Wakalat Street (Salem Mohammad al-Qudah) Urban Pedestrinization

Client : Greater Amman Municipality (GAM)

Location : Sweifeyeh, Amman- Jordan

Year : 2006- 2007

Concept and Strategy

Wakalat Street: a public attempt to reinvent public life in the City. Wakalat Street is part of a wider public space strategy that is put forward by GAM to address the reality of existing public spaces and the quality of urban life in the City of Amman. In Wakalat Street, the main design objective was to produce the “Anti Mall Space” by creating a “Workable Street” and a recreational promenade that encourages pedestrian life in Amman.

The objective was to create a street that is inclusive, welcoming people from different parts of the Amman and at the same time, creating a vibrant urban space that wins back public life from shopping malls to the “real” Streets of the City. Wakalat Street is hoped to become a demonstrational project for other areas to follow in Amman, it represents an attempt to create a workable and pleasant shopping district (a smart shopping district that challenges the doctrine that pedestrian spaces are bad for business).

 

Design Idea

Each neighborhood in Amman has a certain flavor. Sweifieh in general, and Wakalat Street in particular are famous for their association with fashion and retail. The Use of concrete tiles, in its Modernist sense, together with the colorful ribbons signifies and epitomizes the fashion industry. The Sculpture, with its threads of different colors; commemorates and celebrates fashion and gradually weaves a beautiful garment of red, yellow, grey, and green. This garment/pavement/surface rejoices the flavor of the Street and is liberated and elevated into verticals, surfaces, and enclosures in the form of trees, light posts, seating, theatre, screen, catwalk, management box, and several other urban vocabularies.