News archives

2003 News 

Note: click on the small images to view larger versions of them as well as their titles.

 

Table of contents: 

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

 

 Completed Projects

Construction is nearing completion on the substitute Bus Terminal in al-Mahattah district, which will take over the functions of Amman’s main bus terminal, the Raghdan Bus Terminal, as it undergoes a process of rehabilitation that is expected to take two years. The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is funding the 250,000 JD (352,000 $US) Municipality of Greater Amman substitute terminal project as part of the Comprehensive Development Plan for the city center. (Source: al-Ra'i, July 23, 2003)

Initiation of Projects

The Municipality of Greater Amman invited tenders for the construction of the Hashemite Plaza junction project in eastern Amman. The project includes a 950-meter-long underpass stretching from the Hashemite Plaza to al-Yarmuk Street, as well as a 335-meter overpass towards Raghdan Complex. The project aims at relieving traffic congestion in downtown Amman, and at allowing for shorter travel distances between areas in eastern Amman. The tunnel will be the latest of a series of tunnels and bridges that have been constructed at intersections in Amman over the past two and a half decades to alleviate traffic congestion problems in the city. Construction of the project is expected to commence in late 2003. (Source: al-Ra'i, July 23, 2003)

Completed Designs 

Bitar Consultants completed designs for additions and refurbishment of the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources building in Amman for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. The 6,000 square-meter project is expected to cost 2 million JD (around 2.8 million $US).

New Commissions

Bitar Consultants were commissioned to design the Rehabilitation of the Old Housing and Development Corporation Building in Amman for theHousing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC). The 2,600 square-meter project, is expected to cost 260,000 JD (around 366,000 $US).

Competitions

The Consolidated Consultants - Jafar Tukan Architect won a competition for the design of the 5,000 square-meter Public Security Training School in Muwaqqar, near Amman.

News from Academia

Tha’er Quba’a received second prize in a competition organized by the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) for the design of the 40,000 square-meter Zarqa Engineers Park located in the city of Zarqa. Baker Engineering Office was awarded third prize. No first prize was awarded for the competition.

The Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) organized an eight-week design studio entitled the Architectural Laboratory: Façade Zero in association with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Darat al-Funun / the Khalid Shoman Foundation, and the Royal Society of Fine Arts / the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts. Additional support was provided by the American University of Sharjah.

This first season of the Architectural Laboratory was initiated with the Façade Zero project, which aimed at “excavating” the reality of the façade in its various manifestations, including the urban in-fill. Accordingly, a studio of 15 advanced architecture students and junior architects investigated issues relating to architectural design under the supervision of a group of instructors consisting of accomplished, award winning architects from inside and outside Jordan. The instructors included Bilal Hammad, Sahel al-Hiyari, Hani Imam Hussaini, George Katodrytis, Mehmet Konuralp, Suha Ozkan, Yasir Sakr, Jafar Tukan, and Farouq Yaghmour.

The studio emphasized developing a series of skills relating to the creation of architecture ranging from the conceptual to the technical, and consisted of eight one-week modules, each of which was led by a different instructor.

The Zarqa Private University hosted the Eighth Scientific Day organized by the Zarqa branch of the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA). The event, which addressed the subject of Zarqa’s eastward expansion, included a number of working papers that discussed issues relating to the urban problems facing Zarqa, such as over-crowdedness, traffic congestion, random construction activities, and the lack of recreational facilities. The participants also discussed the planned urban complex to be located on the site of the old military camp of Zarqa that is being carried out by MAWARED (The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation). The 25 square-kilometer site will include residential neighborhoods, shopping centers, and various service facilities. The pilot phase of the project will provide housing for 23,000 inhabitants, and 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: al-Ra'i, July 5, 2003)

Other News

The Municipality of Greater Amman published a book in Arabic and English entitled Amman Capital of the Heart: The Cultural Year 2002. The book discusses Amman’s developments in 2002, during which it was named Arab Cultural Capital. It presents the programs, functions, and projects established by the municipality during that year, including al-Hussein Cultural Center, the Cultural Village in al-Hussein Park, the Cultural Avenue, Bayt al-Fann (House of Art), Bayt al-Shi’r (House of Poetry), as well as numerous murals and sculptures carried out by local and Arab artists in various parts of the city. (Source: The Jordan Times, July 15, 2003)

The Prime Ministry of Jordan has issued a government directive to the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and the Municipality of Greater Amman requiring all new residences to have water reservoirs for rainwater collection. The directive specifies that fines will not be accepted in lieu of constructing the reservoirs.

