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IEAP1342

IEAP - 1342
The American University of Madaba / jo Jordan
1 members
Nour  Halawa

Project type:
Cultural Y Espectáculos

The project is located in a vibrant area of downtown Amman, Ras Al-Ain, right between the edges of Jabal Al-Akhdar, Al-Muhajireen District and Jabal Amman District. This area is a part of the cultural strip of GAM’s downtown development plan. It is packed with cultural and social influences and well as historical significance. This area was very important in the Roman Era as it was the main gateway to the Roman Municipium.
The aim of the project is to bring back the memory of old Amman before the East/West division, while celebrating current activities, thus it is important to understand the land use morphology of this area; it was a part of the green paradise (1918), it then transformed into the cigarette factory (1960), expected to be an opera house “Darat King Abdallah II” (2008), abandoned till 2014 and then the Friday market was imposed on the site (2014) due to shifting it from its original location in Abdali. It became an isolated, exclusive, concrete-gated community that comes to life one day a week, Friday. GAM is abashed of the market held there; vendors worry about losing their jobs. The accessibility to the site became difficult, the current retaining wall with graffiti art became weaker due to improper rain water collection and runoffs, there is high contrast between adjacent edges, social segregation is prominent and the provision of negative night time activities is abundant.
Amman in the early 90s was a place of public space par-excellence, especially after the establishment of the Hijazi railway station where it was an inclusive public space joining both expats and locals. Amman celebrated art and culture, was famous for its art galleries, cinema houses and political salons; where people shared and narrated stories. However; now it became a platform that celebrates neoliberal unauthentic activities. Therefore, the project will bridge this gap in the society, it will provoke change in the existing system that challenges the norm and integrates the society into the project. This project will revive the cognitive memory of the place, unite Ammanis once more while serving the local community and celebrating the cultural activities.
The project houses three main layers; the educational zone that provides the locals with a craft they can use to be more socially productive, the cultural zone that will host all exhibitions, galleries and bazars which will enable story narration through art, and the local market zone that will activate the plazas, it will work round the clock thus eliminating negative activities while creating an active frontage for the project. The current retaining wall will be incorporated into the interior space of the project in order to celebrate both it and the existing graffiti culture.
“THE GATEWAY” is an involvement that redefines public spaces in Amman, it will add social values, host and narrate stories meanwhile providing a cultural artistic local platform where Ammanis can be productive. It will fill the social void, add ownership and identity with regard to the community profile, unite East and West Amman while making the site visually and physically accessible thus taking advantage of the exposure. It promotes walkability in Amman especially now after COVID-19. Finally, it will address environmental issues; as landscape will be weaved with architecture and rain water will be properly managed thus serving its urban needs.

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