed the 2,900 square-meter project that is expected to cost around 350,500 JD (around 249,000 $US).

The Jordanian Ministry of Education will commence construction on 200 schools across the Kingdom as part of a 380 million JD (around 535 million $US) five-year plan to upgrade Jordan’s educational sector. (Source: The Jordan Times, April 23, 2004)

The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) signed an agreement with the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation for the development of a housing project in al-Shamiyyah area, located in the northern parts of Aqaba. The 400,000 JD (around 563,000 $US) project consists of 50 housing units, each occupying 53 square meters, with the possibility of horizontal and vertical expansion. The project, which is set for completion by the end of 2004, aims at providing adequate low-income housing as part of an effort to improve social and economic conditions for the inhabitants of the area, and to organize and upgrade informal settlements in Aqaba. The Ministry of Planning and the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC) had carried out a 2 million JD (2.8 million $US) project for the development of infrastructure services in Shamiyyah last year. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 30, 2004)

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Completed Designs:

Dar al-Omran completed designs for the 43,000 square-meter Wadi Abu Jamil Residential Complex in Beirut, Lebanon for Solidere (the Lebanese Company for the Reconstruction of the Beirut Central District). 

Arabtech - Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects completed designs for the Queen Rania Rehabilitation Hospital for Soldiers with Special Needs in Amman for the Royal Engineering Department. The 4,000 square-meter project consists of a rehabilitation center that includes physiotherapy and hydrotherapy facilities, administrative offices, a library, a club, and an internal courtyard. In addition, the project includes an ancillary building that accommodates an information center, dormitories, and offices. Arabtech-Jardaneh carried out the architectural, structural, electromechanical, interior, and hard landscape designs, as well as medical planning for the project. Ihsan Farkoh was the external health facilities planner for the project, which is expected to cost 2 million JD (around 2.8 million $US).

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New Commissions:

Faris and Faris Architects were commissioned to design the Bank Audi head office in Amman, in addition to ten branches across Jordan for the Lebanese Audi Saradar Group. The 1,200 square-meter head office will be located in the Le Royale building in Amman. The branches will range in area from 100 to 500 square meter  

Arabtech - Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects were commissioned to design a Food and Environmental Laboratory in Aqaba for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA). The 2,600 square-meter project will include all facilities and amenities needed for a modern laboratory that monitors food and environmental quality nationwide. The UK-based firm Dewjo’c Architects carried out pharmaceutical health planning for the project, which is expected to cost 1.1 million JD (around 1.5 million $US).

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Competitions:

The Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE), in collaboration with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), announced the awards for the Competition for the Design of a Model Water- and Energy-Efficient Low-Income Expandable Housing Unit in Aqaba. The competition jury awarded the first prize to the entry by Ziad Kattan; the second prize to the entry by the team consisting of Florentine Visser, Ronald Vadeboncoeur, and Gert Jan Dirkx; and the third prize to the entry by the team consisting of Kayyali & Fasheh Consultants, and Rihab al-Ajam.

ASEZA will be hosting a ceremony to hand out the awards in Aqaba. It also will organize an exhibit for the entries of the competition.

The competition was managed by WEPIA (Water Efficiency and Public Information for Action), a program implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and funded by USAID (the United States Agency for International Development). Additional support for organizing the competition has been provided by the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The Royal Society of Fine Arts / The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts provided the venue for the competition jury. 

The Municipality of Greater Amman organized a competition for the design of al-‘Abdali Park to be located in al-‘Abdali Bus Terminal in Amman. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 5, 2004).

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 News from Academia:

The Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE), in association with the Royal Society of Fine Arts / The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, organized a three-week intensive course entitled Introduction to Water Conserving Landscape Design. Support for organizing the course was provided by WEPIA (Water Efficiency and Public Information for Action), a program being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and funded by USAID (the United States Agency for International Development). The course was taught by landscape architect Margaret Livingston of the University of Arizona in Tucson, with landscape architect Lara Zureikat of CSBE.

The Department of Art and Architecture at Petra University in Amman held an Art and Architectural Week from 19 – 22 April. The four-day event included lectures by architects Kamel Mahadin, associate professor at the University of Jordan, and Jafar Tukan, partner at the Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect. Exhibitions of the art and architectural work of students and graduates of the department also were held as part of the event.

