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Trends in the Contemporary Architecture of Amman

Trends in the Contemporary Architecture of Amman This paper examines the architecture of Amman/Jordan. Immersed in tradition, but also open and cosmopolitan, modern Amman went through a series of political, cultural, and economic transformations, which resulted in developing an expansive and a multiple sense of identity. This is reflected in its architecture; largely diversified in scale and style ranging between modernity and tradition, from aesthetically pleasing to visually displeasing, and from culturally acceptable to totally alien. Through visual observation, this paper examines the architectural scene of Amman and attempts to give a preliminary classification of such diversified trends. The paper identified seven architectural trends ranging from the Figure 1: An over view of the city of Amman contemporary to the regional and neo-traditional. The afterthought of the paper concluded that these trends can be according to characteristic features of design (Knight, further grouped into three categories; formal contemporary, 1994); buildings can be classified with reference to form, contextual, and eclectic, reflecting a more general attitude elements used, techniques and materials, time period, region, towards modernity, tradition, and development. etc...Human observers are able to recognize, interpret and search for salient features in buildings or their representations in order to detect visual similarities INTRODUCTION (Jupp & Gero, 2006). As such, visual observations Exploring issues of architectural identity and stylistic change and qualitative descriptions rather than morphological in contemporary cities is problematic especially in an era of and typological analysis suffice the purposes of this paper. historical dis/continuity, rapidly changing socio-economic and Despite its significance, this paper will neither discuss the cultural conditions, and technological advancements. The city internal lay out of the buildings and its reflection on the of Amman is no exception; from its establishment as a small external facades, nor will it address in depth the socio- Circassian village in 1878 to a major metropolis of over four economic conditions and cultural bases for the diversity of million inhabitants in the last decade, Amman’s growth has the architectural scene in Amman. been both dynamic and consequential (Pidler, 2011). As a city that is constantly changing, responding to social and spatial This paper focuses on the architecture of what is popularly practices, state policies, and transnational influences, its urban known as” Western Amman”, an area that has no exact and architectural identity are changing rapidly as well. Against geographic boundaries or legal qualification but agreed upon this complex scene, this paper examines the architectural scene socially. The selection is not without merit; Western Amman of Amman and attempts to identify its current architectural is where “middle class” and “upper middle class” dwell, as trends and classify them visually (fig 1). such, it is an area where architecture can be freed from the Research in this paper is exploratory in nature; it addresses the constraints of pragmatic necessities and economic pressures visual appearance of the built environment of Amman in order giving architects the opportunity to experiment with designs to find distinguishable properties, which enable the grouping of that address new design ideas, aesthetics, technologies, and its architecture into categories or trends. In architecture, social and political orders. This allows architecture to researching similarities is within the domain of architectural visually express social, cultural, and aesthetic aspects freely, style. Architectural style is a way of classifying architecture thus, acting as a visual metaphor that mirrors underlying value systems. Corresponding author 1658 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Literature addressing the urban design and architecture of As for its historic legacy, although Amman has been Amman is diverse, nevertheless, this paper is not an exhaustive characterized by newness—does not have the historical depth review of all literature; rather a sample of that literature is of Damascus or Cairo (Pidler, 2011), human settling in the site reviewed: Al-Rifae (1987) published a book recording houses of Amman dates back to Rabbath Ammon of the Ammonites of Amman built in the 1920s and 1930s of the last century; Al (13th C. B.C.), Philadelphia of the Greco-Roman Decapolis Faqih (1993) addressed the formation of an architectural (3rd C. B.C.), or Amman of the Ummayads (7th C. A.D.). identity in Amman's houses; Mahadin (1994) talked about the During the Ottoman Period in the 18th and 19th centuries, attempts of many Jordanian architects to formulate an there was only a limited number of locals. In 1878, the site architetcural identity for Amman; Fethi and Mahadin (1994) was resettled as a village for the Circassian immigrants. With addressed the spectrum of villa architecture in Amman; Al- the construction of the Hijaz railway, Amman became a small Asad et. Al. (1999) published a book talking about the old town in 1903, and with the establishment of Emirate of houses of Amman between 1920-1950; Rababe’h (2010) draws Trasnjordan under the British Mandate, it became a capital attention to the crucial problem of how to approach to design city in 1921 (Melnik, 2019). Since then, Amman has been issues based on cultural identity within a global world; Daher reconstructed as a modern capital with around 4.5 million between 2007 and 2008 published a series of articles inhabitants. Nevertheless, the discontinuity in its history and addressing the effect of capital and neoliberalism on identity, its newness as a capital have always had an impact on its architecture, and heritage of Amman. Pidler (2011) showed architecture and identity. how the features of the city’s history and development have The highly diverse demographic of locals, displaced, and shaped its unique identity. Jarrar (2013) investigated the work migrants greatly adds to the city's uniqueness. By the turn of of four prominent architects in Amman to identify the cultural the century, especially after the construction of the Hijaz influences on its architecture post 1990s; Rjoub (2016) studied railway, merchants from surrounding Arabic regions came to the emergence and development of Jordanian architecture and Amman. With the establishment of the Transjordan Hashemite its relation to the architectural heritage of Jordan; Melnik Emirate under the British Mandate in 1921, the newly formed (2019) talked about the urban identity of Amman. capital drew in migrants from other towns in Jordan and Nevertheless, there are no recent attempts to explore the Palestine (Dumper and Stanley, 2007). The demographic complexity of the architectural scene. This paper presents such structure of Amman changed drastically between 1948 and an attempt. 2003; following Arab-Israeli conflict and the occupation of This paper will investigate what seems to be a chaotic Palestine in 1948 and the West Bank in 1967, influxes of architectural scene in order to identify and categorize Palestinian refugees expanded Amman's size and population architectural trends in the architecture of Amman. Since this rapidly. The 1990-1991 Gulf crisis brought back around paper is exploratory in nature, its primary aim is to set some 300,000 Palestinian and Jordanian “returnees”. The 2003 Gulf background knowledge, describe and develeope an War brought about a great wave of migration to Amman in the understanding about the architecture of Amman, and provide a form of some 200,000 Iraqis. With the Syrian conflict, platform for a more structured discourse about it. By no means Amman recevied more than 70,000 refugees. Amman its findings are conclusive or final; rather they are a transformed from a temporary destination for most of the preliminary attempt intended for future investigation. migrants, to become a relatively lasting one. The diversity of Nevertheless, classification presented within this paper is the population ethnically, socially, culturally, and essential for structuring knowledge about architectural trends, economically renders the establishment of a collective identity for providing a sense of order within what appears to be a or the creation a sense of place a very difficult task. messy mixture, and for forming a necessary pre-condition for Furthermore, while these migrations might have had their future in-depth analytic and morphological studies. economic benefits, they have put a great strain on the city's resources especially in terms of housing and infrastructure, Tracing Amman which leads to the third characteristic, the spatial and physical disjunction of Amman along with the lack of social cohesion. It is not within the scope of this paper to give an indepth review of Ammans' development; rather, a quick review of its As new immigrants moved in, older inhabitants moved to new development is presented to provide a background against neighborhoods to the west, creating a pattern of expansion and which trends presented can be understood. Amman has movement of wealth in Amman from east to west (Pidler, three major characteristics that sets it apart from its fellow 2011). As the population expanded, the urban fabric frayed middle eastern capitals: firstly, while considered relatively apart away from the Downtown of Amman and spread new, the site on which the city is built has a long historic uncontrollably in all directions. The hilly topography legacy. Secondly, the diversity of the city's population which reinforced the disconnectedness of the growing city. As wealth was and is still formed by numerous waves of ensued in the 1970s and 1980s, the desire amongst the displacement and refugee movements, and this more than any financially capable for larger dwellings continued to push the other dynamic feature, shaped the city's identity. Thirdly, the city westward into agricultural lands, while eastern Amman lack of urban and social cohesion largely due to the failure of was being populated with the less capable. The resultant urban planning attempts because of continuous and rapid sprawl and discontinuity of the city belied the numerous expansion (Pidler, 2011). These three charateristics had a planning efforts made by the state to turn Amman into a major impact on Amman's architecture. contemporary, well planned, and structured city. 1659 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 In her PhD thesis, Jarrar (2013) drew a general idea about the The return of many professionally educated architects from architectural scene in Amman between 1920s and the 1990s. Europe, Lebanon, and Egypt, coupled with the complexity of an emerging city and radical change in life style due to Following is a summary of that review; up until the changing socio economic conditions, created a new era of 1940s, Amman had three dominant housing typologies; modernist influence began in Amman. By the 1960s’, the the Rewaq (arcade) house, Al-Finaâa (courtyard) house, international style was introduced especially in the and the Central Hall house which was a European architecture of hotels, public facilities, and university influence adopted in Lebanon and spread afterwards buildings (fig 3). further in Syria and Jordan (fig 2). With the introduction of new building functions e.g. governmental buildings, schools, and buildings for entertainment, a modernistic style started to encroach the territories of Amman (Daher, 2008 a). Figure 2: Old houses of Amman Figure 3 University of Jordan Hospital (left) and the Intercontinental Amman (right) The period of the late 1960s up until the middle 1970s revivalism that expressed nostalgia to the past (fig 6). These witnessed a domestic modern architecture that had both trends reflected a state of confusion in a culture that is both character and style; the modernist influence merged with local dogmatic and undefinable i.e. neither traditional in the building tradition of masonry and stone to produce what can authentic sense, nor contemporary in the modern sense; a be labelled “domesticated modernity” (Daher, 2008 a) (fig 4). mutated hybrid. By the mid of 1980s a new generation of The period of the 1970s’ up till mid 1980s’ witnessed an practitioners came into the scene; architects who were economic boom due to rising oil prices, which influenced most interested in rediscovering and reinterpreting local Jordanian sectors of society including the construction industry. cultural values and expressing them architecturally. A sort of Countries of the Middle East including Jordan initiated a new regional architecture was born and was gaining momentum phase of development and construction led by both among practitioners and university educators. Interest in the international and local architects. In Amman, two architectural vernacular emerged and several public and touristic projects trends dominated; an eclectic extravaganza of designs that followed that trend. exhibits wealth and financial power (fig 5), and a kind of picturesque Islamic 1660 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 4: Modern architecture of the sixties and early seventies Figure 5: Eclectic architecture of the eighties Figure 6: Islamic picturesque 1661 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Rapid social and cultural change marked the end of the 1990s small-scale products up to entire urban developments. The till mid 2000s due to globalization and rapid geo-political rapid geo-political transformations due to both the Gulf transformations. Globalization was supported by the rise of conflict and September 11th events affected Jordan directly; international neoliberal values and facilitated by the wide a new wave of immigrants from the Gulf, mainly Jordanian spread of digital media. Digital media, the free mobility of returnees and Iraqi refugees concentrated in Amman, capital and goods facilitated the spread of a culture of brought their lifestyle, as well as capital (Jarrar, 2013). This consumption and advocated an optimum universal character of influx of newcomers demanded large scale housing, which contemporary living (Ricoeur, 2007). This contemporary image caused boost in residential building (fig 7) and the stretched on all scales of human artifacts and commodities from construction of high end residential villas. Figure 7: Residential buildings The effect on the local architecture was immense; on one hand, a sort of tourist post card attractions or “free floating Amman was forced into new urban developments of a signs”(Al-Asad, 2008). On the other hand, a new “universal” contemporary image to compete in a world market and attract architecture that expressed formal manipulation and an capital (fig 8). Its architecture was one of manufactured understanding of what contemporary theory of architecture “sameness” with a universal mode of expression could be found started to emerge with practicing young architects (fig 9). anywhere and of an everywhere; thus buildings are reduced into Figure 8: The Abdali development in Amman as an example of urban globalization 1662 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 9: Private residence by Minimalist Architects As can be seen from the review above, Jordan, in the last forty as a kind of a language within which symbolic and formal years, went through dramatic changes in its socio-economic conventions are organized into a coherent constructs similar to a grammar. conditions resulting in various shifts in its cultural environment. Accordingly, its architecture changed in response According to Knight, grouping of art products is a prerequisite to the new cultural landscape; looking around Amman, a to the study of stylistic change (knight, 1994). In architecture, mixture of buildings ranging from small scale houses to high the value of studying style is multifaceted: it can be a rise buildings of various functions and large housing projects significant identifier of place and time; it is a system of forms following different architectural styles and schools of thought with a quality and a meaningful expression through which and varying between modern styles and traditional ones, from values of the society are expressed and communicated; it forms aesthetically pleasing to visually displeasing and from a common ground against which innovations and the culturally acceptable to totally alien can be found. More individuality of particular works maybe measured; and most recently, rapid urbanization, technological advances, and wide importantly, it helps to account for the variations in styles and spread use of digital media, resulted in more diversification of matching these variations with events and with the varying Jordan’s architectural built environment, depriving its features of other fields of culture (Schapiro, 1953). architecture of its cultural and regional identity, and leading to Furthermore, theories of style and stylistic change not only a break in the continuity between its inherited morphology and provide a description of various styles but investigate the the more recent architectural developments (Rababe’h, 2010). relation between them. Such a condition, warrants close examination and preliminary classification of such changes. This study is exploratory in nature; it does not aim to explain why such styles appear, rather, it aims to identify visual Style: a classification of the stylistic trends in Amman similarities in buildings of Amman, which enables their Concepts of style and stylistic change are central to the study grouping into architectural styles giving a sense of order of art and architecture; members associated within any within an otherwise apparently chaotic scene. Visual discipline share a definition and classification of common similarities in this research will address the overall form of the concepts that constitute that discipline. The definition and building as well as the design elements that are used. The classification of these concepts are necessary conditions to detection of these visual similarities will be based on visual structuring knowledge in any discipline, communicating that observations: according to Jupp & Gero (2006), human knowledge, and giving insight into that particular discipline observers are able to recognize, interpret and search for salient (Mitchell, 1990). Knight (1994) defined style as an ordering features in diagrams in order to detect visual similarities. This principle through which “artifacts” can be grouped together is supported by environment-behavior research where through according to some distinguishable properties or features. As observations, people recognize formal categories of defined such, style can be described as consistencies among products architectural styles, state their stylistic preferences for a given of an individual, group, region, or time period that can identify building type, and identify the social meaning associated with them. For Schapiro (1953) these consistencies generally refer housing of particular architectural styles (Groat & Despres, to physical form elements, formal relationships, and qualities 1991). (expression). Ackerman, (1962) regarded these consistencies One issues that warrants attention here is the classification and 1663 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 labeling the different styles; the approach I shall take in this a part of the modernization process. Western Modernism paper is based on the premise that architecture is analogous to was associated with development, hence the western model is language in terms its syntactic aspects especially with its to be followed; modern architecture to express a modern structural and grammatical rules. As such, an architectural style society (fig 3). This meant a search for technological can be regarded as a formal language characterized by a solutions, functionality, and buildings as self-referential vocabulary and a grammar. The labelling of styles in this paper systems that express their functions and mode of construction is based on the distinctive formal features of the vocabulary (Kulb, 1992). The use of modern architecture was a ready- that typify that certain style, at the same time, adheres to the made response to designing large scale projects such as canonical definition as agreed upon by various authors. universities, hospitals and large scale housing projects in which the traditional architectural was not able to cope with. Through the initial survey of buildings of Amman, the it si also clear in the architetcure of banks and office following styles were identified: buildings especially with boxy forms and extensive use of glass. Buildings conforming to this group are characterized by: the simplicity and clarity of forms with the elimination of International Architecture detailing and decoration, orthogonal designs with a visual This trend refers to architectural designs that employ the emphasis on horizontal and vertical lines, materials honesty in vocabularies of the international style; simple rectilinear expression and structure, the visual expression of structure, the designs, the use of modern material, structural honesty, extensive use of industrially-produced materials and the horizontal windows, pure forms, etc. This trend started in adaptation of machine aesthetic, and the illusion to the Jordan after its independence and even in the earlier phases as International Style of modernism (fig 10). Figure 10: Samples of modern architecture Eclectic Architecture designers and profit makers who were supporting commercial values as aspects affecting the quality of the produced Eclecticism as an architectural style that started in the 19th and architecture. 