for an Academy was originally proposed to be on a site inside a nature
conservancy reserve, but the architect convinced the client to use an adjacent
abandoned quarry which is outside the reserve. The basic philosophy was that
the building would use the parts of nature which have been injured in the past,
instead of adding a new intervention on virgin land. Encompassing an academy that
provides educational programmes on environment and features a high-end
restaurant and craft, the Academy follows a quarry cliff cut-line, creating a
linear addition of constructed stone to the bedrock. Arrival is via a stone
bridge spanning 30 metres and the longest in Jordan to the mid-point between
the restaurant and the Academy. The massive southern facade consists of very
small windows with giant vertical blade-like stone cracks shearing into zero
width.Corridors are defined by a crack in the ceiling that lets natural
sunlight in. On the opposite side, the Academy touches the forest.. The project
illustrates how to use abandoned quarries that are found in the surrounding
mountains in large numbers of 100 or more.
Royal Academy for Nature Conservation On-site Review Report, edited by Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 2016.
The On-site Review Report, formerly called the Technical Review, is a document prepared for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by commissioned independent reviewers who report to the Master Jury about a specific shortlisted project. The reviewers are architectural professionals specialised in various disciplines, including housing, urban planning, landscape design, and restoration. Their task is to examine, on-site, the shortlisted projects to verify project data seek. The reviewers must consider a detailed set of criteria in their written reports, and must also respond to the specific concerns and questions prepared by the Master Jury for each project. This process is intensive and exhaustive making the Aga Khan Award process entirely unique.