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Lectures:

Ra’ef Najm, deputy chairman of the Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock Restoration Committee, delivered a lecture at al-Hussein Cultural Center entitled Islamic Architecture in Jerusalem. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 25, 2004)

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Exhibitions:

The Zara Gallery at the Grand Hyatt Amman in Amman held an exhibition featuring works by Jordanian architect and artist Ammar Khammash entitled “Foliage & Fire.”

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Other News:

The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) signed an agreement twinning the cities of Aqaba and Saint Petersburg. The agreement is expected to help boost relations between Jordan and Russia. (Source: The Jordan Times, April 1, 2004)

The Irbid Greater Municipality has prepared studies for the renovation of heritage buildings in Irbid and their adaptive reuse into art galleries, cultural centers, and arts and crafts workshops. The project aims at cataloging and preserving these heritage buildings, especially since there is an absence of legal protection for Jordan’s post-1700 architectural heritage. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 14, 2004)

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Completed Projects:

Construction work was completed on the General Motors and OPEL Showrooms along Mecca Street in Amman. Faris and Faris Architects designed the 2,100 square-meter project for the Abu Khader Automotive Company.

Construction work was completed on the Royal Diving Club in Aqaba. Faris and Faris Architects designed the 3,500 square-meter project for the Jordan Projects for Tourism Development Company. 

Construction work was completed on a low-cost housing project in the Azraq area in the eastern part of Jordan. The project, which is part of the Jordanian government’s Social Safety Nets Program in Azraq, includes the construction of 100 residential units for low-income inhabitants in the area. Each unit is located on a 750 square-meter plot and has a built-up area of 60 square meters. The individual housing units have been designed to allow for the possibility of future expansion. The total area of the project, which cost about 1.06 million JD (around 1.484 million $US), is 205,000 square meters. (Source: al-Ra'i, May 6, 2004).

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Initiation of Projects:

Construction began on the Disi Geological Museum, located in Disi in the south of Jordan. Faris and Faris Architects designed the 1,500 square-meter project for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA).

The University of Jordan awarded a 1.6 million JD (about 2.25 million $US) contract for the execution of a new emergency department for the University of Jordan Hospital in Amman to a joint venture of two local contracting companies. The 6,000 square-meter project will include operation theaters, x-ray rooms, examination rooms, an intensive care unit, storage facilities, and offices. (Source: al-Ra'i, May 14, 2004) 

Construction was initiated on the Ministry of Health hospital in Quwayrah, in the Governorate of Aqaba. The 50-bed hospital, which is expected to cost 4.5 million JD (6.3 million $US), is intended to serve the 45,000 inhabitants of the area. (Source: al-Ra'i, May 14, 2004)

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation initiated construction work on the rehabilitation and expansion of the Khirbat al-Samra Wastewater Treatment Station. The 169 Million JD project (around 236.6 million $US) is expected to be completed in three years. The first phase of the project will be operational after two years, at which point the station will function at 40% capacity. USAID (the United States Agency for International Development) is funding the project in the amount of 92 million JD (around 128.8 million $US). Additional funding is provided by the Swedish Agency for International Development and by loans from a number of local banks. (Source: al-Ra'i, May 19, 2004)

Construction work began on the second phase of the Eastern Baths Rehabilitation Project in downtown Jerash. The 452,000 JD (around 632,800 $US) project aims at connecting the Roman sites of the city with the modern downtown area through pedestrian trails. The first phase of the project, which cost about 400,000 JD (around 560,000 $US), was commissioned after the completion of excavation work in the area, and included the creation of paved plazas and the renovation of the main façade of the city’s Hashemite Mosque. The World Bank, through the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, has funded the two phases of the project. (Source: al-Ra'i, May 19, 2004)

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Completed Designs:

GDAR Group completed designs for the first phase of the Terraced Housing Estate in the Zarqa New Garden City in Zarqa for the state-run MAWARED (The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation). The 22,000 square-meter project consists of three phases of terraced row-houses located on 8.6 hectares of land on the site of the old military camp of Zarqa. The first phase of the project comprises 170 units of attached duplexes located around a communal garden, with unit areas being 120, 150, or 180 square meters. The Hassan Hindawi Office carried out structural designs, and the MIMAR Office carried out mechanical designs for the 3.8 million JD (5.35 million $US) project.