20th-centuries. It refers to any work of architecture that incorporates either elements of traditional motifs and styles, This trend still widely spread today, largely dominated the decorative aesthetics and ornaments, structural features, and so scene in the late seventies and the early eighties due to the on, or any design feature that originated from other cultures or increased wealth and the need to express this wealth by being architectural periods. Most of the architectural built different by the means of using different forms, expensive environment in Amman belongs to this trend; a pitched roof materials and following different styles. Nevertheless, some combined with arches, strange shapes and onion like domes, architects who work in this trend practice a kind of organized the use of traditional vocabulary to express a modern plan, etc. eclecticism, where they are aware of what they are doing and The dominant players in this trend are the demands of the they do it according the codes of aesthetics and implying a clients, the demands of the market, and architects’ capabilities certain rationality in their design solutions. It should be noted and desires. This trend is mostly followed by mass production that this kind of architecture results from the freedom in the architectural expression and from the state of confusion of the society (fig 11). 1664 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 11: Eclectic architecture of Amman As a result of the loss of the architectural identity and the visual manipulation of opened and closed spaces. Most attempts in chaos, some architects began to question the forms used started neo-vernacular architecture fall under what Ozkan (2007) to search for an architectural identity through built forms; they labelled interpretive vernacularism, an approach to bringing a began to look back at the rich repertoire of past architecture as new life to vernacular heritage for new and contemporary an active source for their designs. This return was meant to functions. The widest area of the application of this approach establish the identity that was seemingly lost. This trial took the is the architecture for tourism and culture (fig 12). In that case, form of four trends, each one agrees on the use of tradition to this trend did not exceed the renovation of some of the give the identity but what source of reference to be used and the existing buildings either for private use or for renovating some way to deal with that reference is different in each one of them. villages utilizing modern technology to give a desired image for commercial purposes. It can be said that this trend did not Neo-Vernacular Architecture exceed the theme of fashion for recreational purposes. Vernacular architecture, often refered to as 'architecture without architects', refers to buildings made by local craftsmen. In contrast to what is known as polite architecture, vernacular architecture is based on a tradition of building mostly related to social organization, availability of materials in the surrounding environment, and depending on un- professionally trained builders. This type of building develops over time and experience within its own limits. It is charaterized by the use of available local building materials and simple utilitarian forms. In the context of Jordan, it is an attempt to revive the image of the village architecture found in the rural areas of Jordan with the use of the vernacular elements and treatments such as the use of local building like rough stones and mud, spontaneous massing and the 1665 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 12: Kan Zaman Restaurant (left), and the SOS Village (right) Regionalized Modernism Regionalized Modernism is a term used "to characterize This trend based on the modern principles and holds the local tradition through the features it uses, manages to produce an building design that opposed the standardizations of an” International Style” (Herring, 2009, p 2). According to architecture that is aesthetically pleasing and theoretically Canizaro (2007, p 20), regional modernism "is a theory that acceptable but still hasto be developed more so as to become a supports resistance to various forms of hegemonic, universal, school of thought with principles rather than a trend carried by or otherwise standardizing structures that would diminish some architects. local differentiation". The theoretical base of this trend is Experimental Regionalism based on the concept of “appropriate modernity” developed by Cristián Fernandez Cox in 1984 (cited in Schmitz, 2009). This "Regional architecture" as a term was first coined in 1981 by concept assumes the presence of several parallel modernisms, Alexander Tzonis and Liane Lefaivre, but it was Kenneth not a singular one, each with its character and history. Here Frampton who gave it its most famous elaboration in his international modernity is used to uncover the real modern canonical essay on "Critical Regionalism" (1983). This trend identity that coupled with unique responses to particular finds its theoretical roots at the intersection of Ozkan’s (2007) climates, places, and cultures. Thus, the corner stone of this concrete modern regionalism, Curtis’ (1986) authentic approach is accepting modern architectural theories, aesthetical regionalism, and Frampton’s (1983) critical regionalism. values and technology, and adopting it to the local context in Concrete modern regionalism refers to the use of design of which it is used. regional architectural elements and features in contemporary designs. Authentic regionalism refers to an architecture that Through the choice of the modern theories- based on the social finds unique responses to conditions of climate, place, and values and the norms of the community- that are suitable for culture not necessarily by using design features but by the local context and the modification of the regional reinterpreting and transforming values and principles of the architectural vocabulary to be well suited for modernity, past, thus referring to a way of thinking. Critical regionalism architects give form to their buildings (fig 13). This concept of calls for the adaptation of tradition to meet the requirements of regionalized modernism is very close to but not exactly equal the contemporary times. to what Ozkan (2007) called Abstract Modern Regionalism where modern architecture incorporates the abstract qualities of regional architecture such as massing, solids and void, proportions, sense of space, and use of light seeking to bring back to existence the cultural issues. Figure 13: Modernity with a regional feel 1666 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 The basic point of reference for this trend is the local regional One point to mention here as argued by Frampton (1983) is architecture with its aesthetics, treatments and architectural that regionalism differs from critical regionalism where while vocabulary. But since one dwells in the present, this regionalism is about the context and customs of making architecture has to suit and reflect present time. So, architects buildings in a particular region with its own distinctive experiment with the forms of the regional architecture such as features, critical regionalism is an intellectual construct to the vaults, materials, typology of openings-double windows counter the modernist and post modernist's lack of identity and with segmental arches and punches-and other climatic and disregard of context. At the same time, as regional architecture social treatments such as the courtyard in order to reach a form closely parallels vernacular architecture in its response to the that is suitable for the contemporary life and still holds the locallity of context, it nevertheless incorporates modern strong image of the past, as if they are trying to give a new building materials and technologies. image of the past through the manipulation and transformation of its forms (fig 14). Figure 14: Projects exemplifying Experimental Regionalism Neo-Traditional Architecture Traditional architecture is a way of building that extensively architecture style that finds its highest expression in religious uses the familiar symbolic forms, elements, and̀ features of buildings such as mosques and Madrasah. This style is particular culture, of particular people and particular context. characterized by stylistic features and design features of As such, traditional architecture is an architecture that takes design such as domes, arches, vaults, colored stone into account past styles that were prevalent to a region or area. intentionally incorporated to reflect religious believes (fig 15). When one talks about Islamic architecture , one refers to an The term Traditional Architecture is generally used to refer to the architectural heritage in general including the regional architecture and the Islamic one but in the course of this research it would be used to refer to the Islamic architectural heritage without the regional one. The term Islamic architecture is greatly debated these days as it is a legacy of orientalism and in the current time the term Architecture in the Islamic Context is used, since spread over a vast geographical area over a period