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.
The project devised a visual structure for a new facade for an arts foundation, giving it a less domestic and more institutional appearance. It also involved some general preservation work on three 1920s houses. The idea for the layered form of the new facade emerged from the nature of the site itself - a complex stratification of diverse historical layers. Rather than attempt a nostalgic interpretation of the site’s historical content, the strategy was to add another layer hybridising the two elements - concrete and stone - that set the cadence of the surrounding neighbourhood.