Tibah Consultants completed designs for the temporary location of the International Academy located in al-Hussein National Gardens in Amman. The project involves the adaptive reuse of a preexisting 2,700 square-meter building, and the addition of two new buildings with a total area of 2,000 square meters.

Design work was completed on the first phase of the Princess Salma Urban Complex. The project is part of the comprehensive development scheme that the state-run MAWARED (The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation) is executing on the site of the old military camp of the city of Zarqa. The three-phase project will include the construction of 500 residential units, 170 of which are scheduled for completion during the first phase of the project. (Source:al-Ra'i, May 12, 2004)

The Ministry of Education is planning to build five new schools in the Zarqa Governorate this year at a total cost of 4.2 million JD (5.88 million $US). The ministry also is preparing designs for 13 additional schools in the governorate at a total cost of 8.5 million JD (11.9 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, May 19, 2004)

Munir Hajjiri and Partners completed designs for the Prophet Hud Memorial and Mosque for the Ministry of Islamic Awqaf, Affairs and Holy Places. The 230,000 JD (322,000 $US), 2,200 square-meter project is located in Hud village in the Jerash Governorate. (Source: al-Ra'i, May 25, 2004)

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Competitions:

The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) held a prize-awarding ceremony in Aqaba for the Competition for the Design of a Model Water- and Energy-Efficient Low-Income Expandable Housing Unit in Aqaba. Also, a one-day exhibition in which all the entries in the competition were displayed was held in connection with the ceremony.

The competition was organized by the Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE), in collaboration with ASEZA. It was managed by WEPIA (Water Efficiency and Public Information for Action), a program implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and funded by USAID (the United States Agency for International Development). Additional support for organizing the competition was provided by the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The Royal Society of Fine Arts / The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts provided the venue for the competition jury.

Dar al-Omran was awarded first prize in a closed competition for the design of the Kordofan Trading Tower for the Kordofan Company in Khartoum, Sudan. The 25-story tower houses sho

wrooms and multipurpose halls on the lower floors, the Kordofan Company offices on three intermediate floors, and furnished apartments on the upper floors. The 40,000 square-meter project is expected to cost 1.42 million JD (20 million $US).

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Seminars:

The Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) participated in the International Water Demand Management Conference, which was organized by WEPIA (Water Efficiency and Public Information for Action), a program implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and funded by USAID (the United States Agency for International Development), and held at the Dead Sea.

Majd Musa, research and documentation officer and web site administrator at CSBE, presented to the conference a paper entitled Water Conserving Landscapes: The Jordanian Experience. The paper mainly describes the CSBE Water Conserving Landscapes Project, which CSBE initiated in March 2001, and which is concerned with the introduction and dissemination of the principles and practices of water conserving landscapes in Jordan.

In addition, winning entries in the Competition for the Design of a Model Water- and Energy-Efficient Low-Income Expandable Housing Unit in Aqaba, a competition organized by CSBE, in collaboration with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), and managed by WEPIA, were displayed in an exhibition held in connection with the conference.

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Other News: 

The state-run MAWARED (The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation) signed an agreement with the Austrian Hoffman Company according to which the latter would purchase 330,000 square meters in three areas in the urban complex that Mawared is developing on the site of the old military camp in the city of Zarqa. Accordingly, Hoffman will develop the site to include a shopping center, an amusement city, a mosque, a hotel, and various service facilities. In order to implement the project, the Hoffman Company has partnered with local investors in setting up a new company in Jordan called the Jordan Austrian Trade Company. Mawared’s Zarqa development project is estimated to cost around 590 million JD (around 830 million $US) in totality. (Source: al-Ra'i, May 12, 2004 and The Jordan Times, June 1, 2004)

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Completed Projects:

Construction was completed on the Ghweibeh Mosque located in the village of Ghweibeh in Ghor al-Safi in the southern Jordan Valley. Architect Ikrima Gharaybeh, in association with Tibah Consultants, designed the 350 square-meter project, which incorporates a stone vaulting construction system that does not involve the use of reinforced concrete. The 35,000 JD (around 49,000 $US) project also includes a graywater system that reuses the mosque’s ablutions water to irrigate plants in the inner court.