of more than 1400 year in which many local styles developed. For further discussion see Mohammad Alasad ‘Views in the Concept of Islamic Architecture: Return to the Aspiration of Islamic Architecture is not mere copying but Development’, in Alhayat, 14-5-1992, p19. (in Arabic) 1667 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 15: The municipality of Amman Neo-traditional Islamic architecture is analogic to Ozkan’s design and build things that are innovative and different from Concrete regionalism, which borrows regional expressions, what was done in the past or what is usually done mundanely elements, fragments, or entire buildings, in a certain region, today; it offers a multitude of architectural choices, provided except for the fact it only builds on heavily religious buildings that they stand out from what is normally done. It breaks away that are considered symbolic of Islam. When new buildings from the processes and ways of thinking that have become are loaded with design features that have spiritual values or standard. As it is not an architectural movement of a symbolic relevance, they become much more acceptable, distinctive historical style, it has a high level of variety. owing to the values attached to the original source (Ozkan, However, this doesn’t stop some common traits from being 2007). This creates a sense of continuity and connection to the observable within contemporary architecture. The architecture past, which helps to maintain a traditional look and feel. of this trend aims to create compositions/ sculptures with a formal base. Relying on traditional architecture takes two forms: picturesque employment that borrows and copies forms and 'Contemporary' means simplicity in form and design; formally features that are symbols of Islam due to their association with speaking, it is based on abstraction, which is created by clean Islamic monuments. These features include domes and vaults, lines, basic shapes, and forms. Thus, simple, plain, geometric and different types of arches among others. Authentic forms, rectangular shapes, and linear elements make the traditionalism that employs general rules and principles that characteristics of contemporary architecture. The overall form lie behind the established forms and types, which implies the is either a pure platonic form in its generic state or an ensemble of basic design elements and volumes creating rediscovery of the processes that lead behind the forms in order to be able to produce new typologies and this is rarely distinctive spaces in-between (fig 16). Another distinctive feature is the use of new materials or new use of materials like the case. glass, wood, brick, and metals for both the interior and the exterior. Windows and openings are larger and more plentiful; Contemporary Formal Architecture besides the horizontal strips, multiple openings and their Generally speaking, contemporary architecture is defined as the uncommon positioning, panoramic windows, window walls, architecture of the present day. It is based on the intention to and skylights have all entered the playing field. The work of Henning Larsen in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia is an example of extracting rules behind the traditional architecture. 1668 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 16: Samples of the contemporary architecture of Jordan After thought The aim of this paper was to explore the architectural scene of If one is adjusting the past to the modern times, then it is a Amman. In a seemingly chaotic architectural scene, visual modern regionalism. This implies the selection of the best of observations identified seven trends: international, the traditional heritage in accordance with its suitability to the contemporary formal, eclectic, neo-vernacular, regionalized modern times. Nevertheless, the issue here would be how far modernism, experimental regionalism, and neo-traditional. into past one should go, criteria for selection, and the Emergence of these style is attributed to rapid and complex adjustment process. socio-economic and cultural transformations, realities of the The third trend, eclectic is being neither here nor there; it present day of globalization and power of digital media, issues literally reflects the current state of social and cultural of change and historical continuity, and most importantly, the confusion. It is this trend that is expressive of the current search for an architectural identity. conditions and mostly characterizes the pop intellectual scene. These seven trends can be further regrouped into three main It represents the bare truth and its value lies in it being a categories: contemporary formal, contextual, and eclectic. The warning sign that triggers study and action. contemporary formal is based on a notion of architecture as an The presented categorization is linked to a wider discourse autonomous system that is timeless and contextualess; about modernity, tradition, and development. Issues arise architecture has its own laws, although subject to historical because of the ambiguity of the three terms and their change, that come from inside the system. As such, its laws relationships. Nevertheless, if one is critically consciousness are universal and transcend the specifity of time and space. about them and able to engender a specific sense of self while Accordingly, architecture is regarded as formation in which attending to universal cultural elements as well as to the architectural form is displaced from its pragmatic surrounding specifics of place, then a critical progressive attitude develops, conditions, giving priority to internal rules and mechanisms which helps to establish a contemporary identity. specific to architecture, without necessarily denying the presence of these conditions and responding to them. The contextual category responds to the specifity of the physical By no means has this paper claims these trends are exhaustive or clearly defined; rather, they require further investigation. and socio-economic conditions of its context, which helps to distinguish architectural works, create a sense of continuity These trends are meant to provoke questions of cultural identity in an age of globalization and an architectural identity and connection to the past, and help an area maintain its local and regional identity and feel. Through the use of in an age of theory and vast advancements in material, technology, and construction; questions of architectural architectural features and elements, reuse of material, and overall formation, architectural works maintain a link to the documentation and analysis of this vast and rich repertoire; questions of how the issues of appropriate modernism, past styles of building and stay consistent with an overall building design specific to that area. Thus, contrary to the authentic regionalism, and critical regionalism be applied to the local context of Jordan. But most importantly it seeks former, Contextualism emphasizes figuration and locality rather than abstraction and globalism. Contextualism includes answers to the seminal question of Paul Ricour (2007): "How to be modern and to continue the tradition, how to revive an experimental regionalism, neo-vernacular, regionalized modernism, and neo-traditional. All of them, except for old dormant civilization as part of universal civilization." regionalized modernism, attempt to establish an architectural REFERENCES identity based on the past, an identity that reflects the culture of the region and defines an image for itself against another. [1] Akerman, J. S. (1962). A Theory of Style. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. Vol. 20, No. 3. pp. It should be noted that the difference between regionalized 227-237. Wiley: on behalf of The American Society modernism and experimental regionalism is not a thin line; for Aesthetics. DOI: 10.2307/427321 rather it is a margin within which many works of architecture are found. The difference can be noticed through asking the [2] Al-Asad, M. (1999). Houses of Jordan. Routledge main question is whether one is trying to create a regional modern identity or a modern regional identity? The answer to [3] Al-Asad, M. (2008) The Contemporary Built Environment in the Arab Middle East. In Architecture this question lies in the starting point; if one is trying to adapt the modern to respond to the existing cultural norms then one and Urbanism in the Middle East: View Points Special Edition. Washington DC: Middle East Institute. pp. is tackling regionalized modernism. This would mean the selection of what is appropriate of the modern according to the 26-28 traditional norms and values and the rejection of what is not. 1669 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 [4] Al-Faqih, S. (1993) House Formation and Architectural Identity in Urban Amman. Open House [19] Knight, Terry (1994). Transformations in Design: A International. Vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 21-27 Formal Approach to Stylistic Change and Innovation in the Visual Arts. Cambridge: Cambridge University [5] Al-Rifae, T. (1987). The First Houses of Amman. Press Jordan: Jordan University Publications. (In Arabic). [20] Kulb, D. (1992). Postmodern Sophistications: [6] Abdelmajeed Rjoub, A. (2016). The Relationship Philosophy, Architecture, and Tradition. 