The directive, which is based on recommendations made by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, also requires the provision of reservoirs for the collection of harvested rainwater in schools, government buildings, mosques, and universities. (Source: al-Ra'i, July 15, 2003)

The Jordan Construction Contractors Association (JCCA) adopted a code of professional ethics for construction contractors that is binding to its members. The new code aims at elevating the level of the contracting business, preserving the rights of JCCA’s members, and enforcing JCCA’s internal laws governing the relationship between contractors and clients. (Source: al-Ra'i, July 15, 2003)

Completed Projects

Construction work was completed on the interior of the Intouch Showroom for the Third Millennium Company in Mecca Mall in Amman. North 9 Architects designed the project, which was conceived as a glowing neutral box. Walls and display units were constructed using frosted tempered glass with fluorescent backlighting. Hisham Mansour was the contractor for the project.

Construction work was completed on the interior of the X-Tel showroom for the Third Millennium Company in Mecca Mall in Amman. North 9 Architects designed the project, which was conceived as an interiorized cinematic representation of the telecommunication revolution in the 20th century. Petra Aluminium Company was the contractor for the project.

Construction is nearing completion on the Interpretation Center and Camping Facilities in the Mujib Reserve. Ammar Khammash Architectsdesigned the project for the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature(RSCN). The 530 square-meter project incorporates an example of straw bale architecture, and develops climatically driven solutions for an upmarket camping experience. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation is providing a 240,000 JD (338,000 $US) grant to RSCN for the construction of tourist facilities, the development of ecological tourism, and the support of ongoing handicraft projects in the reserve.

 Initiation of Projects

Construction work was initiated on the upgrading and renovation of the King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman for the King Hussein Cancer Foundation. The 13,000 square-meter project includes the upgrading of existing facilities as well as the renovation of a newly acquired adjacent building to serve as an outpatient department. Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects carried out architectural, structural and electromechanical designs as well as the preparation of tender documents, construction supervision, and overall program management and coordination.

Construction work was initiated on the Grand Central Gas Station in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah Street in Amman. The 900 square-meter project, which is owned by entrepreneur Hisham Akel, was designed by Tha’er Quba’a in association with Ahmad Samara.

The University of Jordan commenced the preparation of construction drawings for the newly established Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Jordan. The 15,000 square-meter faculty, which will include three departments: Visual Arts, Music, and Performing Arts, will be built in two phases. Med Design International was awarded first prize in a closed competition for the design of the new faculty. Other architectural offices invited to participate in the competition were Jafar Tukan and Partners,Sigma Consulting Engineers, and Faris and Faris Architects in collaboration with Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects. The project is expected to cost 4 million JD (around 5.6 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, August 3, 2003)

Completed Designs

Wa’el Hamarneh completed designs for the Gunry Office Building in Tripoli, Libya for the EDGO Management Group. The 6,000 square-meter, six-story building is expected to cost around 1.8 million JD (2.5 million $US).

New Commissions

Darb (Design Associates and Research Bureau) was commissioned to be the architect of record for the Hotel and Beach Club at the Tala Bay Tourist Complex in Aqaba. The architectural design for the project, which is owned by the Jordan Projects for Tourism Development Company, will be carried out by the Cairo-based Alfredo Studio, and Darb will carry out structural designs, coordination, as well as tendering and permit documents for the 300-room hotel and beach club. MEDA E/M Engineers will provide mechanical and electrical consulting services for the project.

Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects were commissioned to design the Extension of the Aramex Courier Company Logistics Center in Amman for Aramex. The 1,700 square-meter extension, which will be constructed adjacent to the existing warehouse and logistics center, will include a 250 square-meter basement and a 300 square-meter mezzanine floor.