The Amman Wave Water Park has been inaugurated. The 45,000 square-meter project, which cost around 5 million JD (7 million $US), is located along Airport Road. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 15, 2004)

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Initiation of Projects:

Construction work began on the Anshasi Center located in Shmeisani. Tibah Consultants designed the four-story, 5,000 square-meter office building for entrepreneur Ibrahim Anshasi.

Construction work began on the temporary location of the International Academy located in the al-Hussein National Park in Amman. Tibah Consultants designed the project that involved the adaptive reuse of a preexisting 2,700 square-meter building, and the addition of two new buildings with a total area of 2,000 square meters.

The Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC) is preparing tendering documents for the first phase of the Government Employee Housing Project. The project, which occupies an area of 1,514,000 square meters, is located along the Mafraq-Zarqa highway. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 14, 2004)

The Department of Palestinian Affairs will start implementing a 750,000 JD (around 1.05 million $US) project to rehabilitate low-income houses in a number of refugee camps in Jordan. The Social Safety Nets Program will implement the project. The department previously implemented a similar project that rehabilitated 200 houses through funding from the European Union. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 21, 2004)

The Department of Public Works in the Ma’an Governorate currently is undertaking development projects in different parts of the governorate that amount to 2.53 million JD (around 3.54 million $US). The projects include constructing low-income housing complexes, youth centers, and a helicopter pad for the Ma'an Hospital. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 22, 2004)

The Ministry of Social Development, in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, initiated a 36 million JD (around 50.4 million $US) low-income housing project that includes constructing new houses and rehabilitating existing ones in different parts of the kingdom. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 21, 2004) 

The Ministry of Petra Engineering Industries Factory headquarters Petra Engineering Industries Factory headquarters signed a 99.4 million JD (140 million $US) agreement with the Dubai-based Omnix Group for the development of an area of 142,000 square meters along the Dead Sea. The project includes the construction of several hotels and a water park, all under the name of Crystal City. The Omnix Group is a development firm currently undertaking the 603.5 million JD (850 million $US) Dubai Pearl Project, which is scheduled for completion in two years. This project includes the Arabian Gulf region’s first opera house, along with over 2,000 residential units, offices, hotels, and retail centers. (Source: The Jordan Times, June 29, 2004)

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Completed Designs:

Bilal Hammad Associates completed designs for the 4,650 square-meter Petra Engineering Industries Factory headquarters in al-Muwaqqar for Petra Engineering Industries. The project includes the rehabilitation of an existing structure, and its development into a modern corporate building

Faris and Faris Architects commenced preparation of working drawings for the Children’s Museum in al-Hussein National Gardens in Amman. In February 2002, Faris and Faris Architects won second prize in a competition for the design of the museum that was organized by The Office of Queen Rania Al-Abdullah in association with the Omrania and Associates Omrania and Associates The 7,000 square-meter project is expected to cost around 2 million JD (around 2.8 million $US) 

The Amman office of the Riyadh-based Omrania and Associates completed designs for three Pool Complexes in Qatar, commissioned by the Qatar National Olympic Committee in preparation for the upcoming 2006 Asian Olympics, which will take place there. The schematic design phase of the project had been carried out in a joint venture with the Hong Kong-based architectural firm L&O Architects. Al-Ittihad Sports Club, which will host part of the Olympic events, will house the largest of these pool complexes with an area of 25,000 square meters. In addition to the Olympic pool, al-Ittihad Sports Club will house an Olympic diving pool, a full-length training pool, a children’s pool, and seating for 3,000 spectators. The column-free structure spans 160 by 70 meters and rises to a height of 25 meters. The Rayyan Club and Qatar Club pool buildings are 12,500 and 7,000 square meters respectively.