1st Ed. between Heritage Resources and Contemporary University of Chicago Press. Architecture of Jordan. Architecture Research 6(1): 1- 12. DOI: 10.5923/j.arch.20160601.01 [21] Mahadin, K. (1994) Regionalist Architecture in Jordan: a Critical View. In Open House Internationa, [7] Canizaro, V. B. (2007). "Introduction." Architectural Vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 12-22 Regionalism: Collected Writings on Place, Identity, Modernity, and Tradition. Ed. Canizaro. New York: [22] Melnik, V. (2019). Urban identity of Amman: Princeton Architectural pp. 16-33. A Dialogue between Tradition and Modernity. In Journal of Engineering and Architecture Vol. 7, No. 1, [8] Curtis, W. J. R. (1986). Towards an Authentic pp. 68-82. Regionalism. Mimar 19: Architecture in Development, edited by Hasan-Uddin Khan. pp 24- [23] Meyer S. (1953). Style. in Anthropology Today: An 31. Singapore: Concept Media Ltd. Encyclopedic Inventory, ed. A. L. Kroeber (Chicago, pp 287–312. [9] Daher, R. (2008 a) Amman’s Vanishing Legacy of Modernity. Jordan Property, Issue 23, complimentary [25] Mitchell, W. J. (1990). The Logic of Architecture: copy, pp. 10-21 Design, Computation, and Cognition. Cambridge: MIT Press [10] Daher, R. (2008 b) Celebrating and Qualifying Amman: The City of Many Hats. Jordan Property, [26] Ozkan, S. (2007) Regionalism within Modernism. In Issue 14, pp. 32-39 Canizaro, V. (ed.). Architectural Regionalism: Collected Writings on Place, Identity, Modernity, and [11] Daher, R. (2008 d) Amman: Disguised Genealogy and Tradition. pp. 102-109. New York: Princeton Recent Urban Restructuring and Neoliberal Threats. Architectural Press. (originally published in 1985). In El-Sheshtawi, W. (ed.) The Evolving Arab City: [27] Pidler, a. D. (2011). Urbanization and Identity: Tradition, Modernity, and Urban Development. Great Britain: Routledge. pp. 37-68 The Building of Amman In The Twentieth Century. Master's thesis. Miami University, Oxford Ohio [12] Dumper, M., Bruce E. Stanley B. E. (2007). Cities of [28] Ricoeur, P (2007). Universal Civilization and the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical National Cultures. Architectural Regionalism: Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 35. Collected Writings on Place, Identity, Modernity, and [13] Fethi, E., Mahadin, K. (1994). Villa Architecture in Tradition. Canizaro, V. (ed.). pp. 43-53. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Amman: The Current Spectrum of Styles. In the City and its Society, French Centre for the Study of [29] Schapiro, M. (1953). An Excerpt from Style. White Contemporary Middle East (CERMOC) 6-8.6. Paper, [14] Groat, L., Depres, C. (1991) The significance of http://homepages.neiu.edu/~wbsieger/Art202/202Rea d/202Schapiro.pdf, Access date, 10/7/2016 Architectural Theory for Environmental Design research. In Zube, E., Moore, G. et.al. Advances in [30] Schmitz, S. (2009). Identity in Architectue? A Environment, Behavior, and Design. pp 3-52. New Construction? In Herrle, P., Schmitz, S. Constructing York and London: Plenum Press. Identity in Contemporary Architecture: Case Studies from the South (HABITAT - INTERNATIONAL: [15] Herring, S. (2009). Regional Modernism: Schriften der Habitat Unit, Fakultat VI Planen Bauen a reintroduction. In MFS Modern Fiction Studies, Umwelt der TU Berlin) Volume 55, Number 1, pp. 1-10 [31] Shalunts G., Haxhimusa Y., Sablatnig R. (2011). [16] Jarrar, Ola. (2013).Cultural Influences in Jordanian Architectural Style Classification of Building Facade Architectural Practices: Post 1990. University Of Windows. In: Bebis G. et al. (eds) Advances in Visual Calgary Computing. ISVC 2011. Lecture Notes in Computer [17] Jupp, J. Gero. J. (2006).Visual style: Qualitative and Science, vol 6939. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg context-dependent categorization. Artificial intelligence for engineering design analysis and manufacturing. 20(3):247-266. [18] Kenneth F. (1983). Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance. In Foster, Hal ed. The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. Seattle: Bay Press. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology Unpaywall

Trends in the Contemporary Architecture of Amman

International Journal of Engineering Research and TechnologyJul 31, 2020

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0974-3154
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Abstract

This paper examines the architecture of Amman/Jordan. Immersed in tradition, but also open and cosmopolitan, modern Amman went through a series of political, cultural, and economic transformations, which resulted in developing an expansive and a multiple sense of identity. This is reflected in its architecture; largely diversified in scale and style ranging between modernity and tradition, from aesthetically pleasing to visually displeasing, and from culturally acceptable to totally alien. Through visual observation, this paper examines the architectural scene of Amman and attempts to give a preliminary classification of such diversified trends. The paper identified seven architectural trends ranging from the Figure 1: An over view of the city of Amman contemporary to the regional and neo-traditional. The afterthought of the paper concluded that these trends can be according to characteristic features of design (Knight, further grouped into three categories; formal contemporary, 1994); buildings can be classified with reference to form, contextual, and eclectic, reflecting a more general attitude elements used, techniques and materials, time period, region, towards modernity, tradition, and development. etc...Human observers are able to recognize, interpret and search for salient features in buildings or their representations in order to detect visual similarities INTRODUCTION (Jupp & Gero, 2006). As such, visual observations Exploring issues of architectural identity and stylistic change and qualitative descriptions rather than morphological in contemporary cities is problematic especially in an era of and typological analysis suffice the purposes of this paper. historical dis/continuity, rapidly changing socio-economic and Despite its significance, this paper will neither discuss the cultural conditions, and technological advancements. The city internal lay out of the buildings and its reflection on the of Amman is no exception; from its establishment as a small external facades, nor will it address in depth the socio- Circassian village in 1878 to a major metropolis of over four economic conditions and cultural bases for the diversity of million inhabitants in the last decade, Amman’s growth has the architectural scene in Amman. been both dynamic and consequential (Pidler, 2011). As a city that is constantly changing, responding to social and spatial This paper focuses on the architecture of what is popularly practices, state policies, and transnational influences, its urban known as” Western Amman”, an area that has no exact and architectural identity are changing rapidly as well. Against geographic boundaries or legal qualification but agreed upon this complex scene, this paper examines the architectural scene socially. The selection is not without merit; Western Amman of Amman and attempts to identify its current architectural is where “middle class” and “upper middle class” dwell, as trends and classify them visually (fig 1). such, it is an area where architecture can be freed from the Research in this paper is exploratory in nature; it addresses the constraints of pragmatic necessities and economic pressures visual appearance of the built environment of Amman in order giving architects the opportunity to experiment with designs to find distinguishable properties, which enable the grouping of that address new design ideas, aesthetics, technologies, and its architecture into categories or trends. In architecture, social and political orders. This allows architecture to researching similarities is within the domain of architectural visually express social, cultural, and aesthetic aspects freely, style. Architectural style is a way of classifying architecture thus, acting as a visual metaphor that mirrors underlying value systems. Corresponding author 1658 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Literature addressing the urban design and architecture of As for its historic legacy, although Amman has been Amman is diverse, nevertheless, this paper is not an exhaustive characterized by newness—does not have the historical depth review of all literature; rather a sample of that literature is of Damascus or Cairo (Pidler, 2011), human settling in the site reviewed: Al-Rifae (1987) published a book recording houses of Amman dates back to Rabbath Ammon of the Ammonites of Amman built in the 1920s and 1930s of the last century; Al (13th C. B.C.), Philadelphia of the Greco-Roman Decapolis Faqih (1993) addressed the formation of an architectural (3rd C. B.C.), or Amman of the Ummayads (7th C. A.D.). identity in Amman's houses; Mahadin (1994) talked about the During the Ottoman Period in the 18th and 19th centuries, attempts of many Jordanian architects to formulate an there was only a limited number of locals. In 1878, the site architetcural identity for Amman; Fethi and Mahadin (1994) was resettled as a village for the Circassian immigrants. With addressed the spectrum of villa architecture in Amman; Al- the construction of the Hijaz railway, Amman became a small Asad et. Al. (1999) published a book talking about the old town in 1903, and with the establishment of Emirate of houses of Amman between 1920-1950; Rababe’h (2010) draws Trasnjordan under the British Mandate, it became a capital attention to the crucial problem of how to approach to design city in 1921 (Melnik, 2019). Since then, Amman has been issues based on cultural identity within a global world; Daher reconstructed as a modern capital with around 4.5 million between 2007 and 2008 published a series of articles inhabitants. Nevertheless, the discontinuity in its history and addressing the effect of capital and neoliberalism on identity, its newness as a capital have always had an impact on its architecture, and heritage of Amman. Pidler (2011) showed architecture and identity. how the features of the city’s history and development have The highly diverse demographic of locals, displaced, and shaped its unique identity. Jarrar (2013) investigated the work migrants greatly adds to the city's uniqueness. By the turn of of four prominent architects in Amman to identify the cultural the century, especially after the construction of the Hijaz influences on its architecture post 1990s; Rjoub (2016) studied railway, merchants from surrounding Arabic regions came to the emergence and development of Jordanian architecture and Amman. With the establishment of the Transjordan Hashemite its relation to the architectural heritage of Jordan; Melnik Emirate under the British Mandate in 1921, the newly formed (2019) talked about the urban identity of Amman. capital drew in migrants from other towns in Jordan and Nevertheless, there are no recent attempts to explore the Palestine (Dumper and Stanley, 2007). The demographic complexity of the architectural scene. This paper presents such structure of Amman changed drastically between 1948 and an attempt. 