The Amman office of the Riyadh-based Omrania and Associates, in a joint venture with the Hong Kong-based architectural firm L&O Architects, were commissioned to design three Pool Complexes in Qatar for theQatar National Olympic Committee in preparation for the upcoming 2006 Asian Olympics.

News from Academia

Mustafa Jaradat successfully defended his master’s thesis at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan. The thesis is entitled The Urban and Architectural Relationships of Banking Buildings in the City of Amman: Case Study - Shmeisani.

Other News

The Municipality of Greater Amman prepared a draft budget for the fiscal year 2004. The budget is estimated at 91 million JD (around 128 million $US), with a 3 million JD (around 4.2 million $US) deficit. The draft budget is intended to cover a variety of initiatives, including the development of various areas in Amman and upgrading infrastructure services to alleviate the effects of population growth. The budget also allows for the implementation of various cultural and social programs, the development of the municipality’s administrative structure, and the construction of additional traffic intersections and tunnels in the city. (Source: al-Ra'i, August 31, 2003)

Completed Projects

Construction work was completed on the Bayir Fuel Station and Rest stop, in Bayir, located 125 kilometers south of the city of Ma’an in the south of Jordan. The Ministry of Public Works and Housing project aims at encouraging the use of the Ma’an – Jafer – Azraq road, which has been rehabilitated to function as a main artery connecting Ma’an to other areas in the country. The King Abdullah II Fund for Development funded the 700,000 JD (around 986,000 $US) project, which occupies a 1.3-hectare site, and includes a total built up area of 620 square meters. The project includes a rest stop, administration offices, a prayer hall, and service facilities. The ministry also awarded a contract for the construction of another fuel station and rest stop in Azraq, about 176 kilometers north of Ma’an, at a total cost of 570,000 JD (around 803,000 $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, September 1, 2003)

Initiation of Projects

Construction work was initiated on the Mexican Restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel in Amman. Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects, in association with the New-York based interior design firm Tony Chi and Associates, designed the restaurant renovation and interior refurbishment for the Jordan Hotels and Tourism Company. The 280 square-meter project is expected to cost 330,000 JD (around 465,000 $US).

Construction work was initiated on al-Raed al-Arabi School Extension in the Shmeisani district of Amman. Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects designed the 7-story building for the Arab Cultural Society as an extension to the existing school. The 7,000 square-meter extension is expected to cost 670,000 JD (around 944,000 $US).

Construction work started on the Gunry Office Building in Tripoli, Libya. Wa’el Hamarneh designed the six-story building for the EDGO Management Group. The 6,000 square-meter project is expected to cost around 1.8 million JD (2.5 million $US).

 Completed Designs

Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects in association with Universal Hospital Services (UHS) and the Arab Center For Engineering Studies (ACES), completed designs for the renovation and upgrading of the operating theaters at the King Hussein Hospital / al-Hussein Medical City in Amman for the Jordanian Armed Forces / Royal Medical Services. The project includes the preparation of detailed engineering services and tender documents for the 2,900 square-meter project. The project will increase the capacity of the operating area from six to eleven operating theaters, provide new stairs and service elevators, and renovate the existing electrical and mechanical systems.

Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects, in association with Universal Hospital Services (UHS) and the Arab Center For Engineering Studies (ACES), completed designs for the renovation and upgrading of the gynecology and obstetrics department at the King Hussein Hospital / al-Hussein Medical City in Amman for the Jordanian Armed Forces / Royal Medical Services. The 4,670 square-meter project will expand the present structure to incorporate two operating theaters, an IVF section, a royal suite, a neonatal section with a capacity of fifteen incubators, and two patient wards.

The Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect, in association with the Angolan firm Sigma Gibb, completed preliminary designs for an Apartment Hotel in Luanda, Angola for the Sonangol Oil and Gas Company. The 8,900 square-meter project is expected to cost around 21.3 million JD (30 million $US).

The Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect, in association with the Angolan firm Sigma Gibb, completed designs for the Cabinda Office Building in Cabinda, Angola for the Sonangol Oil and Gas Company. The 5,500 square-meter new company headquarters is expected to cost around 1.4 million JD (2 million $US).

The Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect completed working drawings and tendering documents for a church cultural complex in Amman for the Church of the Assemblies of God. The 3.5 million JD (around 5 million $US) complex comprises a main auditorium for 2,200 people, a chapel for 320 worshippers, a library, a fitness center, a cafeteria, an educational center, and administrative offices.

The Ministry of Public Works and Housing completed designs for the Ma’an Cultural Center in the southern Jordanian city of Ma’an. The project, which occupies a 2.3-hectare site, with a built-up area of 2,800 square meters, comprises a theatre, a 400-seat auditorium, a 350-person multipurpose hall, administration offices, a VIP lounge, and various activity halls that will house computers, music rooms, painting studios, and carpentry workshops. The center is expected to cost 1.5 million JD (around 2.1 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, September 4, 2003)

 New Commissions

Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects were awarded the contract to design a masterplan for al-Karamah Border Center in al-Karamah, along the Jordan-Iraqi border. In addition to developing a master plan for the 175-hectare site, the project includes developing designs for 300,000 square meters of built-up areas, and design studies for infrastructure and road works. The project will include administrative buildings, arrival and departure halls, passenger service buildings, and a mosque. The design cost for the project is 158,000 JD (around 223,000 $US).

The Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect were commissioned to design the renovation of the Founding King’s Palace in Ma’an for the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The project, which occupies an area of 3,500 square meters, is expected to cost around 1 million JD (around 1.4 million $US). The palace is one of the buildings of the Ma’an Railroad Station, which is located along the Hijaz Railroad Line, and was completed during the first decade of the twentieth century. The design team for the project includes landscape architect Lara Zureikat, museum specialist Ali Maher, and conservation specialist Leen Fakhoury.

Darb (Design Associates and Research Bureau) was commissioned to be the architect of record for a Two-Star Hotel in the Marina Town in the Tala Bay Tourist Complex in Aqaba. Architectural designs for the Jordan Projects for Tourism Development Company project will be carried out by the Cairo-based firm Orascom Construction Industries, and Darb will carry out the structural design, coordination services, as well as tendering and permit documents for the 200-room hotel. MEDA E/M Engineers will provide mechanical and electrical consulting services for the project.

Dar al-Omran was commissioned to design al-Manshar Rotana Suites Project in al-Fahaheel, Kuwait for the Tamdeen Real Estate Company. The Dubai office of the Swedish firm LW Interior Design Group LLC will carry out the interior design of the 27,000 square-meter project, which is estimated to cost 15 million JD (around 21 million $US).

Turath (Heritage Conservation Management and Environmental Design Consultants) were commissioned to prepare a Management Plan for the Site of al-Bahrain Fort in Manama, Bahrain for the World Heritage Center / UNESCO, the Bahrain Directorate of Heritage and Tourism, and the Bahraini Ministry of Information. The management plan is being carried out in preparation for the future nomination of the site to the World Heritage List.

Exhibitions

The French Cultural Center in Amman organized an exhibition featuring the work of award-winning Jordanian architect Jafar Tukan.

 Seminars

The Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) organized a one-day workshop on the subject of graywater reuse. The workshop is one of the activities CSBE is carrying out as part of its Graywater Reuse project, a project supported by the Enhanced Productivity Program at theJordanian Ministry of Planning, which aims at investigating the subject of graywater reuse and its applicability to Jordan.

CSBE presented during the workshop the results of its investigation of graywater reuse. The workshop also included presentations by experts with experience in the field. These included Hamed Bakir, Advisor, Rural Health and Environment, World Health Organization, Regional Centre for Environmental Health Activities (CEHA); Murad Bino, Executive Director, The Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM); and Munjed al-Sharif, Assistant Professor, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Division, Civil Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST).

The workshop was attended by specialists as well as professionals interested in the subject of graywater reuse.

