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Construction work was completed on the Institute of Arabian Horsemanship in Madaba for the Mediterranean Industries. Faris Bagaeen designed the 3,600 square-meter project, which will serve as a center for the preservation and documentation of the heritage and history of Arabian horsemanship. Hisham Wadi was the main contractor for the 700,000 JD (1 million $US) projects
Construction work was completed on the 11 August Street ‘Cultural Avenue’ project in Amman’s Shmeisani district for the Municipality of Greater Amman. The Amsterdam-based Tom Postma Design, in cooperation with the Engineering Department of the Municipality of Greater Amman, designed the refurbishment of the 360 meter-long street. The design includes landscaping, paving, street furniture, as well as cultural and tourist landmarks, including a summer theater for musical performances. The project is part of the Municipality of Greater Amman’s preparations for the Amman Arab Cultural Capital 2002 celebrations, and was carried out at a total cost of about 600,000 JD (845,000 $US). (Source: architect and al-Ra'i, June 4, 2002)
Construction work was completed on the two-story expansion of the headquarters of Aram Investment Company in Amman. Malhas and Associates designed the 700 square-meter project. Nada Debs was the interior designer, and Ammoun Maintenance and Contracting Company was the main contractor for the 360,000 JD (500,000 $US) project.
Initiation of Projects
Construction work began on the infrastructure upgrade of four hospitals for the Royal Medical Services of the Jordanian Armed Forces. Arabtech - Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects designed the 6 million JD (8.5 million $US) upgrade of the hospitals. These include the King Hussein Medical Center in Amman, which occupies a site of 700,000 square meters; the Prince Ali bin al-Hussein Hospital in Karak, which occupies a site of 30,000 square-meters; the Prince Hashim bin al-Hussein hospital in Zarqa, which occupies a site of 60,000 square-meters; and the the Prince Rashid bin al-Hassan hospital in Irbid, which occupies a site of 150,000 square-meters.
The project features the upgrade and renovation of all infrastructure and electro-mechanical facilities. These include water, sewage, and storm water networks and connections, power generators, water treatment plants, kitchens, laundries, incinerators, and plant rooms.
Construction work began on the second phase of the United Creations Garment Factory in the Wadi Dulayl QIZ (Qualified Industrial Zone, i.e. an area whose industrial products can be exported to the USA on advantageous terms). The 10,500 square-meter factory is designed by Darb (Design Associates and Research Bureau) for the United Creations Company Limited (an Indian - Egyptian joint venture). The project is located on a 32,000 square-meter plot of land, and consists of an 8,000 square-meter factory occupying two floors, and 2,500 square meters of workers’ accommodations occupying three floors. The structure incorporates a pre-cast, pre-stressed structural skeleton, and pre-cast façade panels.
Construction began on a vocational school in Salt for the Vocational Training Corporation. The 1.03 million JD (1.45 million $US) project is located on a 0.5-hectare site, and is expected to be completed within a year.
The Vocational Training Corporation had floated 14 tenders in the amount of 6.8 million JD (9.6 million $US) for the construction and equipping of vocational centers in Karak, Aqaba, Ma’an, Ajloun, Tafila, Salt, Madaba, Jerash, Irbid, and Amman. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 5, 2002)
Construction began on the Dead Sea Panoramic Complex in Ma’in, in the Madaba Governorate. The project, which is being funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, will be built on a 24-hectare site overlooking the Dead Sea. The Consolidated Consultants for Engineering and Environment and the Tokyo-based Pacific Consultants International (PCI) carried out the design of the 3 million JD (4.2 million $US) project that includes a museum, cultural and recreational facilities, and a panoramic lookout terrace overlooking the Dead Sea. The project is set for completion in February 2004. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 5, 2002)
Construction began on the “People of the Cave” project in Abu ‘Alanda, in Amman. The 2.85 million JD (4 million $US) project, which is being carried out by the Ministry of Islamic Awqaf, Affairs and Holy Places, occupies a one-hectare site and will be built in two phases. The first phase will include a mosque, library, Qur’an school, an Islamic center, a women’s wing, living quarters for the imam and muezzin, and an Islamic museum. The second phase will include an astronomical dome and observatory. The final completion of the project is set for 2004.