2003; following Arab-Israeli conflict and the occupation of This paper will investigate what seems to be a chaotic Palestine in 1948 and the West Bank in 1967, influxes of architectural scene in order to identify and categorize Palestinian refugees expanded Amman's size and population architectural trends in the architecture of Amman. Since this rapidly. The 1990-1991 Gulf crisis brought back around paper is exploratory in nature, its primary aim is to set some 300,000 Palestinian and Jordanian “returnees”. The 2003 Gulf background knowledge, describe and develeope an War brought about a great wave of migration to Amman in the understanding about the architecture of Amman, and provide a form of some 200,000 Iraqis. With the Syrian conflict, platform for a more structured discourse about it. By no means Amman recevied more than 70,000 refugees. Amman its findings are conclusive or final; rather they are a transformed from a temporary destination for most of the preliminary attempt intended for future investigation. migrants, to become a relatively lasting one. The diversity of Nevertheless, classification presented within this paper is the population ethnically, socially, culturally, and essential for structuring knowledge about architectural trends, economically renders the establishment of a collective identity for providing a sense of order within what appears to be a or the creation a sense of place a very difficult task. messy mixture, and for forming a necessary pre-condition for Furthermore, while these migrations might have had their future in-depth analytic and morphological studies. economic benefits, they have put a great strain on the city's resources especially in terms of housing and infrastructure, Tracing Amman which leads to the third characteristic, the spatial and physical disjunction of Amman along with the lack of social cohesion. It is not within the scope of this paper to give an indepth review of Ammans' development; rather, a quick review of its As new immigrants moved in, older inhabitants moved to new development is presented to provide a background against neighborhoods to the west, creating a pattern of expansion and which trends presented can be understood. Amman has movement of wealth in Amman from east to west (Pidler, three major characteristics that sets it apart from its fellow 2011). As the population expanded, the urban fabric frayed middle eastern capitals: firstly, while considered relatively apart away from the Downtown of Amman and spread new, the site on which the city is built has a long historic uncontrollably in all directions. The hilly topography legacy. Secondly, the diversity of the city's population which reinforced the disconnectedness of the growing city. As wealth was and is still formed by numerous waves of ensued in the 1970s and 1980s, the desire amongst the displacement and refugee movements, and this more than any financially capable for larger dwellings continued to push the other dynamic feature, shaped the city's identity. Thirdly, the city westward into agricultural lands, while eastern Amman lack of urban and social cohesion largely due to the failure of was being populated with the less capable. The resultant urban planning attempts because of continuous and rapid sprawl and discontinuity of the city belied the numerous expansion (Pidler, 2011). These three charateristics had a planning efforts made by the state to turn Amman into a major impact on Amman's architecture. contemporary, well planned, and structured city. 1659 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 In her PhD thesis, Jarrar (2013) drew a general idea about the The return of many professionally educated architects from architectural scene in Amman between 1920s and the 1990s. Europe, Lebanon, and Egypt, coupled with the complexity of an emerging city and radical change in life style due to Following is a summary of that review; up until the changing socio economic conditions, created a new era of 1940s, Amman had three dominant housing typologies; modernist influence began in Amman. By the 1960s’, the the Rewaq (arcade) house, Al-Finaâa (courtyard) house, international style was introduced especially in the and the Central Hall house which was a European architecture of hotels, public facilities, and university influence adopted in Lebanon and spread afterwards buildings (fig 3). further in Syria and Jordan (fig 2). With the introduction of new building functions e.g. governmental buildings, schools, and buildings for entertainment, a modernistic style started to encroach the territories of Amman (Daher, 2008 a). Figure 2: Old houses of Amman Figure 3 University of Jordan Hospital (left) and the Intercontinental Amman (right) The period of the late 1960s up until the middle 1970s revivalism that expressed nostalgia to the past (fig 6). These witnessed a domestic modern architecture that had both trends reflected a state of confusion in a culture that is both character and style; the modernist influence merged with local dogmatic and undefinable i.e. neither traditional in the building tradition of masonry and stone to produce what can authentic sense, nor contemporary in the modern sense; a be labelled “domesticated modernity” (Daher, 2008 a) (fig 4). mutated hybrid. By the mid of 1980s a new generation of The period of the 1970s’ up till mid 1980s’ witnessed an practitioners came into the scene; architects who were economic boom due to rising oil prices, which influenced most interested in rediscovering and reinterpreting local Jordanian sectors of society including the construction industry. cultural values and expressing them architecturally. A sort of Countries of the Middle East including Jordan initiated a new regional architecture was born and was gaining momentum phase of development and construction led by both among practitioners and university educators. Interest in the international and local architects. In Amman, two architectural vernacular emerged and several public and touristic projects trends dominated; an eclectic extravaganza of designs that followed that trend. exhibits wealth and financial power (fig 5), and a kind of picturesque Islamic 1660 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 4: Modern architecture of the sixties and early seventies Figure 5: Eclectic architecture of the eighties Figure 6: Islamic picturesque 1661 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Rapid social and cultural change marked the end of the 1990s small-scale products up to entire urban developments. The till mid 2000s due to globalization and rapid geo-political rapid geo-political transformations due to both the Gulf transformations. Globalization was supported by the rise of conflict and September 11th events affected Jordan directly; international neoliberal values and facilitated by the wide a new wave of immigrants from the Gulf, mainly Jordanian spread of digital media. Digital media, the free mobility of returnees and Iraqi refugees concentrated in Amman, capital and goods facilitated the spread of a culture of brought their lifestyle, as well as capital (Jarrar, 2013). This consumption and advocated an optimum universal character of influx of newcomers demanded large scale housing, which contemporary living (Ricoeur, 2007). This contemporary image caused boost in residential building (fig 7) and the stretched on all scales of human artifacts and commodities from construction of high end residential villas. Figure 7: Residential buildings The effect on the local architecture was immense; on one hand, a sort of tourist post card attractions or “free floating Amman was forced into new urban developments of a signs”(Al-Asad, 2008). On the other hand, a new “universal” contemporary image to compete in a world market and attract architecture that expressed formal manipulation and an capital (fig 8). Its architecture was one of manufactured understanding of what contemporary theory of architecture “sameness” with a universal mode of expression could be found started to emerge with practicing young architects (fig 9). anywhere and of an everywhere; thus buildings are reduced into Figure 8: The Abdali development in Amman as an example of urban globalization 1662 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 9: Private residence by Minimalist Architects As can be seen from the review above, Jordan, in the last forty as a kind of a language within which symbolic and formal years, went through dramatic changes in its socio-economic conventions are organized into a coherent constructs similar to a grammar. conditions resulting in various shifts in its cultural environment. Accordingly, its architecture changed in response According to Knight, grouping of art products is a prerequisite to the new cultural landscape; looking around Amman, a to the study of stylistic change (knight, 1994). In architecture, mixture of buildings ranging from small scale houses to high the value of studying style is multifaceted: it can be a rise buildings of various functions and large housing projects significant identifier of place and time; it is a system of forms following different architectural styles and schools of thought with a quality and a meaningful expression through which and varying between modern styles and traditional ones, from values of the society are expressed and communicated; it forms aesthetically pleasing to visually displeasing and from a common ground against which innovations and the culturally acceptable to totally alien can be found. More individuality of particular works maybe measured; and most recently, rapid urbanization, technological advances, and wide importantly, it helps to account for the variations in styles and spread use of digital media, resulted in more diversification of matching these variations with events and with the varying Jordan’s architectural built environment, depriving its features of other fields of culture (Schapiro, 1953). architecture of its cultural and regional identity, and leading to Furthermore, theories of style and stylistic change not only a break in the continuity between its inherited morphology and provide a description of various styles but investigate the the more recent architectural developments (Rababe’h, 2010). relation between them. Such a condition, warrants close examination and preliminary classification of such changes. This study is exploratory in nature; it does not aim to explain why such styles