Other News

The Municipality of Greater Amman published a book in Arabic entitled Memory of the City - Part Two by author Mohammad Rafi’. The book, which aims at chronicling the development of Amman from 1938 to 1946, features over 3000 rental agreements belonging to that period. (Source: al-Ra'i, September 1, 2003)

The Municipality of Greater Amman launched a campaign to remove all billboards on the top of buildings that are in violation of the guidelines it had developed to regulate the chaotic spread of billboards on buildings in the city. (Source: al-Ra'i, September 16, 2003)

 

Completed Projects

Construction work was completed on al-Saraya Musuem in the city of Irbid in northern Jordan. The 350,000 JD (around 493,000 $US) adaptive reuse project, which was carried out by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, involves the rehabilitation of an Ottoman administrative building. The structure also functioned as a prison until 1994. The two-story building comprises 30 rooms, including 7 vaulted halls, all of which are clustered around a 700 square-meter courtyard. The courtyard will function as an outdoor sculpture exhibition area and also as a multipurpose outdoor performance area with a capacity of 500 seats. (Source: al-Ra'i, October 7, 2003)

Construction work was completed on the development of al-Shu’lah site in the Bani Kinanah area overlooking the Yarmuk Battle site in Saham, on the banks of the Yarmuk Valley in northern Jordan. The 120,000 JD (169,000 $US) project, which is funded by the Enhanced Productivity Program at the Ministry of Planning, comprises a museum, a visitor center, and a 12-meter-high basalt memorial that is topped by a torch. (Source: al-Ra'i, October 7, 2003)

 Initiation of Projects

Construction was initiated on the refurbishment of the Arab Jordan Investment Bank branches in Amman for the Arab Jordan Investment Bank. Bitar Consultants were awarded the contract after winning first prize in a closed competition organized for the project. The 2,000 square-meter projects include interior and landscaping designs, and are expected to cost 700,000 JD (around 986,000 $US).

Construction was initiated on the rehabilitation of the interiors of the branches of Citibank in the areas of Abdoun and Shmeisani in Amman. Wa’el Hamarneh carried out the design of the projects for Citigroup.

Completed Designs

Bitar Consultants completed designs for the Rehabilitation of the Housing and Development Corporation Building in Amman for the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC). The 2,600 square-meter project is expected to cost 260,000 JD (around 366,000 $US).

The Amman office of the Riyadh-based Omrania and Associates, in a joint venture with the Hong Kong-based architectural firm L&O Architects,completed schematic 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. Al-Ittihad Sports Club, which will host part of the Olympic events, will house the largest of these pool complexes. In addition to the Olympic pool, the al-Ittihad Sports Club will house an Olympic diving pool, a full-length training pool, a children’s pool, and seating for 5,000 people. The column-free structure spans 160 by 70 meters and rises to a height of 25 meters.

The Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC) will commence with plans to build 2,500 low-income housing units in various parts of Jordan at a total cost of 25 million JD (around 35 million $US). The housing units will range in area from 250 to 500 square meters. HUDC plans to implement large-scale housing projects to serve as nuclei for new urban centers that would relieve population pressures on Amman. HUDC had completed work on three housing projects in Zarqa, Safut, and Aqaba in 2003. The three projects included 461 housing units at a cost of 4 million JD (around 5.6 million $US). (Source: The Jordan Times, October 14, 2003)

New Commissions

Dar al-Omran was commissioned to design the Central Library of the University of Damascus in Damascus, Syria for the Construction, Programming, and Consultation Unit at the University of Damascus. The 17,500 square-meter project is estimated to cost around 4.8 million JD (6.8 million $US).

The London and Rotterdam-based architectural firm Alsop Architects was commissioned to design a public square for the ‘Abdali Regeneration Project in Amman for MAWARED (The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation). (Source: Building magazine)

 News from Academia

The Amin Kawar Computer-Aided Design Laboratory was inaugurated at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan. The laboratory, which is funded by a donation from the Amin Kawar & Sons Company, includes state-of-the-art computer equipment and digital drafting programs.

Lectures 

Jordanian architect Jafar Tukan, partner at the Consolidated Consultants for Engineering and the Environment, presented a paper at Cityscape 2003: The 5th International Property Investment and Management Conference held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The paper was entitled Balancing Modernity and Tradition.

Seminars

ECO Consult, in association with Ammar Khammash Architects and engineer Tareq Matayreh from Lund University in Lund, Sweden, organized a one-day workshop entitled the Bo01 City of Tomorrow in Sweden: A Model for Urban Development. The workshop included presentations by Tareq Matayreh on the Bo01 City of Tomorrow project in Malmo, Sweden, and a presentation by Ammar Khammash entitled the Study of Architectural Fabric in Jordan.

The Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) organized the Third Jordanian Architectural Conference in Amman entitled Threatened Cities: Arab Cities and Future Challenges. The conference, which included 6 papers, discussed issues relating to Arab cities in Iraq and Palestine, and focused on the theme of conservation and reconstruction. The conference also included a workshop on conservation and consolidation techniques for heritage buildings. The Second Construction Materials exhibition was held to coincide with the conference. (Source: al-Ra'i, October 4, 2003)

The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) office in Amman held a three-day workshop to launch theGrowing Up In Cities program that aims at involving youth in issues affecting urban growth and in the processes of planning and developing their communities. The workshop is the first of three sessions to be held in Amman during the coming year. (Source: The Jordan Times, October 16, 2003)

Other News

Landscape Design, the journal of the British Landscape Institute, featured in its October issue an article by Jordanian landscape architect Samar Tarazi entitled Sense of Place, Sense of Space. The article highlights Tarazi’s experience of working in Jordan.

The Financial Committee at the Municipality of Greater Amman approved a 95 million JD (around 134 million $US) budget for the fiscal year 2004, with a 6.3 million JD (around 8.9 million $US) deficit. The budget reflects the phased implementation of the municipality’s five-year plan, and covers projects related to sustainability, the upgrading of infrastructure and traffic services, the environment, administrative development, and the implementation of various cultural and social programs.

Jordan’s 99 other municipalities are still preparing their budgets for 2004. The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs expects these budgets to exceed the 2003 budgets, which stood at 97 million JD (around 137 million $US). The budgets cover road construction and paving, street lighting, as well as other municipal services such as garbage collection and street cleaning. (Source: The Jordan Times, October 15, 2003)

The state-run MAWARED (The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation) announced the availability of 167 residential units, 918 residential plots, and 237 commercial plots for sale in the pilot phase of the urban complex to be located on the site of the old military camp of the city of Zarqa. The 250-hectare pilot phase of the project, which will include residential neighborhoods, shopping centers, and various service facilities, will provide housing for 23,000 inhabitants. The whole project, however, 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 the most densely populated urban centers in Jordan. Zarqa, the country’s second largest city, has a population of 750,000 inhabitants. (Source: al-Ra'i, October 29, 2003) 

CDG (Community Development Group Engineering and Management Associates) completed a preliminary conceptual study for al-Dhia’ Kindergarten / Resource Center for Blind and Low-Vision Children on a 0.6-hectare site in al-Quwaysmah area in east Amman. The report was produced by CDG for al-Dhia’ Association for the Education and Training of Visually Impaired Children as part of al-Dhia’ Association’s plan to establish integrated kindergarten programs for sighted, low-vision, and blind children in east Amman.

Completed Projects

Construction was completed on the Mexican Restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel in Amman. Arabtech-Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects, in association with the New York-based interior design firm Tony Chi and Associates, designed the restaurant renovation and interior refurbishment for the Jordan Hotels and Tourism Company. The 280 square-meter project cost about 330,000 JD (around 465,000 $US).

Construction was completed on the additions and refurbishment of the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources building in Amman. Bitar Consultants designed the 6,000 square-meter, 2 million JD project (around 2.8 million $US) for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Initiation of Projects

The Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect completed tender documents for a Multistory Car Park in Doha for the Qatari Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture. The design of the project included architectural, structural, electrical and mechanical works, in addition to landscape designs and a traffic study. The structure has a capacity of 750 cars, and is expected to cost 5.9 million JD (8.3 million $US).

Construction was initiated on the Rehabilitation of the Housing and Development Corporation Building for the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC). Bitar Consultants designed the 2,600 square-meter project, which is expected to cost 260,000 JD (around 366,000 $US).

 Completed Designs

Dar al-Omran completed designs for the Shamiyyah Development Plan in Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the Aqar Holding Company. The project will be constructed in three phases with total areas of 1,780,000, 1,070,000, and 1,130,000 square meters, respectively. The German firm Dorch International will carry out infrastructure designs for the project.

