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Adaptive Reuse of Shar'an Building in Downtown Amman into Offices / Boutique Hotel

Client : Mr. Mustafa Al Shar'an

Location : Downtown, Amman- Jordan

Year : 2011- 2012

Adaptive Reuse of Shar'an Building in Downtown Amman

On Building Typology

Based on the Urban Heritage Study that was conducted for the city of Amman and was funded by the French Agency of Development (AFD); and also based on the typological analysis researched by Dr. Rami Daher of TURATH: Architecture & Urban Design Consultants for the architecture of the City; The building at hand belongs to the Amman Mid-20th Century Urban Commercial Type. This type is characterized by its simplicity and association within an urban / commercial context that also accommodates residential activities on the upper floors. The type is democratic, in the sense it was the most popular type used towards the middle of the 20th century by the middle class. This was the main type by which Amman climbed up the residential hills through its main arteries. Therefore, it is very common that this type would interact with and open into two streets. In our case, it is Amir Mohammad (lower) and Yazeed Bin Ai Sofian (Upper). This type is also characterized by an extensive use of Concrete (reinforced concrete) used in the walls, foundations, and also in drop beams and cantilevered verandas. In terms of its spatial organization, this type could resonate or have some traces of the 3-Bay spatial system. Finally, this type is simply characterized by modern lines of design and adaptability to new materials.


On Narrative of Significance (Urban Level and Functional Diversity)

Not only that the building is valuable due to its strategic location, fronting Amir Mohammad Street, but; but it also connects two streets together, fronting as well Yazeed Bin Abi Sofian Street at the upper level. The urban strategic location of the site is unique due to its location downtown, but also its proximity and location on the main arteries that climb up the Ammani mountains.


On Narrative of Significance (Architectural Level)

The building is a clear example of Amman's architecture type of Mid 20th Century Urban Commercial, its various features that are very valuable contribute to this building type includes the 3-Partite design for the main elevations, the potential spatial layout of the 3-Bay system, simplicity in the elevation design without ostentatious detailing, in addition to the use of reinforced concrete (in slabs, drop beams, and cantilevers). Therefore, the building is significant architecturally because it represents this architectural type and it holds the distinctive characteristics of its period (middle of the 20th century). Historic physical features of the building also include the wood work of most windows and doors and the original steps on the stairwells.


On Narrative of Significance (Social, Cultural, & Collective Memory)

The building dates back to the late 1940s and early 50s of the 20th century. It was first owned by Hussien Abu Al Ragheb when it was first built and then the building was inherited by his daughter. The elderly of Amman remember that the activity of Fityan al Rasoul which was organized by the Thubian sons was located in the building, in the mid 50s of the 20th century. Also, one of the floors of the building was rented to the paediatrician Aiyda Afif Mango.

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