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.
Named after the rectilinear yet sinuous form of its exterior, the S House attempts to question the typology of the large detached villas that surround it without deviating from local norms of construction. In response to its crowded setting with no views, the house looks inward onto an internal landscape, adopting the privacy typical of a traditional Arab house. A bridge-like structural element supports the first floor, allowing an open-plan living area at ground level with a large reflecting pool and a double-height space that draws in filtered light. The richness of the interior contrasts with the simplicity of the stone-clad exterior.