March 2002

Initiation of Projects:

Construction work began on Beit al-Karak Commercial Center in Karak in the south of Jordan. S. M. Dudin Architects and Engineers designed the 28,000 square-meter project that is expected to cost 4 million JD (5.7 million $US) for the Karak Development Corporation.

Construction work began on the Shahrouri Commercial Center in the Sweifieh commercial district of Amman. Bitar Consultants are undertaking the construction management for the project that is designed by Al-Karmi Consulting Engineers. The 10,000 square-meter project is expected to cost 2 million JD (2.9 million $US).

The Irbid Greater Municipality commenced a widespread beautification project for the city. The project includes implementing a Global Information System (GIS) for naming and numbering streets, consolidating street lighting systems, painting commercial shop fronts (to be followed by painting houses not built of stone), rehabilitating parks and playgrounds, and placing strict regulations on solid waste dumping. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 14, 2002.)

Construction work began 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 on both sides of the street, including a summer theater for musical performances. The design of the pedestrian avenue focuses on providing a linear cultural space with visual continuity, and a flexible layout that allows free movement between the various elements of the design. The design also utilizes lighting, as well as semi-transparent materials to give a sense of lightness and to ensure visual flow. The project, which is part of the Municipality of Greater Amman’s preparations for the Amman Arab Cultural Capital 2002 celebrations, is set for completion in June 2002, and is expected to cost about 600,000 JD (860,000 $US). (Source: architect and al-Ra'i, March 4, 2002.) 

The Municipality of Greater Amman began construction work on the Suhaib Tunnel project at the intersection of Zahran and al-Madinah al-Munawwara streets. The project is expected to cost 1.3 million JD (around 1.8 million $US). The tunnel is the latest of a series of tunnels that have been constructed in Amman over the past two decades to alleviate traffic congestion problems. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 19, 2002.) 

The Municipality of Greater Amman invited tenders for the construction of the Theme Gardens and Historical Avenue in al-Hussein National Park in Amman. Bilal Hammad Associates, in association with Tibah Consultants and Farouk Tadros Designs designed the theme gardens that are located at the heart of the park, adjacent to the 400 meter-long historical avenue, which is designed by the architectural office Mawshour. A stone-carved mural relating Jordan’s history through the ages lines the avenue that leads to the King Hussein Memorial. The 700,000 square-meter park also will include other components such as museums, sports areas, and a cultural village, and is expected to cost 12 million JD (17 million $US). (Source: al-Ra'i, March 7, 2002.)

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 Completed Designs:

 The Amman office of the Saudi-Arabian consulting firm Omrania and Associates completed designs for the refurbishment of the Oasis Coffee Shop and Vienna Café at the Amra Forum Hotel in Amman for the Jordanian Social Security Corporation (SSC). The Consolidated Consultants for Engineering and Environment were the engineering consultants for the 1,225 square-meter project. The project involves a major redesign and refurbishment of the two eating establishments, and will provide 240 indoor and 150 outdoor seats. 

Arabtech - Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects completed designs for the extension of al-Raed al-Arabi School in Amman. The 6,500 square-meter, six-floor extension will have a capacity for five hundred students and is expected to cost 1.3 million JD (1.9 million $US).

Ammar Khammash Architects completed designs for the Wadi Finan Wilderness Lodge in Wadi Finan in the Jordan Rift Valley region of Wadi Araba for the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). The 2,200 square-meter project, which is located at the lower entrance of the Dana Nature Reserve, is surrounded by an archaeologically rich landscape. Wadi Finan has the remains of some of the world’s earliest archaeological sites of metallurgy and contains remains of manganese smelting workshops that once thrived in this valley.

The design of the thirty-room lodge is based on studies of desert architecture in arid landscapes. It uses ecologically sensitive architectural elements inspired by the traditional buildings of villages in Jordan, southern Morocco, and Yemen. This design develops hybrid solutions based on the fusion of traditional materials and structural systems with contemporary building requirements and environmental design techniques. 

CDG (the Community Development Group Engineering and Management Associates) completed interior designs for the E-Government Project Management office floor at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Amman. The 650 square-meter project is funded by the Amir II program (Achievement of Market-Friendly Initiatives and Results program), an economic opportunity project funded by USAID (the United States Agency for International Development) and implemented in partnership with the Jordanian private sector and government. The project is expected to cost 49,000 JD (70,000 $US). It is intended as an opportunity for the newly restructured ministry to create a space that serves as a “showcase” model for e-government.

The Municipality of Greater Amman completed designs for reconstructing the intersection of Wasfi al-Tall and al-Sharif Nasser streets, and the nearby intersection of al-Sharif Nasser and Abdul Hameed Sharaf streets. The project aims at addressing problems of traffic congestion at the area known as the "Safeway junction" through restructuring the existing traffic-light intersections into non-intersecting overpasses and underpasses. This project is the latest of a series of such traffic intersection projects that have been carried out in Amman over the past two decades, and that aim at relieving traffic congestion in the city. Construction on the project is planned to start in the second half of 2002. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 4, 2002.) 

