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Construction work was completed on al-Maghtas, or Baptism site, for the Jordan Valley Authority of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The site, which borders the Jordan River, is identified as the location where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. Dr. Yaghmour and Associates Consulting Architects and Engineers were responsible for the design of the project's visitors' center complex, which consists of several buildings that provide services for pilgrims to the site. The buildings include public services facilities, restaurants, a bazaar area, and VIP quarters. The Consolidated Consultants for Engineering and Environment were responsible for engineering and infrastructure designs for the project, and S. M. Dudin Architects and Engineers carried out the landscape designs for the three-square-kilometer site. The total cost of the project is 5 million JD (7.1 million $US).
Preparations are underway for the opening of the Wadi Saqra Consulting Hospital in Amman. An agreement was signed for the final phase of architectural works for the project with Al-Shanti Engineering Group and al-Ittifaq Contracting Company.
Initiation of Projects
Construction work began on Mecca Mall in the Umm al-Summaq area in Amman. Mounir Hajjiri and Partners designed the 55,000 square-meter project for the Kurdi Group. Sabri Farah is the contractor for the 14 million JD (20 million $US) project. The five-floor building is comprised of a pre-cast, pre-stressed structural skeleton and will include shops, recreational areas, cinemas, and restaurants.
Dar al-Omran completed designs for a heart surgery and kidney dialysis center in Astana, Kazakhstan. The 3,900 square meter project is expected to cost 3.5 million JD (5 million $US).
Dar al-Omran was commissioned to design an ice skating arena in Zouk, Lebanon for Al-Rabih Real Estate Development Company. The 4,500 square-meter project is a rehabilitation of an existing building and is estimated to cost 700,000 JD (1 million $US).
The Jordan Projects for Tourism Development Company organized a closed competition for the design of three hotels for the Tala Bay Tourist Complex in Aqaba. The project occupies a total area of 57,500 square meters and includes a 300-room two-star hotel, a 400-room three-star hotel, and a 450-room four-star hotel. Participants in the competition include Faris and Faris Architects, Tibah Consultants, S. M. Dudin Architects and Engineers, and Ammar Khammash Architects.
News from Academia
Fuad Malkawi, assistant professor and chairman of the Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) in Irbid, presented a paper entitled Amalgamation is a Solution in Jordan as part of a preparatory workshop for the Mediterranean Development Forum (MDF4) meeting entitled Empowering Local Government Institutions at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) in Beirut. The paper analyzes the process of amalgamation of municipal authorities in Jordan. The process is being implemented in the country as a solution for raising the efficiency of local governance.
The Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan hosted a one-day workshop on the subject of architectural education. The chairmen of the departments of architecture and representatives of the faculties of architecture at both public and private Jordanian universities attended the event, which included a number of paper presentations. The workshop discussed issues relating to the priorities of public policy that determine the formulation of educational curricula in the field of architecture.
Luay M. Al-Zawabde successfully defended his master’s thesis at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan. The thesis is entitled The Architecture of Rifat Chadirji Between Theory and Practice.
A conference entitled Conservation and Regeneration of Traditional Urban Centers in the Islamic World: Learning from Regional Experiences & Building Partnerships was held in Amman, Irbid, and Salt. The Jordan University of Science and Technology, the Council for British Research in the Levant, and the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation organized the conference, which included 35 papers given by participants from more than 22 countries. The conference also included various workshops on the topic of urban conservation in the Islamic World.
The conference aimed at "adopting critical and suitable methodologies to facilitate an interactive dialogue between the participants and several regional and international experts currently involved in urban conservation projects."
The Arab Towns Organization chose the Amman City Hall in the Ras al-‘Ayn area as the best project to be constructed in the organization’s member states for its seventh awards cycle. The decision was based on factors including the project’s success in integrating modern Arab architecture with the urban fabric of the city, and its contribution to upgrading the area of Ras al-'Ayn. The 10,000 square-meter structure, which was jointly designed by Shubeilat Badran Associates (now Dar al-Omran) and Jafar Tukan and Partners, consists of four floors that include exhibition halls and the offices of the Mayor of Amman and his staff. The structure is part of a comprehensive development plan that the Municipality of Greater Amman is carrying out for the Ras al-‘Ayn area in the center of the city. This comprehensive plan, which covers an area of 140,000 square meters and aims at rehabilitating this part of central Amman, includes the construction of various buildings and open plazas. In addition to the city hall, the main buildings of the Ras al-‘Ayn complex include al-Hussein Cultural Center, the municipality's central administrative building, and a mosque. The Jordan National Museum also will be located in the complex. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 16, 2002.)
The Salt Development Corporation published a book in Arabic entitled History of the City of Salt through the Ages. The book is co-authored by Mahmud Abu Taleb, Muhammad Khureisat, and the late Mustafa al-Hiyari. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 17, 2002.)
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