appear, rather, it aims to identify visual Style: a classification of the stylistic trends in Amman similarities in buildings of Amman, which enables their Concepts of style and stylistic change are central to the study grouping into architectural styles giving a sense of order of art and architecture; members associated within any within an otherwise apparently chaotic scene. Visual discipline share a definition and classification of common similarities in this research will address the overall form of the concepts that constitute that discipline. The definition and building as well as the design elements that are used. The classification of these concepts are necessary conditions to detection of these visual similarities will be based on visual structuring knowledge in any discipline, communicating that observations: according to Jupp & Gero (2006), human knowledge, and giving insight into that particular discipline observers are able to recognize, interpret and search for salient (Mitchell, 1990). Knight (1994) defined style as an ordering features in diagrams in order to detect visual similarities. This principle through which “artifacts” can be grouped together is supported by environment-behavior research where through according to some distinguishable properties or features. As observations, people recognize formal categories of defined such, style can be described as consistencies among products architectural styles, state their stylistic preferences for a given of an individual, group, region, or time period that can identify building type, and identify the social meaning associated with them. For Schapiro (1953) these consistencies generally refer housing of particular architectural styles (Groat & Despres, to physical form elements, formal relationships, and qualities 1991). (expression). Ackerman, (1962) regarded these consistencies One issues that warrants attention here is the classification and 1663 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 labeling the different styles; the approach I shall take in this a part of the modernization process. Western Modernism paper is based on the premise that architecture is analogous to was associated with development, hence the western model is language in terms its syntactic aspects especially with its to be followed; modern architecture to express a modern structural and grammatical rules. As such, an architectural style society (fig 3). This meant a search for technological can be regarded as a formal language characterized by a solutions, functionality, and buildings as self-referential vocabulary and a grammar. The labelling of styles in this paper systems that express their functions and mode of construction is based on the distinctive formal features of the vocabulary (Kulb, 1992). The use of modern architecture was a ready- that typify that certain style, at the same time, adheres to the made response to designing large scale projects such as canonical definition as agreed upon by various authors. universities, hospitals and large scale housing projects in which the traditional architectural was not able to cope with. Through the initial survey of buildings of Amman, the it si also clear in the architetcure of banks and office following styles were identified: buildings especially with boxy forms and extensive use of glass. Buildings conforming to this group are characterized by: the simplicity and clarity of forms with the elimination of International Architecture detailing and decoration, orthogonal designs with a visual This trend refers to architectural designs that employ the emphasis on horizontal and vertical lines, materials honesty in vocabularies of the international style; simple rectilinear expression and structure, the visual expression of structure, the designs, the use of modern material, structural honesty, extensive use of industrially-produced materials and the horizontal windows, pure forms, etc. This trend started in adaptation of machine aesthetic, and the illusion to the Jordan after its independence and even in the earlier phases as International Style of modernism (fig 10). Figure 10: Samples of modern architecture Eclectic Architecture designers and profit makers who were supporting commercial values as aspects affecting the quality of the produced Eclecticism as an architectural style that started in the 19th and architecture. 20th-centuries. It refers to any work of architecture that incorporates either elements of traditional motifs and styles, This trend still widely spread today, largely dominated the decorative aesthetics and ornaments, structural features, and so scene in the late seventies and the early eighties due to the on, or any design feature that originated from other cultures or increased wealth and the need to express this wealth by being architectural periods. Most of the architectural built different by the means of using different forms, expensive environment in Amman belongs to this trend; a pitched roof materials and following different styles. Nevertheless, some combined with arches, strange shapes and onion like domes, architects who work in this trend practice a kind of organized the use of traditional vocabulary to express a modern plan, etc. eclecticism, where they are aware of what they are doing and The dominant players in this trend are the demands of the they do it according the codes of aesthetics and implying a clients, the demands of the market, and architects’ capabilities certain rationality in their design solutions. It should be noted and desires. This trend is mostly followed by mass production that this kind of architecture results from the freedom in the architectural expression and from the state of confusion of the society (fig 11). 1664 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 11: Eclectic architecture of Amman As a result of the loss of the architectural identity and the visual manipulation of opened and closed spaces. Most attempts in chaos, some architects began to question the forms used started neo-vernacular architecture fall under what Ozkan (2007) to search for an architectural identity through built forms; they labelled interpretive vernacularism, an approach to bringing a began to look back at the rich repertoire of past architecture as new life to vernacular heritage for new and contemporary an active source for their designs. This return was meant to functions. The widest area of the application of this approach establish the identity that was seemingly lost. This trial took the is the architecture for tourism and culture (fig 12). In that case, form of four trends, each one agrees on the use of tradition to this trend did not exceed the renovation of some of the give the identity but what source of reference to be used and the existing buildings either for private use or for renovating some way to deal with that reference is different in each one of them. villages utilizing modern technology to give a desired image for commercial purposes. It can be said that this trend did not Neo-Vernacular Architecture exceed the theme of fashion for recreational purposes. Vernacular architecture, often refered to as 'architecture without architects', refers to buildings made by local craftsmen. In contrast to what is known as polite architecture, vernacular architecture is based on a tradition of building mostly related to social organization, availability of materials in the surrounding environment, and depending on un- professionally trained builders. This type of building develops over time and experience within its own limits. It is charaterized by the use of available local building materials and simple utilitarian forms. In the context of Jordan, it is an attempt to revive the image of the village architecture found in the rural areas of Jordan with the use of the vernacular elements and treatments such as the use of local building like rough stones and mud, spontaneous massing and the 1665 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 12: Kan Zaman Restaurant (left), and the SOS Village (right) Regionalized Modernism Regionalized Modernism is a term used "to characterize This trend based on the modern principles and holds the local tradition through the features it uses, manages to produce an building design that opposed the standardizations of an” International Style” (Herring, 2009, p 2). According to architecture that is aesthetically pleasing and theoretically Canizaro (2007, p 20), regional modernism "is a theory that acceptable but still hasto be developed more so as to become a supports resistance to various forms of hegemonic, universal, school of thought with principles rather than a trend carried by or otherwise standardizing structures that would diminish some architects. local differentiation". The theoretical base of this trend is Experimental Regionalism based on the concept of “appropriate modernity” developed by Cristián Fernandez Cox in 1984 (cited in Schmitz, 2009). This "Regional architecture" as a term was first coined in 1981 by concept assumes the presence of several parallel modernisms, Alexander Tzonis and Liane Lefaivre, but it was Kenneth not a singular one, each with its character and history. Here Frampton who gave it its most famous elaboration in his international modernity is used to uncover the real modern canonical essay on "Critical Regionalism" (1983). This trend identity that coupled with unique responses to particular finds its theoretical roots at the intersection of Ozkan’s (2007) climates, places, and cultures. Thus, the corner stone of this concrete modern regionalism, Curtis’ (1986) authentic approach is accepting modern architectural theories, aesthetical regionalism, and Frampton’s (1983) critical regionalism. values and technology, and adopting it to the local context in Concrete modern regionalism refers to the use of design of which it is used. regional architectural elements and features in contemporary designs. Authentic regionalism refers to an architecture that Through the choice of the modern theories- based on the social finds unique responses to conditions of climate, place, and values and the norms of the community- that are suitable for culture not necessarily by using design features but by the local context and the modification of the regional reinterpreting and transforming values and principles of the architectural