Construction work was completed on al-Hussein National Park in Amman. Bilal Hammad Architects, in association with Tibah Consultants and Farouk Tadros Designs, designed the park for the Greater Amman Municipality. The project involved the preparation of the park’s master plan and landscape designs, with an emphasis on the seven-hectare Theme Gardens.
Construction work was completed on Majdi Mall located along Queen Rania Street in Amman. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 25, 2005)
Renovation and maintenance work on the Second Circle is scheduled for completion in mid-February. The cost of the project is estimated at 30,000 JD (around 42,000 $US). Work on the project, which is being carried out by the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) in cooperation with the Amman Chamber of Commerce was initiated in December 2004. The project is part of a wider maintenance project that GAM is carrying out, and that covers the area extending from the First to the Sixth circles. The Second Circle, while retaining its main existing components, including its original dimensions, the Wheel of Industry sculpture, and the fountain, will be planted with lawn and flowers. Tiled paths, benches, garbage cans, and lamp posts also will be installed. (Source: The Jordan Times, January 13, 2005)
Initiation of Projects:
Construction work began on an adaptive reuse project for the Abu Jaber House in Salt. The project aims at the adaptation of the house as Visitor Center and Heritage Museum, and is part of a conservation plan that includes the development and management of the city’s tourists trails, public plazas, and panoramic lookouts. The project is funded by the Japanese International Development Agency. TURATH (Heritage Conservation Management and Design Consultants) is the conservation manager/designer and development consultant for the project designers, the Japanese Pacific Consultants International (PCI) and Tibah Consultants. The Information Center will be located in the ground floor, while the Heritage Museum will occupy the first and second floors. The museum will include displays featuring life, history, and culture in Salt during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2006.
Tibah Consultants were commissioned to design the Fastlink Sports Club in the Umm Udhaynah district of Amman for the Fastlink telecommunications company. The 9,000 square-meter club is estimated to cost 3 million JD (around 4.3 million $US). Sanabel for Agriculture and Consultancy is the project’s landscape architect, and al-Baha Consultants are its electromechanical engineers.
The Consolidated Consultants–Jafar Tukan Architects were commissioned to design the Memorial Museum for the Struggle of the Palestinian People in Bahrain. The 2,800 square-meter project will include galleries, exhibition halls, seminar rooms, and an information center.
TURATH (Heritage Conservation Management and Design Consultants), in a joint venture with Dar al-Omran, were commissioned to carry out a rehabilitation project for the Umm Qays Village in the north of Jordan. The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities project aims at the cultural, ecological, and social conservation of the village through community participation, as well as at positioning the village as a site of living cultural heritage and unique cultural tourism destination in Jordan.
Ammar Khammash Architects were commissioned to carry out the interpretation project for the Wadi Rum Visitors’ Center. The project aims at explaining the geological origins of Wadi Rum, as well as its ecology, archaeology, anthropology, and conservation aspects. The project's components include research, text writing, preparation of explanatory illustrations, photography, and graphic design.
The Zarqa Municipality awarded a number of tenders for carrying out infrastructure projects in the city for a total cost of 200,000 JD (around 280,000 $US). The projects include the expansion of the King Talal Street, as well as paving the Baha' al-Din Street and the street connecting it to al-Zuhur Street. The projects also feature the construction of two vehicular bridges over the Zarqa River, one connecting Baha' al-Din Street with al-Zuhur Street and the other connecting it to King Talal Street. In addition, two pedestrian bridges will be constructed, one between al-Zuhur Street and Baha' al-Din Street, and the other between Wasfi al-Tal Street and Petra Street. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 8, 2005)
News from Academia:
Mohammad al-Asad, Director of the Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE), was appointed a visiting associate professor at the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is to teach two courses: a seminar on heritage, and a course on the development of architecture in the Eastern Arab world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
American landscape architect and educator James Turner delivered a lecture at al-Hussein Cultural Center. Turner taught at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan during early 1980s. The lecture was organized by the Jordan Engineers Association and the Jordan Architects Society in collaboration with the Greater Amman Municipality. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 6, 2005)
Ab'ad Magazine, in collaboration with the Jordan Architects Society, held a seminar entitled Public Participation in Planning Local Societies. The seminar is part of a series of seminars that the magazine is holding on issues relating to architecture and planning. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 16, 2005)
An agreement was signed between a Chinese company represented by Tang Jan Way and al-Shuweikh Mall in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) represented by Ziad al-Shuweikh to establish the Chinese Commercial City. The project will include 85 retail shops that will sell various products from China. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 4, 2005)
The Jordan Engineers Association held a reception in honor of American landscape architect and educator James Turner for his efforts in architectural education in Jordan. Turner taught at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan during early 1980s. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 6, 2005)
The Greater Salt Municipality published a book entitled Al-Salt: A Story of a City in the Story of a Country [Al-Salt: Sirat Madina fi Sirat Watan], by Mohammad al-'Atiyyat. The municipality also published booklets on the municipality's smaller areas, including Zayy, 'Allan, 'Ira, Yaraqa, Wadi al-Hur, al-Yazidiyyah, and Umm Jawzah. In addition, the municipality published a booklet on building regulations in Salt. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 9, 2005)
The United Nations Human Settlement Program (UN-HABITAT) opened an office in Amman to function as a center for the agency's operations in the Levant region. UN-HABITAT is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. Under an agreement signed between UN-HABITAT and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Jordan office will support the execution of UN-HABITAT plans for Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. The office will mobilize international support to execute its plans in these countries. Also, the Jordanian government will provide the center with a permanent office and an annual sum of 35,500 JD (50,000 $US) for the expenses of hosting the center. All funds allocated for the rebuilding of Iraq will be distributed through the center, which also will be responsible for organizing and facilitating in Amman all seminars, exhibitions, forums, and meetings regarding Iraq. (Source: The Jordan Times, January 15, 2005)
The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) initiated studies and designs for a number of projects for the year 2005 that will make up 71 million JD (100 million $US) of GAM's 114 million JD (around 160 million $US) budget for the year. 38 million JD (around 54 million $US) will be spent on infrastructure projects, including work on streets and sidewalks. For this purpose, the municipality purchased an asphalt mixer, considered the largest in the Middle East, to help carry out the work. GAM also is planning to establish over 20 public parks in different parts of the city, and to renovate existing parks and playgrounds. In addition, it will establish three new Information Technology centers. The municipality also will proceed with work on the Amman Downtown Rehabilitation Project and the Raghadan Bus Terminal in collaboration with the Bank of Japan and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 21, 2005)
The Council of National Construction announced that it has developed regulations regarding the implementation of the Jordanian Building Codes in all parts of construction projects. The Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) will be responsible for reviewing all construction drawings before a construction permit is granted. The granting committee will be responsible for monitoring and following up construction reports and laboratory tests in accordance with the laws of JEA, the Jordan Construction Contractors Association, and the Engineering Offices Committee. According to the new regulations, every construction site should have a sign stating the name of the project, owner, architect, contractor, and supervising office. The sign also should hold the number of the plot and the construction commencement date. (Source: al-Ra'i, January 26, 2005)