The religious site is one of several locations in Asia and Europe associated with the “People of the Cave,” who also are known in Christian traditions as the “Seven Sleepers of Ephesus.” (Source: al-Ra'i, June 6, 2002)
Kayyali and Fasheh Architects and Engineers completed designs for the extension of the National Orthodox School in Amman for the Orthodox Educational Society. The 16,000 square-meter project is expected to cost 4 million JD (5.7 million $US). The Athens-based international Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) will provide Construction management services for the project.
Arabtech - Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects completed designs for the offices of the Arab Thought Forum in Amman. The three-story, 1,350 square-meter project includes an entrance foyer, offices, an archive room, and a multipurpose hall equipped with audiovisual systems. The project is expected to cost 220,000 JD (314,000 $US). The Arab Thought Forum is an independent, pan-Arab, non-governmental organization that aims at promoting greater linkages between Arab thinkers and decision-makers.
Faris and Faris Architects completed designs for the 1,500 square-meter Disi Museum in Disi in the south of Jordan for ASEZA (the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority).
Faris and Faris Architects completed designs for the 2,000 square-meter General Motors and Cadillac Showrooms in Mecca Street, Amman for the Jordan Company for Central Investing and Consulting.
Faris and Faris Architects completed designs for the 1,650 square-meter Philadelphia Investment Bank Building in Aqaba.
Jafar Tukan and Partners, in a joint venture with Razzaz Management, Contracting, and Interior Design, participated in a competition for the design of the Jizan Marine and Golf Resort in Jizan, on the southwestern coast of Saudi Arabia. The site consists of a strip that extends six kilometers along the coastline, with a variable width averaging 400 meters. The project will be a multi-use development that includes residential and recreational facilities for the area’s inhabitants and for tourists.
News from Academia
15 students received their bachelor's degrees in architecture from the Applied Sciences University in Amman, 10 from al-Isra' University in Amman, 29 from the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, and 47 from the University of Jordan in Amman.
Riham Abu Khater successfully defended her master’s thesis at the Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology. The thesis is entitled GIS Applications in Urban Design: The case of site allocation.
Nelson H. H. Graburn, professor of socio-cultural anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, delivered a lecture in Amman entitled Understanding Tourists: A Problem for Anthropology. Graburn’s recent research has focused on the study of art, tourism, museums, and the expression and representation of identity. Turath (Heritage Conservation Management and Environmental Design Consultants) organized the lecture as part of its summer lecture series.
Ali Abu Ghanimeh, assistant professor at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan presented a paper entitled Color in the Jordanian City as part of the First Mediterranean Conference for Reconstruction and Conservation of Environmental and Architectural Heritage, held in Catania, Sicily. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 29, 2002).
The Higher Institute for Islamic Art and Architecture at Al al-Bayt University in al-Mafraq hosted a one-day workshop entitled Developments in Architectural Education in Jordan. The university also organized an exhibition featuring works by students of architecture at Jordanian universities to coincide with the workshop.
In a ceremony that took place in New York City, Jordanian architect and painter Sahel al-Hiyari was honored as one of five recipients of the first biennial cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative. Accordingly, al-Hiyari was chosen as the protege of Pritzker Prize winner Alvaro Siza of Portugal. The initiative, which has been launched by the Swiss watchmaker Rolex, represents the five disciplines of dance, literature, music, theatrical arts, and visual arts (architecture in the first cycle). It aims at providing young artists with “access to a great master… providing them with the most precious commodity of all – time: time to spend with a mentor, time to learn, grow and create.”
During the one-year mentorship, which officially begins on June 13, 2002, each protégé will receive a stipend from Rolex, and will enjoy extended contact with his or her mentor. In the fall of 2003, each protégé will be expected to organize a showcase event in his or her home country. Rolex will underwrite these events and also will document the year of mentorship in print and film.
