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  • Page 8 » CSBE
    is being adopted by HUDC It was added that while in Lebanon the civil war promoted the participation of NGOs in the process of urban development in Jordan the availability of international funds and technical assistance has promoted such a role for NGOs Within the context of the issue of participatory planning one Diwan member expressed the view that participatory planning remains an immature process particularly in developing countries It often is misused in that it aims at legitimizing actions that are far from the local community s wishes Such actions may express the political will of certain progressive groups who wish to legitimize issues relating to their agendas through the implementation of participatory planning It was added that rapid rural appraisal as a level of participatory planning is subject to few ready made prescriptions and is traditionally done through governments In this context Saliba was asked for clarifications on the credibility of the participatory planning approach in Lebanon In replying to this question Saliba emphasizes that both universities and practicing architects are abusing the issue of participatory planning in Lebanon On the one hand universities are often willing to take part in projects funded by international agencies that require the implementation of participatory planning even though those universities are often not qualified to carry out such processes Also a number of architects who know little about participatory planning try to get work that involves participatory planning from funding agencies and do so primarily for reasons of financial gain In such a case those architects would hire specialists in the field of participatory planning to carry out the planning process on their behalf even though they do not have the competence to supervise the processes Such matters according to Saliba will eventually lead to diminishing the credibility of the participatory planning approach vis a vis local communities in Lebanon Another issue that was raised relates to the role of corporate planning in urban development In this context it was mentioned that merchants who moved to Amman from Palestine Syria and Lebanon in the 1920s and 1930s played a very important role in the city s urban development This active role of the merchant class persists today in that Jordan is a country that promotes free trade and free investment Saliba was asked about his views relating to the role that the merchant class is playing in Lebanon within the framework of corporate planning Here Saliba mentioned that the involvement of the private sector in planning is a very well established phenomenon in Lebanon After all Lebanon traditionally has been characterized by a preeminence of the private sector and the absence of the government as an active participant in planning as well as in many other areas In this context Saliba adds that having Rafiq al Hariri a prominent businessman as the Lebanese Prime Minister is not a new phenomenon In fact al Hariri expresses a sort of Lebanese persona especially in the importance he gives to the private sector In

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-urbanism/emerging-trends-in-urbanism-the-beirut-post-war-experience/page-7/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Page 11 » CSBE
    Emerging Trends in Urbanism The Beirut Post War Experience Page 11 Emerging Trends in Urbanism The Beirut Post War Experience An Essay on a presentation made by Robert Saliba to Diwan al Mimar on April 20 2000 Prepared by Mohammad al Asad and Majd Musa in association with Robert Saliba 2001 Continued Endnotes 1 Robert Saliba is an architect and planner and a post graduate researcher at Oxford Brookes University s Joint Center of Urban Design He taught architecture and planning at a number of Lebanese universities including the American University of Beirut the Lebanese University and Université St Joseph He also served as a planning consultant for the World Bank on a number of studies related to Lebanon and was a city planning associate at the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles He is the author of the monograph Beirut 1920 1940 Domestic Architecture between Tradition and Modernity Beirut Order of Engineers and Architects 1998 He also has written a number of scholarly articles on architecture and planning in Lebanon 2 The Tanzeemat or regulations was an overall reform program launched under the rule of the Ottoman Sultan Abd al Majid 1839 1861 Its official purpose was to put into force the current European standards of law and administration with civil equality and standard liberties for all See Marshall G S Hodgson The Venture of Islam Vol 3 The Gunpowder Empires and Modern Times Chicago University of Chicago Press 1974 231 232 3 Saliba discussed the issues of incorporating the colonial period into the national heritage and the identity of the city of Beirut in a public lecture he delivered in Amman entitled Deconstructing Beirut s Reconstruction 1990 2000 For additional information on this subject see the documentation of the lecture in the e publications section

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-urbanism/emerging-trends-in-urbanism-the-beirut-post-war-experience/page-9/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Page 12 » CSBE
    of Lebanon s Prime Minister from 1992 1998 and was re elected to the post in October 2001 He is the main stockholder and also the initiator of the Lebanese Company for the Development and Reconstruction of the Beirut Central District Solidere 11 Modern planning is a product of the late 19th century and initially aimed at mending the cities that were decaying under the influence of industrialization Its focus had been on a comprehensive approach to planning concerned with large scale developments and therefore has been criticized as serving capitalists interest more than the less powered public It emphasizes the functional zoning of different activities and the incorporation of non ornamental mass produced modernist architectural designs In response to the shortcomings of modern planning and to socioeconomic changes the modernist paradigm started to be challenged by post modernism in the 1970s and the 1980s Post modern planning focuses on a step by step approach that is concerned with small scale developments and allows for public participation in the planning process It emphasizes mixed land use zoning playful references to past architectural styles pluralistic and organic strategies the local context and human scale the recreation of community and vernacular forms and the renewal and regeneration of urban fabrics For additional information concerning modern and post modern planning and the differences between them see David Macleod Post Modernism and Urban Planning at http www3 sympatico ca david macleod POMO HTM 12 For additional information on the Elyssar project as an alternative model of reconstruction and redevelopment see Mona Harb el Hak Urban Governance in Post War Beirut Resources Negotiations and Contestations in the Elyssar Project in Satine Shami ed Capital Cities Ethnographies of Urban Governance in the Middle East Toronto University of Toronto Press forthcoming and Mona Harb el Hak Transforming