Competitions

The Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE), in collaboration with ASEZA (Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority), invited submissions for a competition for the design of a model water- and energy-efficient low-income expandable housing unit in Aqaba. The competition was open to submissions from individuals and organizations in the field of architecture and engineering, as well as other interested parties.

The competition was managed by WEPIA (Water Efficiency and Public Information for Action), a program implemented in collaboration with theMinistry 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.

Other News

The King Abdullah II Creativity Prize for the year 2003 invited nominations for works or research in the fields of poetry, development of electronic curricula, and the role of the Arab City in the development of architectural heritage. Nomination for the 17,800 JD (25,000 $US) prize is open to both citizens and residents of the Arab world. (Source: al-Ra'i, November 4, 2003)

The Municipality of Greater Amman has renamed the Hawuz Square in Jabal al-Luweibdeh “Square de Paris.” The square will be redesigned by a group of French architects and landscape architects as part of a process of cooperation between the cities of Paris and Amman in the field of urban planning, as well as in various technical and cultural issues. In this context, the French government previously had funded a study regarding the development and rehabilitation of the Ghabawi landfill in the amount of 500,000 JD (704,000 $US). An agreement twinning the French and Jordanian capitals had been signed in 1987. (Source: The Jordan Times, November 10, 2003)

The state-run MAWARED (The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation) and its strategic partner, Saudi-Oger, the Riyadh-based construction company, are in the process of forming a Jordanian company that will manage the ‘Abdali Regeneration 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 monuments: the Parliament Building, the Justice Palace, and the King Abdullah I Mosque.

The project will include 53 buildings, in addition to the new American University of Amman and is expected to attract investments of about 570 million JD (800 million $US). The university, which will be established on 6.2 hectares of the 34-hectare state-owned land, will help attract such investments.

Completion of basic infrastructure works for the site is scheduled for May 2004. Also, studies indicate that a bridge and three tunnels will need to be constructed to alleviate traffic at the intersection of Shmeisani with the King Hussein and Sulayman al-Nabulsi streets. The cost of the bridge and tunnels is expected to be about 4.8 million JD (6.7 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, November 24, 2003)

Construction work on the basic infrastructure works for the pilot phase of the urban complex to be located on the site of the old military camp of the city of Zarqa is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2004. The state-run MAWARED (The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation) is in charge of administering the project, which will include residential neighborhoods, shopping centers, and various service facilities. The pilot phase of the project will provide housing for 23,000 inhabitants. However, the whole project is intended to accommodate about 500,000 people over the next twenty years. The project, which is expected to attract investments of about 640 million JD (900 million $US), will help relieve population densities and infrastructure pressures in Zarqa, which is considered one of the most densely populated urban centers in Jordan. Zarqa, the country’s second largest city, has a population of 750,000 inhabitants.

The 2,500-hectare site will be built in six phases, starting with the pilot project, which covers an area of 250 hectares.

MAWARED also is planning to construct and operate a light rail system between Amman and Zarqa. (Source: al-Ra'i, November 24, 2003)

The Architectural Heritage Department at the Salt Greater Municipality published a volume featuring the most prominent examples of the city’s architectural heritage. The book includes photographs and information on 19 heritage buildings that represent the different architectural styles of Salt, which was the largest urban settlement in the area of modern Jordan during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. (Source: al-Ra'i, November 30, 2003)

Completed Projects

Construction was completed on the Grand Central Gas Station in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah Street in Amman. Tha’er Quba’a, in association with Ahmad Samara, designed the 900 square-meter project for entrepreneur Hisham Akel.

Construction was completed on the rehabilitation of the interior spaces of the branches of Citibank in the areas of Abdun and Shmeisani in Amman. Wa’el Hamarneh carried out the design of the projects for Citigroup.

