Sunday, February 11, 2007

One year on ....

... and they continue to dig away at our mountain side along the Wadi Sakra Road. Does anyone have any idea what is going to be built in this monstrous hole?

Well here is something I came across the other day while browsing through some magazines in a dentist's clinic ... the secret 'design' apparently is called a 'Living Wall' project ... recently recognised in a Dubai architectural show ... complete with the usual offices, malls, tower blocks et al .... did we really need that in the midst of a residential/medical area of the city?

... and meanwhile back in Amman, we are none the wiser... and I wish we had a living mountain with trees instead. I am so fed up with a house full of dust as a result of this mammoth undertaking and I hope they have spared a thought for proper parking when it's finished, otherwise Wadi Sakra Road - the one designed as a thoroughfare for easy driving - will turn into another nightmare on Garden's Street. J


Anonymous salam said...

Dear J,
The project is supposed to be finished in 2008 , the've been digging for over a year so I wonder how it will be finished by next year.The issue of parking haunts me too..I feel no matter how much parking you provide under the building, there will always be need for hopefully they do have solutions for that.The buildings were designed by the renowned architect Norman Foster, fingers crossed he knows what kind of traffic and parking problems we have in Amman..
The news that I'm afraid you will not appreciate is that they seem to have bought this house which stands on the top right corner of the hole, so the digging will go on for some time now after they tear the house down..

Sunday, February 11, 2007  
Anonymous rebecca said...

What scares me about this excavation is that it's right under a hospital! Just imagine the consequenses if it collapsed. I'm sure whoever can afford to hire Norman Foster can afford to hire a genious civil/ structural engineer, but you never know. Just last week someone posted a picture of a huge retaining wall here in Amman that collapsed in all this rain. Who is responsible for the adjacent properties when that happens. It's no wonder that house sold. I'd get out too!

Sunday, February 11, 2007  
Blogger joladies said...

Thanks salam and rebecca - we share the same misgivings ... I too am worried about that hospital ... I still want to know why this project had to be built on land designated green belt back in the 1980s....I know the Army had a few storage facilities under the mountain ... but hey - Army should equal state, right ... not commercial development?

Sunday, February 11, 2007  
Anonymous salam said...

I tend to be in favor of the projects designed by DIP fund and MAWARED, which are both army related establishments, for one reason:a huge percentage of jordanian families -think outside Amman,live off the father or brother being in the army, so if these projects really do support army families then why not.As an architect, I welcome such a huge developmental project, but I'm still worried about parking/traffic and the lack of outdoor landscaped areas ..however since we haven't really seen the complete design for the project, we could be hopeful..inshalla!

Monday, February 12, 2007  
Blogger Jad said...

I see this site twice a day as I live and work in Wadi Sagra and honestly sometimes I feel like they are after ya2jooj and ma2jooj heh

Monday, February 12, 2007  
Anonymous Dip fund said...

Dear All,

Let us start by thanking you for your concerns and inquiries.

Please allow us to clarify certain points concerning Sundays the 11th blog entry titled “One year on..” which refers to the Wadi Saqra project. This project is called Living wall-Amman, the name was inspired from the idea of bringing life to something still and uneasy to inhabit. The architects are the world renowned Foster & partners who can easily be defined as one of the top ten architects in the world. These architects studied extensively the vernacular concerns of Amman and responded to both the city’s urban and natural terrain. The concept of this project combines all the already existing elements of the surrounding area like apartments, retail shops, hotels, cinemas and offices merging them into one iconic location. There are by no means any towers or malls; though there will be six 12 story narrow buildings of apartments, offices and a boutique hotel with beautiful public plazas. It is probably the only project in the country that provides double the parking spots required by the Amman municipality, which requested 860 spots, as opposed to the 1400 provided by the project developers; hence the prolonged excavations at the bed of the development. Dar Al Handasah was involved in a full traffic impact study and their findings were presented and taken fully into consideration. As for the house on the upper right corner, there is no intention of buying it at all. Although when the pavement of the their street expectedly collapsed due to leaking of sewage pipes for so many years, the family living in that house was evacuated to the nearby Radisson hotel, where they stayed full bored for one month courtesy of the developers of Living wall to ensure their safety. No expense was spared in conducting studies by the Buro Happold engineers, RSCN, and the Arab center geo-technical office to ensure that no harm would come to the hospital or surrounding houses. Having said all of that, we welcome you to visit us at our offices right across from the excavation site where we can give you a short briefing about our selves and this project. Please feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Public Relations & Communications Department
Development & Investment Projects Fund (Developers of Living Wall- Amman)

Tel +962-6-5625200
Fax +962-6-5625202

Wadi Saqra
Abdel Munem Al Rifai Street
Street No. 44
Dip Fund Building

Wednesday, February 21, 2007  
Blogger joladies said...

Dear Dip Fund, many thanks for providing such informative information, one year on, we may just take you up on your kind offer. However, I just have a few comments - how much longer are you going to dip into my mountain?

It's also nice to know that the Army hired one of the best architects in the world for this project that takes into consideration our plight over parking ... but not unfortunately the plight of the environment.

Does this mean that The Living Wall project is going to be a work of art, a 21st century version of Petra? A picture would be nice, so I may just pop over to get one. See you soon!


PS granted we may not be getting towers in development speak "6 x 12 storey blocks of narrow (read tall) buildings" but in Jordanian vernacular - we tend to call anything over four storeys: towers!

Thursday, February 22, 2007  

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