vocabulary to be well suited for modernity, past, thus referring to a way of thinking. Critical regionalism architects give form to their buildings (fig 13). This concept of calls for the adaptation of tradition to meet the requirements of regionalized modernism is very close to but not exactly equal the contemporary times. to what Ozkan (2007) called Abstract Modern Regionalism where modern architecture incorporates the abstract qualities of regional architecture such as massing, solids and void, proportions, sense of space, and use of light seeking to bring back to existence the cultural issues. Figure 13: Modernity with a regional feel 1666 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 The basic point of reference for this trend is the local regional One point to mention here as argued by Frampton (1983) is architecture with its aesthetics, treatments and architectural that regionalism differs from critical regionalism where while vocabulary. But since one dwells in the present, this regionalism is about the context and customs of making architecture has to suit and reflect present time. So, architects buildings in a particular region with its own distinctive experiment with the forms of the regional architecture such as features, critical regionalism is an intellectual construct to the vaults, materials, typology of openings-double windows counter the modernist and post modernist's lack of identity and with segmental arches and punches-and other climatic and disregard of context. At the same time, as regional architecture social treatments such as the courtyard in order to reach a form closely parallels vernacular architecture in its response to the that is suitable for the contemporary life and still holds the locallity of context, it nevertheless incorporates modern strong image of the past, as if they are trying to give a new building materials and technologies. image of the past through the manipulation and transformation of its forms (fig 14). Figure 14: Projects exemplifying Experimental Regionalism Neo-Traditional Architecture Traditional architecture is a way of building that extensively architecture style that finds its highest expression in religious uses the familiar symbolic forms, elements, and̀ features of buildings such as mosques and Madrasah. This style is particular culture, of particular people and particular context. characterized by stylistic features and design features of As such, traditional architecture is an architecture that takes design such as domes, arches, vaults, colored stone into account past styles that were prevalent to a region or area. intentionally incorporated to reflect religious believes (fig 15). When one talks about Islamic architecture , one refers to an The term Traditional Architecture is generally used to refer to the architectural heritage in general including the regional architecture and the Islamic one but in the course of this research it would be used to refer to the Islamic architectural heritage without the regional one. The term Islamic architecture is greatly debated these days as it is a legacy of orientalism and in the current time the term Architecture in the Islamic Context is used, since spread over a vast geographical area over a period of more than 1400 year in which many local styles developed. For further discussion see Mohammad Alasad ‘Views in the Concept of Islamic Architecture: Return to the Aspiration of Islamic Architecture is not mere copying but Development’, in Alhayat, 14-5-1992, p19. (in Arabic) 1667 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 15: The municipality of Amman Neo-traditional Islamic architecture is analogic to Ozkan’s design and build things that are innovative and different from Concrete regionalism, which borrows regional expressions, what was done in the past or what is usually done mundanely elements, fragments, or entire buildings, in a certain region, today; it offers a multitude of architectural choices, provided except for the fact it only builds on heavily religious buildings that they stand out from what is normally done. It breaks away that are considered symbolic of Islam. When new buildings from the processes and ways of thinking that have become are loaded with design features that have spiritual values or standard. As it is not an architectural movement of a symbolic relevance, they become much more acceptable, distinctive historical style, it has a high level of variety. owing to the values attached to the original source (Ozkan, However, this doesn’t stop some common traits from being 2007). This creates a sense of continuity and connection to the observable within contemporary architecture. The architecture past, which helps to maintain a traditional look and feel. of this trend aims to create compositions/ sculptures with a formal base. Relying on traditional architecture takes two forms: picturesque employment that borrows and copies forms and 'Contemporary' means simplicity in form and design; formally features that are symbols of Islam due to their association with speaking, it is based on abstraction, which is created by clean Islamic monuments. These features include domes and vaults, lines, basic shapes, and forms. Thus, simple, plain, geometric and different types of arches among others. Authentic forms, rectangular shapes, and linear elements make the traditionalism that employs general rules and principles that characteristics of contemporary architecture. The overall form lie behind the established forms and types, which implies the is either a pure platonic form in its generic state or an ensemble of basic design elements and volumes creating rediscovery of the processes that lead behind the forms in order to be able to produce new typologies and this is rarely distinctive spaces in-between (fig 16). Another distinctive feature is the use of new materials or new use of materials like the case. glass, wood, brick, and metals for both the interior and the exterior. Windows and openings are larger and more plentiful; Contemporary Formal Architecture besides the horizontal strips, multiple openings and their Generally speaking, contemporary architecture is defined as the uncommon positioning, panoramic windows, window walls, architecture of the present day. It is based on the intention to and skylights have all entered the playing field. The work of Henning Larsen in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia is an example of extracting rules behind the traditional architecture. 1668 International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. ISSN 0974-3154, Volume 13, Number 7 (2020), pp. 1658-1670 © International Research Publication House. https://dx.doi.org/10.37624/IJERT/13.7.2020.1658-1670 Figure 16: Samples of the contemporary architecture of Jordan After thought The aim of this paper was to explore the architectural scene of If one is adjusting the past to the modern times, then it is a Amman. In a seemingly chaotic architectural scene, visual modern regionalism. This implies the selection of the best of observations identified seven trends: international, the traditional heritage in accordance with its suitability to the contemporary formal, eclectic, neo-vernacular, regionalized modern times. Nevertheless, the issue here would be how far modernism, experimental regionalism, and neo-traditional. into past one should go, criteria for selection, and the Emergence of these style is attributed to rapid and complex adjustment process. socio-economic and cultural transformations, realities of the The third trend, eclectic is being neither here nor there; it present day of globalization and power of digital media, issues literally reflects the current state of social and cultural of change and historical continuity, and most importantly, the confusion. It is this trend that is expressive of the current search for an architectural identity. conditions and mostly characterizes the pop intellectual scene. These seven trends can be further regrouped into three main It represents the bare truth and its value lies in it being a categories: contemporary formal, contextual, and eclectic. The warning sign that triggers study and action. contemporary formal is based on a notion of architecture as an The presented categorization is linked to a wider discourse autonomous system that is timeless and contextualess; about modernity, tradition, and development. Issues arise architecture has its own laws, although subject to historical because of the ambiguity of the three terms and their change, that come from inside the system. As such, its laws relationships. Nevertheless, if one is critically consciousness are universal and transcend the specifity of time and space. about them and able to engender a specific sense of self while Accordingly, architecture is regarded as formation in which attending to universal cultural elements as well as to the architectural form is displaced from its pragmatic surrounding specifics of place, then a critical progressive attitude develops, conditions, giving priority to internal rules and mechanisms which helps to establish a contemporary identity. specific to architecture, without necessarily denying the presence of these conditions and responding to them. The contextual category responds to the specifity of the physical By no means has this paper claims these trends are exhaustive or clearly defined; rather, they require further investigation. and socio-economic conditions of its context, which helps to distinguish architectural works, create a sense of continuity These trends are meant to provoke questions of cultural identity in an age of globalization and an architectural identity and connection to the past, and help an area maintain its local and regional identity and feel. Through the use of in an age of theory and vast advancements in material, technology, and construction; questions of architectural architectural features and elements, reuse of material, and overall formation, architectural works maintain a link to the documentation and analysis of this vast and rich repertoire; questions of how the issues of appropriate modernism, past styles of building and stay consistent with an overall building design specific to that area. 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Published: Jul 31, 2020

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