The site is located in the southern part of the Jordan Valley, an agricultural region with a hot, arid climate that provides a favourable setting for residential winter retreats. The project is a weekend house. The land was acquired by the client along with an existing ‘domino plan’ concrete structure that had to be incorporated into the new design. The main design brief requirements were to minimize construction costs and maximize living spaces, both external and internal, while incorporating a traditional or vernacular character. The house is designed following an L-shaped footprint that defines a courtyard with two boundary walls. Although the reference to the courtyard house is clear, the L-shaped footprint, the massing of the building, and the treatment of the courtyard as an extension of the main living space are atypical of the conventional courtyard house. The relationship between the courtyard and the main living space is characterized by visual, spatial, and structural continuities that reduce the autonomy of spaces traditionally found in this typology. The relationship between internal and external space is further emphasized by the external roofed living room on the upper floor. The project provides a subtle transformation of space/type that allows spaces to extend and flow into one another without transgressing the ‘rusticity’ that the client required for the project.
LANDSCAPE DESIGN BY LARA ZUREIKAT
The project is a renovation of a 1950s residential structure. It is part of an extended family house, dating back to the 1920s, with two major expansions that took place in the 1950s and 1960s. The structure consists of one main double-height space, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a small bedroom located on the upper floor. The total area of the interior spaces is approximately 57 m2. The main objective of the project was to renovate the structure in order to accommodate the practice of a clinical psychologist, within the limits of a very low budget. The structure was renovated using readily available materials and common construction techniques. Cement plaster was mixed with steel particles in order to produce the pigmentation and texture that normally would be applied afterwards. The elevations are regulated through a system of raw steel sliding shutters that double as security grills. Through the oxidization of the steel, present in both the shuttdders and cement plaster, the different elements of cladding are brought into a greater state of accord. On the interior, the main consultation space is clad with wooden panels that are painted to match adjacent wall surfaces. Through these panels, the interior acquires a multiplicity of scenarios involving solidity, transparency, scale, and light modulation. In this project, local construction techniques are explored and extended in order to invest materials with new effects and meaning. The ‘substandard’ construction processes that produced that original structure are accepted and transformed through investigating their potential for re-contextualization.
S-House is located in Abdun, an affluent residential district in west Amman. The predominant house-type characterizing the district is the over-scaled detached ‘Villa’. The site is a flat plot of land surrounded by residential structure on three sides, and by a primary access road on the fourth. The site does not offer any views with which the house may establish a rapport. To compensate for this absence, the house was designed as an introverted entity that is organized around an internal landscape. The silent schematic quality of the exterior is in strong contrast to the richness of the interior. This project attempts to reinsert qualities of privacy, characteristic of the traditional “Arab” house, within a context dominated by extroverted exhibitionism. The open plan is anchored by a large internal reflecting pool and a double-height space that allows filtered light to penetrate the interior. The double-height space offers sectional variation within an otherwise horizontally expansive field.
LANDSCAPE DESIGN BY VLADIMIR DJUROVICH
The site is a rectangular plot cultivated with olive trees. It is located to the north of Amman, in a rural setting near the town of Mahis. The project reinterprets the vernacular single-bay rural house common to Jordan in a manner that corresponds to the site’s hilly terrain and air flows. The common rural house typology is reinvestigated in terms of the rapport between the object and topography. The natural undulations of the surrounding topography are projected onto the form, transforming the object’s vertical and horizontal surfaces, and altering their conventional hierarchical relationships. The house is therefore conceived as an extension of the natural landscape. Moreover, its shape funnels the prevailing cool western winds through its internal spaces.
The site is located in al-Rabiyah, a hilly residential district in west Amman. It occupies the upper part of a hill that has been subdivided into a series of lots. The design consists of an L-shaped roof floating over three autonomous masses – two of which are clad in stone. The three masses contain the house’s private spaces and facilities. They are rendered opaque on the street side (west façade), but open onto the living space, which commands a panoramic view of the opposite mountains to the east. The stone blocks of the building masses are horizontally stacked as thin layers to create a highly textured surface for the otherwise blank elevations. A private courtyard was excavated at the northern side of the site to provide ventilation and light for the submerged master bedroom. The courtyard also contains a swimming pool set against the property wall. The more public living spaces of the house are defined by the arrangement of the three enclosed masses and the roof. The qualities of openness and “in-betweenness” experienced in these living spaces usually are associated with the experience of movement and inhabitation within an exterior landscape. The result is an open space that appears to be more a part of the garden than the house itself.
DESIGNED IN COLLABORATION WITH RANA GOUSSOUS
The project’s basic premise is to devise a new front for the upper part of the Darat al-Funun complex, and to carry out general restorations within the upper area of this foundation for the arts. The idea behind the boundary walls and the entrance emerges from the very nature of the site itself, which in essence is a complex stratification of diverse historical layers that have their roots in ancient history and extend to the present. Such a specific context calls for an intervention that avoids a nostalgic interpretation of the site’s historical and cultural content, whereby history is reduced to a ready-made image or a stylistic exercise. Conversely, the strategy employed in this project is to add yet another layer, which endorses the plurality and contrasts present within the site, thus remaining consistent with the site’s history, process of development, and function as a home for the arts. Stone and concrete are the predominant elements that define the context in terms of its expression, materiality, and construction techniques. These materials produce two diverse languages that coexist and form the cadence of that specific district in particular, and of Amman in general. The intervention (boundary walls) is an outcome of a visual hybridization between the two languages. Here, concrete yields its properties to stone, and vice versa. The idea is to create a link between the two identities through an unfamiliar body that oscillates between both, yet belongs to neither. The scale of the walls was determined by the surrounding structures. The articulation of the walls, as a fabric of three-dimensional blocks marking the entries, corners, and connections to existing structure for a new façade for Darat al-Funun.
23000M2│BNEID EL GHAR│KUWAIT CITY│KUWAIT