Rehabilitation and Reuse of Mkies Village through Community Participation& Increasing Economic Opportunities

Client : Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities of Jordan

Location: Mkies, Irbid- Jordan

Joint Venture : Dar Al Omran (Electromechanical and Structural works)

Year : 2005

The Project centers on the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of 4 courtyards within the traditional village of Mkies. One of the Courtyard houses will serve as Mkes Visitor Center. In addition, the Project centers on devising a cultural site management Plan for the whole site in terms of future research, heritage conservation, relationship between stakeholders, visitation management, and interpretation and presentation of the whole Site to the general public. Briefly, the Project has the following objectives:

• Achieving a balanced & Sustainable Relationship between tourism investment, local community involvement, and conservation of a significant site.

• Positioning Mkies as a site of living cultural heritage and unique cultural tourism destination in Jordan.

Early stages of research focused on assessment of heritage, archaeological, tourism, and socio-economic contexts with additional elaborate research and inferences. Also, previous submitted research ventured more into contextualizing the village and its community further in addition to a detailed investigation of its cultural heritage and tourism potentials. The research team had conducted extensive stakeholder analysis in the form of focus group discussions, surveys, and multiple ethnographic encounters.

Cultural Site Management for Mkies.

The Visitor Center (Hosh al Husban)

One of the identified action projects was the visitor center located in Hosh al Husban. Choosing the location for the visitor center depended on current circulation and interpretive paths in the village (entering the village in an East-West direction) and the heritage significance of that particular courtyard (Hosh). An anthropological and ethnographic museum was added to the Visitor Center in order to narrate the story of the local community and their architecture and multiple stories to the general public. The Visitor Center is the place where the visitors can obtain information about the different features of the site (including the various itineraries), hire guides, buy local crafts, have access to a specialized resource library on the place, and also rest and relax. The philosophy of the adaptive reuse rested on new alterations and additions (Including structural stabilization alternations) being granted a contemporary image and stamp, thus distinguishing original and significant historic layers and changes from newer ones.