The Adaptive Reuse of The Historic Electricity Hangar and The Building of Gallery Ras Al Ain
Client : Greater Amman Municipality (GAM)
Location : Amman - Jordan
Year : 2009
Introduction: Adapting Industrial Facilities & Architecture in the Arab World
The main idea behind the project is granting voice to, and adapting Amman’s heritage of “modernity” in general and its “industrial facilities and architecture” from the Modern period in particular to con- temporary new uses of gathering and culture.
Adaptive Reuse of the Old Electricity Hangar
This innovative project renovates and adapts the City’s historic Electricity Company Hangar (dating to the 1930s) into a contemporary inclusive public space and special multi-purpose hall that promotes Jordanian arts and culture industries. The Hangar’s adaptive reuse philosophy rested on minimal intervention and a spatial flexibility in addition to respecting the significance and authenticity of the historic industrial character of the building in terms of its structural system, ambiance, and significant elements.
Ras al Ain Gallery (A New Building)
The Project also includes the building of a new structure that would function as artists’ workshops and art galleries. The design is dynamic and uses concrete as its main building material to echo and celebrate the Modernity logic that exists in the existing Hangar Building. While the Hangar Building represents a monumental monolithic structure, this new building is dynamic in its composition and attempts to connect (at least at a formalistic level) with the cubic houses on the edge of the mountain behind it in a way where these cubic houses together with the dynamic masses of this new structure cascade down to meet the Hangar Building at the public plaza between them.
Project’s Significance & Impact
One particular important impact for the Project is the creation of much needed inclusive public space in the City. Since its opening to the public; both the Hangar and the Gallery had hosted numerous events and gatherings. The place served as a hub for creative design and architectural related exhibi- tions and events; as a hub for intercultural dialogue; as a place for engaging the youth; and as a place for major musical and cultural events; for example, and for the past 2 years, it served as the hub for the regional/international event: The Amman Design Week.