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-urbanism/emerging-trends-in-urbanism-the-beirut-post-war-experience/page-10/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Ugly Concrete Boxes are Almost Alright Page 2 » CSBE
    additions to new construction This project is primarily an interior one Exterior interventions therefore are relatively limited Still the changes that Hiyari carries out for the street façade of the building give a glimpse of what is to be expected inside Hiyari re plasters the exterior façades with a roughly textured layer of concrete that is mixed with steel powder The powder is intended to rust and the resulting rough texture of the concrete articulated by the brownish speckles of rusted steel provide for a calculated harshness that well tolerates the process of weathering Figure 2 A standard feature of many houses in Amman consists of protective iron grills that cover the windows of the lower floors of buildings These have come to serve both utilitarian and aesthetic purposes They provide security against theft but they also serve as decorative elements that incorporate various patterns ranging from simple vertical or horizontal strips to ornate curving designs This project has one ground floor window facing the street and Hiyari provides it with a protective iron grill Hiyari has approached this commonplace element in a most uncommon manner The grill which is arranged as brise soleil sun breaking panels was left to rust before a protective sealant was applied to it In other words rather than attempting to resist the oxidization process which in many cases is an inevitable result of weathering poor craftsmanship or poor maintenance Hiyari accepts it and even develops an aesthetic statement out of it The end result consists of interesting textures and colors that incorporate various shades of brown Figure 3 Although protective window grills are about permanence and stability Hiyari incorporates sliding window grills The grill can be fixed in position in front of the window with a padlock However one also can slide it along

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/exploring-the-edge/ugly-concrete-boxes-are-almost-alright/ugly-concrete-boxes-are-almost-alright-page-2/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Ugly Concrete Building are almost alright 3 » CSBE
    kitchen sink also is carved out of a single block of Dab a stone and is placed over a steel cabinet The color theme provided by the stone is continued for the floor which is made of cement painted with a hint of lavender One side of the kitchen is sheathed with broken mirror pieces These give the tight space a sense of openness without denying that the resulting feeling of spaciousness is illusionary Again Hiyari s skill in making use of simple inexpensive common day industrial objects is expressed in this space The kitchen lighting fixtures are no more than galvanized industrial pipes hung from the ceiling with light bulbs fixed to their ends Figure 9 The main space of the project is the work and consultation room a small space with a high ceiling that rises about four meters Hiyari states that this space provides multiple visual conditions and possibilities Here he uses the theme of sliding panels which we first encountered with the exterior window grill to provide the room with its spatial variety Those vertical panels slide in a manner resembling overlapping curtains to create almost another wall parallel to and in front of the actual wall Through the incorporation of these simple panels which are made of wood and are hung from the ceiling the amount of light entering the room is manipulated to transform it from a space flooded with natural light to what Hiyari refers to as a warmly lit sealed capsule Consequently a single physical space offers a multiplicity of effects and the room functions in many ways as a stage set though a very private one that can be readily transformed to provide contrasting experiences of space and light Figure 10 The power of the work and consultation room is not confined to the manner in which Hiyari manipulates the play of light entering it Every detail seems to reflect the tremendous care and creativity applied to this project In the case of the floor some of the original decorative terrazzo tiles were preserved but the rest of the floor was redone with a cement finish The result is a delicate reminder of the 1950s that is combined with a harsher contemporary concrete surrounding A stair leads to the upstairs room which is intended as a contemplative space A blue sliding panel rather than the traditional hinged door separates this upper floor space from the stair Consequently the theme of sliding panels is continued This space is spartan but relaxing It has a bed that is a mattress placed on top of a concrete platform which also functions as a storage box The space also incorporates built in shelves made of concrete The heating radiator and the alcove in which it is located are painted in a dark blue that contrasts with the lighter colored walls of the room The ground is covered with a warm sea grass rug The result is a space that is ideal for contemplation and relaxation