Sahel al-Hiyari received his Bachelor's degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and his Master's of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University. He also attended three years at the University of Venice as a Doctorate student in architecture. He has been practicing architecture in Jordan since 1996, where he worked with Jafar Tukan and Partners before establishing his own practice. Before moving to Jordan, his professional experience included design work with Dar al-Handasah, Shair and Partners in Cairo, and Machado Silvetti Associates in Boston. His paintings have been exhibited in Jordan, Lebanon, and Italy. Hiyari’s work recently has been featured in the first issue of the Center for the Study of the Built Environment’s Exploring the Edge, as well as in architectural web sites including ArchNewsNow.com and Arcspace.com.
The number of architects registered in the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) reached 4572, of whom 93 registered during the first half of 2002. Membership in JEA is compulsory for architects who wish to practice in Jordan.
The members of the newly formed Central Committee of the Jordan Engineers Association held their first meeting. The Central Committee serves as the legislative body for the association, and has forty-seven seats, of which seven are reserved for architects.
The Jordan Engineers Association approved 6,152 building design contracts covering a total area of 1.83 million square meters during the second three months of 2002. 1.52 million square meters of that area are for new buildings, and 310,000 square meters are for extensions of existing buildings. Accordingly, the statistics for the first six months of 2002 present a 3% rise in the number of building contracts, and a 10.5% rise in the approved building areas in comparison to the first six months of 2001.
M. K. Mahadin Consultants published a book by landscape architect Kamel Mahadin entitled Landscape Plants for Jordan and the Middle East. Mahadin is an associate professor at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan. He also served as Minister of Water and Irrigation and Director of the Petra Regional Council. The book, which is illustrated with Mahadin’s own watercolors, contains information on plants grown in Jordan and on landscape design.
Representatives of Saudi-Oger, the Riyadh-based construction company, signed a memorandum of understanding with the state-run National Resources Investment and Development Corporation (NARIDEC), which is administering the 1.2 billion JD (1.7 billion $US) ‘Abdali Regeneration Project in Amman. 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 will be relocated to other areas in order to transform the site into a multi-purpose district.
According to the memorandum of agreement, Saudi-Oger will carry out a feasibility study for the development of a new university (the American University of Amman) on one third of the site, and a multi-purpose development that will include residential and commercial areas in the remaining two thirds. The project is planned to take six to nine years before completion. It also is expected to attract considerable investment because of its strategic location between the downtown area and Shmeisani, the capital’s financial district.
Fifty-two existing buildings already have been demolished. Another demolition stage is planned to begin in June 2002, and construction work is scheduled to begin by the end of this year, after the relevant technical and economic studies are carried out. (Source: The Jordan Times, June 4, 2002)
ASEZA (the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority) announced that the U.S. engineering giant Bechtel Corporation has been selected to manage, market, and promote the zone on an international level in conjunction with a private-sector development company. Bechtel Corporation was chosen from among four companies that had bid for the project. As a result of recent regional and international developments, which have negatively affected the investment climate in the region, ASEZA had altered the initial terms of reference and conditions for contracting a potential strategic partner on an investment/management basis. Under the new terms of agreement, Bechtel will not have a stake in the projected development company as an investor, but will serve as a manager that will help in establishing the development company with local and foreign investment. It also will provide technical expertise and know-how for projects and for marketing the Aqaba Special Economic Zone abroad.
In the long run, Bechtel gradually will decrease its involvement to give way for the development company and ASEZA to manage and operate the zone according to international standards.
Studies have predicted that the Aqaba Special Economic Zone will attract some 4.3 billion JD (6 billion $US) in foreign and local investment, and create around 70,000 job opportunities over the next two decades. (Source: ASEZA press release, June 16, 2002)
ASEZA (the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority) signed an agreement with the Abdullah Khater Company to develop a 2 million JD (2.8 million $US) Dream Mall commercial center in Aqaba. The five-story project, which will be constructed in the city center, is expected to provide around 200 job opportunities. Construction on the project is planned to commence next month. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 27, 2002 and ASEZA press release, June 27, 2002)
The Municipality of Greater Amman has halted issuing permits for the placement of billboards and advertising signs in Amman until further notice. The decision includes all signs for commercial shops, pavements, and lighting posts, as well as highway billboards. The Municipality earlier had formed a committee to study the situation regarding the placement of billboards and advertising signs since there have been many violations of the guidelines it had developed concerning this matter. (Source: al-Ra'i, June 27, 2002)
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