The Amman office of the Riyadh-based Omrania and Associates completed designs for the Taiba Headquarters Building in Medina, Saudi Arabia for the Taiba Investment and Real Estate Development Company. The three-story building is situated on a 6,200 square-meter site, and includes offices for various corporations, a multipurpose hall, dining and prayer halls, and underground parking facilities. It features a three-story high atrium, and a floating aluminum-clad lightweight roof. Omrania and Associates also carried out the landscaping and interior designs for the 10,500 square-meter project. 

SANABEL for Landscape Design and Services, in a joint venture with Tibah Consultants, completed designs for the landscape of the Aqaba Center – Darb Project in Aqaba. The 41,870 square-meter project for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) is expected to cost 2 million JD (around 2.8 million $US).

Symbiosis Designs completed designs for a Sports Health Center, located in the Abdun area of Amman for the Gravity Company for Athletic Investments. The 8,000 square-meter project is expected to cost 2.5 million JD (around 3.5 million $US).

The Cairo-based company Orascom completed designs for a Hotel in the Marina Town in the Tala Bay Tourist Complex in Aqaba for Near East Development. Farouq Tadros carried out landscape designs for the 5 million JD (around 7 million $US) project that is situated on a 1.8-hectare site.

Maha Bustani, Ala Gammoh, and Anan Kakani of the Department of Architecture at the Applied Sciences University completed designs for the first phase of the 11,000 square-meter landscape design project for the Applied Sciences University campus in Amman.

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New Commissions:

The Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect were commissioned to design 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 Consolidated Consultants were awarded the contract after winning first prize in a competition for the design of the project.

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News from Academia:

12 students received their bachelor's degrees in architecture from the Applied Sciences University in Amman.

The Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE), in association with the Royal Society of Fine Arts / the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, organized a three-week intensive course entitled Introduction to Islamic Architecture. The course was taught by architectural historian Yasser Tabbaa of Oberlin College. Visiting lecturers for the course included Wijdan Ali, Mohammad al-Asad, and Ghazi Bisheh.

The Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) in Irbid hosted a day of public lectures entitled Celebrating Young Emerging Architects in Bilad al-Sham. The event included lectures by Rami Daher of JUST, George Arbid and Abdul Halim Jabir of the American University of Beirut (AUB), Wa’el Samhouri of the University of Damascus, Jordanian architect Ammar Khammash, and Syrian architect Sinan Hassan.

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Lectures:

Husni Abu-Ghayda, the former Minister of Public Works, delivered a lecture in Amman at the Jordanian Architects Society on the construction sector in Jordan. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 29, 2004)

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Exhibitons:

The Cervantes Institute in Amman organized an exhibition featuring works of members of the Faculty of Arts and Architecture in Petra University. The exhibition included 45 works. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 15, 2004).

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Other News:

construction licenses for 2,178,000 square meters were issued in Jordan during the first quarter of 2004, compared to 1,528,000 square meters during the same period of last year, representing a growth rate of 42%. Of these, 1,800,000 square meters have been licensed for residential buildings and 406,000 square meters for commercial buildings. 64% of these licensed areas are located in Amman. A comparative rise affected the real estate sector. The revenues from the sales of real estate properties in Jordan reached 32.2 million JD (around 45.08 million $US) in the first four months of this year, compared to 19.5 million JD (around 27.3 million $US) during the same period last year. In 2003, the growth rate in the sales of real estate properties was 9.8%, compared to 2002. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 12, 2004) 

Amman Mayor Nidal al-Hadid and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley signed a twinning agreement between the two cities at a ceremony attended by King Abdullah II. With this agreement, Amman becomes the 24th sister city of Chicago. The twinning will offer opportunities for exchanges in various fields such as education, culture, health, and investment. (Source: The Jordan Times, June 13, 2004)

The departments of the Zahran and al-‘Abdali areas in the Municipality of Greater Amman initiated a beautification campaign that targets the main streets of the two areas. The campaign includes installing flowerbeds on sidewalks and street medians. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 13, 2004) 

The Jordan Projects for Tourism Development Company invited tenders for skeleton, finishes, and electromechanical works for the Marina Beach Hotel in Tala Bay in Aqaba. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 29, 2004)

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