On the eastern side of the Ajlun mountains, Amman is a hilly city through which a small river, Wadi ‘Amman, once ran. Settlements have existed on the plateau since at least 3000 BCE. The Islamic history of the city begins when the city was taken by the forces of the general Yazīd ibn Abī Sufyān in 635, but it declined in importance, and by 1300 had nearly disappeared.
The Ottoman resettled the site with Circassian refugees from Russia in 1878, but I wasn’t until becoming the capital of Jordan after World War II that the city really began to grow.
At first glance the site for this family house seemed to pose a serious drawback: the 800-square-metre plot is almost landlocked, with a mere 11-metre street frontage. The architects' response draws on the model of the traditional courtyard house. The two-storey L-shaped structure shields itself from the street with stone walls that are almost blank. Behind the walls, the house opens up completely, through extensive glazing, onto a garden court that provides views and a focus for the most significant rooms - reception, dining, family, master bedroom, guest bedroom - as well as the main circulation elements.