The Municipality of Greater Amman has completed the removal of a number of kiosks from Dallah Plaza in the center of the city in preparation for the implementation of the Comprehensive Development Plan of the city center that is being funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). According to the plan, the plaza will be redesigned to include new architectural and landscaping elements including kiosks. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 4, 2002.)

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 New Commissions:

S. M. Dudin Architects and Engineers were commissioned to design the 16,000 square-meter Shweikh Mall in Aqaba

The Kurdi Group for investment signed an agreement with ASEZA (Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority) to construct a commercial complex in Aqaba. The 62 million JD (89 million $US) project will be built on an area of 10 hectares and will be constructed in three phases. The first phase will consist of a 70,000 square-meter, 35 million JD (50 million $US) commercial center; the second phase will consist of a 25,000 square-meter water park and recreational facilities; and the third phase will consist of a hotel. The complex is expected to provide 2,500 new job opportunities. (Source: The Jordan Times, March 25, 2002.).

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 Competitions:

Jafar Tukan and Partners participated in a competition for the design of the second tower of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, for the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The project has a total area of about 70,000 square meters, and will serve as a major symbol of economic activity in Abu Dhabi.

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 News from Academia: 

Aydah Tubeileh successfully defended her master’s thesis at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan. The thesis is entitled Appropriation between Socio-cultural Factors and Architectural Design of Housing Units in the State of Qatar.

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 Other News:

The Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) issued building permits covering a total area of 1.5 million square meters during the first quarter of 2002. 1.27 million square meters of that area were for new buildings, and 230,000 square meters were for extensions of existing buildings

The Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) held elections for the boards of its sections and for its newly formed Central Committee. The Central Committee will serve as the legislative body for the association, and has forty-seven seats, of which seven are reserved for architects. The board for the Architectural Section also consists of seven seats. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 10, 2002.)

The Southern Studies and Continuing Education Center at Mutah University published a book in Arabic entitled Photographic Record of Architectural and Heritage Fronts in Jordan: Karak. The book, which is written by Nayef Nawayseh, provides historical information, as well as photographs and illustrations of the stone facades of the city of Karak in southern Jordan. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 4, 2002.) 

The Amman Bookstore held a book signing ceremony for Jafar Tukan in commemoration of the publishing of Jafar Tukan Architecture by the Italian book publisher Libria. The book is co-authored by Ali Abu Ghanimeh, assistant professor of architecture at the University of Jordan, and Italian architectural historian Mario Pisani. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 25, 2002.) 

The Jordanian-Italian Institute of Archaeological Sciences was inaugurated in a renovated building adjacent to the Italian Hospital in downtown Amman. The institute is the result of cooperation between Jordan and Italy in the fields of culture and archaeology, and is jointly supervised by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Archaeological and Excavation Sciences Department of the University of Turin. The institute’s activities will include supervising Italian archaeological missions in Jordan and organizing lectures and workshops in the field of archaeology. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 17, 2002.)

The Salt Greater Municipality has initiated a widespread inspection and public awareness campaign for the protection of architectural heritage in the center of Salt. The campaign aims at enhancing public participation in the conservation of the cultural and architectural heritage of the city. It also aims at assessing the damage that has been done over the years to the city's historical buildings. The Salt Greater Municipality also will be implementing projects over the next few months that involve the conservation and rehabilitation of a number of heritage buildings, the best known of which is the early twentieth-century Abu Jabir House, which will be converted into a visitor’s center and heritage museum. Salt was the largest urban settlement in the area of modern Jordan during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 15, 2002.)

The Royal Committee for the Construction of Memorials for Prophets, Companions of the Prophet Muhammad, and Martyrs signed agreements for the construction of a number of memorials for a total cost of 982,000 JD (1.4 million $US). The memorials include the 1,400 square-meter Prophet Yosha bin Noon Mosque and Memorial. The memorial, which is expected to cost 570,000 JD (800,000 $US), will include a multi-purpose hall, an ablution space, and a 26 meter-high minaret. An agreement also was signed for the construction of the 810 square-meter Memorial for the Companion of the Prophet Sharhabil bin Hasana in the Northern Jordan Valley, which is expected to cost 376,000 JD (about 540,000 $US). The third project includes building a wall around a tree under which the Prophet Muhammad is believed to have rested. The site is located in al-Safawi area in the Mafraq Governorate and covers an area of 10 hectares. It is expected to cost 36,000 JD (50,000 $US), and will include a 400 meter-long concrete enclosure and a guard room, as well as opening roads leading to the site. (Source: al-Ra'i, March 28, 2002.) 

The Chinese Government will finance a design and feasibility study for the Ma’an Industrial Estate in Ma'an in southern Jordan. The agreement was signed between the Chinese government and the Industrial Estates Organization. Accordingly, the Chinese will provide a 4 million JD (5.7 million $US) long-term loan at low interest rates to support the project. Construction on the project is expected to begin before the end of 2002. (Source: The Jordan Times, March 28, 2002.)

 

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