Initiation of Projects

Construction work began on the Jubayhah Entertainment City junction at the intersection of Jordan and Abu Nusayr streets, near the Jubayhah Entertainment City. The Municipality of Greater Amman is carrying out the 2.5 million JD (around 3.5 million $US) project that consists of a 420 meter-long six-lane underpass along Jordan Street, with non-intersecting overpasses. This project is the latest of a series of such traffic intersection projects that have been carried out in Amman over the past two and a half decades, and that aim at relieving traffic congestion in the city. The project is scheduled for completion in February 2004. (Source: al-Ra'i, December 1, 2003)

Construction work began on the Raghdan Bus Terminal in central Amman. The project, which was designed by Tibah Consultants in association with Pacific Consultants International (PCI) of Tokyo, is an integral part of the Comprehensive Development Plan for the rehabilitation of central Amman. Funding for the 5.6 million JD (around 7.9 million $US) project is being provided by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The site of the project covers about 34,000 square meters, and will include a multistory building, as well as structures that will house offices for the Civil Defense Department, the Police Force, theMunicipality of Greater Amman, and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The project is scheduled for completion in October 2005. (Source: The Jordan Times, December 18, 2003)

New Commissions

Turath (Heritage Conservation Management and Environmental Design Consultants), in a joint venture with Tibah Consultants, Jordan River Foundation, and the Turkish firms G&G Consulting and UTTA, were commissioned to carry out a Controlled Urban Growth and Tourism Development Master Plan Study for the Ajlun Tourism Development Area in Ajlun for the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

The project, which is funded by the World Bank, aims at achieving higher levels of socio-economic development for the local community through tourism, urban regeneration, and rural development. The scope of the project includes developing economic opportunities for local communities, regenerating historic urban cores, sustaining and developing nature reserves, and protecting and representing archaeological and nature sites in Ajlun, ‘Ayn Jannah, and ‘Anjarah, the three towns included in the study area.

Seminars

The Architectural Engineering Section in the Jordan Engineers Association(JEA) held a one-day seminar entitled Building Codes and Regulations: Between Theory and Reality.

A one-day seminar on the role of the Salt Greater Municipality in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage was held in Salt. The seminar, which was organized by the Salt Greater Municipality, discussed the protection and conservation of the city’s cultural and architectural heritage. The municipality has been implementing projects that involve the conservation and rehabilitation of a number of heritage buildings in Salt, which was the largest urban settlement in the area of modern Jordan during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. (Source: al-Ra'i, December 28, 2003)

Other news

Royal Jordanian (RJ), Jordan’s national airlines, commissioned a short documentary film about modern residential architecture in Jordan as part of RJ’s in-flight entertainment. The film features the work of Almarsam Architects and Engineers as an example of current trends in the design of villas in Amman.

A task force organized by the Municipality of Greater Amman recommended immediate governmental action to build three major cities to the east of Amman to help absorb expected population growth in the coming years, while protecting the agricultural land to the west of the city. The study recommended redirecting urban development towards the east, and developing legislation that would ensure an end to urban incursions into agricultural lands.

According to the study, the newly created urban areas should be able to absorb 8 million people over the next 40 years, with an average density of 15 persons per square kilometer. The study also recommends that a subway network be constructed to connect these new settlements.

Two levels of management will be put in place for administering the expanded region. Accordingly, policy-making, planning, and financial administration would be the responsibility of the Municipality of Greater Amman, while local municipal committees would handle the licensing of buildings, planning, zoning, and road maintenance. (Source: The Jordan Times, June 8, 2003)

Representatives of Saudi-Oger, the Riyadh-based construction company, signed an official agreement with the state-run MAWARED (The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation), which is administering the 1.2 billion JD (1.7 billion $US) ‘Abdali Regeneration Project in Amman. According to the agreement, MAWARED and Saudi-Oger will form a joint venture that would take the form of a Jordanian public-share holding company to manage the project.

The project is located on a 33.4-hectare state-owned land that contained the headquarters of the Jordanian Armed Forces and other security agencies. These are being relocated to other areas of Amman in order to transform the site into a multipurpose district that will include a new university (the American University of Amman) on one third of the site, and a multipurpose development that will include residential and commercial areas in the remaining two thirds of the site.

The ‘Abdali project is expected to attract considerable private sector investment because of its strategic location between the downtown area and Shmeisani, the capital’s financial district.

Demolition works have started on the project, which is expected to take six to nine years before completion. Construction work is not expected to begin until the end of this year. (Source: The Jordan Times, June 23, 2003)