July 27, 2007

"The Transformers"

"The Transformers," rocks to metals. That's what's happening to Amman. Being transformed from it's heritage and it's roots to western alien modernity. High rise buildings scattered everywhere in the city, they don't engage with the surrounding buildings or respect the city, it's heritage, skyline and it's form. High rise building in the city will increase traffic congestions that will cause more noise and pollution.

The GAM released the new urban development of Amman early this month, and asked for public feedback after they already went ahead with the strategy. They permit Jordan gate, Al-Abdali, living Wall, and other projects, God knows, then after that they develop a strategy and ask for suggestions?

We are Amman, we live in Amman, this is our history, this is our city. We need to have the right to participate in it's future, in it's land, air, and skies.

Construction has begun on a new Foster + Partners project in Jordan. 'Living Wall' is a 150,000 sq m mixed-use complex at the heart of Amman, close to the new Al-Abdali city center.

The site, an extraordinary carved-out rock shelf, its geology and history have been the inspiration for the scheme’s unique concept. Set against a sheer 30m backdrop, the project presents physical challenges that are not unlike those faced at ancient Jordanian sites such as Petra, where the buildings were carved out of the rock itself.

Location: The site is located in West Amman, close to the new Al-Abdali city centre.

Facilities: 6 towers (boutique hotel, a variety of residential units, offices) connected to a terraced podium, a large public piazza with sunken amphitheatre and the Energy centre.

Site Area: 12,500m²

Gross Area: 150,000m²

Net Area: Boutique Hotel 10,500m²
Residential 10,000m²
Offices 15,000m²
Retail 24,000

No. of floors: Towers: average 12 floors, podium 7 floors

Cladding: Towers:
Double-skin fa├žades with screens to help air circulation and reduce overheating. Where shading is required, the screen becomes dense, controlling the amount of incoming solar energy.

Full height natural stone cladding to give the feel of stratified rock layers sedimented on top of each other. The solidity of the podium cladding counteracts the transparency of the towers and blends the development into the landscape and the surroundings.

  • Committee: Dip (Development and Investment Projects Fund)
  • Project leader: Foster and Partners
  • Project Team: Orman Foster, Mouzhan Majidi, Huw Thomas, Doretta Bevilacqua, Sharon Giffen, Omar Al Omari, Asa Hjort, Martin Lorger, Taba Rasti, Samar Rizkallah, Rashmeeta Chana, Laura Silva Dona, Henry Suryo, Maher Matar, Paul Gordz
  • Structures: Buro Happold
  • Consultants: Project Manager: Meem International

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Anonymous said...

i like it...its pretty nice + its sumthin like london...i mean u have those old u know london-like houses and next to it u find those cool glass towers...its just a contrast that almost every real city has these days...+ there is nothin wrong with a few towers poping out in random places around the city...infact they are all consentrated in almost the same places...

Amman Voice said...

You like it, and it's like London?

But, we are here in Amman!

I like the Living Wall or Living Jordan project as an object and the way they treated the entrance with the topography. However, does it respect the surrounding buildings?

It's monumental, and the podium is out of proportion. The problem is with the location.

Having high rise buildings poping here and there won't fit in Amman. Take for example Jordan gate, a total disaster to Amman.

Our existing city is in Chaos, will these towers improve anything? Is building towers a symbol of Modernity or to become western?

What if they built a new modern city on the boundaries of Amman?

Wouldn't it solve many of our problems?

Maybe it's too late now.