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/exploring-the-edge/ugly-concrete-boxes-are-almost-alright/ugly-concrete-building-are-almost-alright-3/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Variations on a theme 2 » CSBE
    intricately carved material intended to provide a sense of historical opulence Although both approaches are valid they present the use of stone as a historicist element that emphasizes connections with the past With the partial exception of a few works from the 1960s and early 1970s it is very uncommon in Jordan to find stone used to provide a deliberately modern let alone industrial aesthetic True the use of stone as a sheathing material serves to unify the architecture of the city and to soften the impact of some of its more monstrous buildings However it most commonly is used in a manner that does not effectively utilize its expressive content Here a few brief remarks should be made about traditional and contemporary uses of stone in the buildings of Amman During the 1920s and 1930s stone primarily was dressed using the tubzeh technique which gives roughly textured surfaces with protrusions from the surface that might project up to 10 cm The tubzeh stone presents similarities to cyclopean rusticated stone but gives a very different visual effect than rusticated stone partly because of the much smaller dimensions of its stone blocks The tubzeh surface texture is created through splitting the stone and also chipping off small pieces of it through a pitching tool Each stone block often was provided with a smoothly dressed frame and was pointed with a white beige pointing figure 10 In the 1940s the musamsam dressing became widespread This consists of a series of short fine parallel lines done with a tooth chisel The stone blocks were used with recessed black pointing which along with the frame served to emphasize the individual identity of each stone block figure 11 During the 1980s the mufajjar dressing was introduced This is a dressing of medium roughness which is achieved with a point chisel hammered on the stone surface with single strokes creating a speckled surface The pointing usually is of the same color as the stone white The use of white pointing has served to erase the individual identity of each stone block and instead creates a unified surface out of the different stone blocks in a given façade figure 12 Of course there are other methods such as the matabbah stone dressing which is a finely speckled surface dressed with a bush hammer As for sizes the height of 25 cm has become standard for stone blocks but the length is irregular In terms of thickness the earlier blocks were partly load bearing and therefore were relatively thick However since the spread of reinforced concrete in Amman during the 1940s these stone blocks became no more than a veneer and the thickness therefore has diminished considerably It ranges from about 15 cm for the roughly textured tubzeh to as little as 3 cm for a finely textured stone such as that dressed in the matabbah manner Hussaini spent considerable time studying and photographing the various methods of stone dressing used in Jordan during both the past and

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/exploring-the-edge/variations-on-a-theme/variations-on-a-theme-2/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Variations on a theme 3 » CSBE
    have been an injection of fresh ideas and approaches into contemporary Jordanian architecture Such ideas have emphasized a commitment to the use of stone as a construction material but also have emphasized a commitment to engaging in creating highly disciplined and precise details for this traditional building material Rather than using stone to turn back to a pre industrial past stone here is a forward looking material that welcomes the 21st century For more detailed information on the use of stone in Amman see Center for the Study of the Built Environment Stone as Wall Paper The Evolution of Stone as a Sheathing Material in Twentieth Century Amman Amman Center for the Study of the Built Environment Cambridge MA ArchNet 2001 http archnet org institutions CSBE library web stone intro html The information presented in this essay on stone dressing techniques is taken from an article included in Stone as Wall Paper by May Shaer entitled The Use of Stone in Amman In addition to the article Stone as Wall Paper includes an illustrated catalogue containing 84 stone samples taken from buildings in Amman constructed between 1900 and 2000 It is worth noting that Hussaini played an integral role in the conception and implementation of Stone as Wall Paper Project data Mushahwar House Design and supervision team Architects Simona Bahr Hani Imam Hussaini Sarmad al Mashta Yousef Shishan and Rania Yaeesh Almarsam Architects and Engineers Structural engineers Ramzi Salfiti and Rami Tadros Almarsam Mechanical engineer Ammar Nahya Almarsam Electrical engineer Faisal Qaqish Supervision Zaki Sunna Almarsam Construction management Almarsam Architects and Engineers Photographer Sema Zureikat Date of completion November 2002 Location Abdoun district Amman Jordan Area 800 square meters Cost Withheld at owners request Abdulwahab House Design and supervision team Architects Faten Abdullah Mai Abu Shanab Joana Haddadin Hani Imam

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/exploring-the-edge/variations-on-a-theme/variations-on-a-theme-3/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Page 2 » CSBE
    cheap alternative to stone Nahhas challenges such low budget connotations and uses plastering as a high quality building finish that requires a considerable level of craftsmanship The architectural forms of the building which primarily consist of two sets of cubic masses linked by a corridor may have ended up providing for a rather busy composition especially towards the western edges of the building Nonetheless his use of forms expresses on the conceptual level an element of reductionism as with the expansive plastered surfaces and simple rectangular cutout windows The southern one of these two compositions of masses extends the axis of the corridor while the northern one is rotated from it at an angle partly to break the longitudinal extension of the house and partly to maximize the views of the surrounding landscapes available to this northern mass figures 2 3 For most the house currently is experienced from the main north south street that passes parallel to the site to its east and that is located at a higher level than the house figure 4 The house is separated from this street by an empty plot of land which most probably eventually will be built up The view of the house from the street consists of two linked masses that are masterfully juxtaposed on a sloping site More importantly the blank façades of this side of the house which is what the public sees and which later also will be what the neighbors who end up building on the adjacent plot will see reveal extremely little of what lies beyond From the opposite direction however the facades completely open up interweaving inside and outside and providing expansive views of the rolling hills dotted with oak trees that the site overlooks figure 5 The building composition does tend to loose some of its strength and unity as one moves down the slope from the closed sides of the building masses to its open ones and this may be a result of the programmatic requirements for the house which have resulted in the large area of about 1 000 square meters Compositionally the house emphasizes expansive earth toned textured surfaces with wide panes of glass cut into them On one level the two dimensional components of this arrangement show a faint connection to Gerrit Rietveld s 1924 Rietveld Schroder House in Utrecht figure 6 The design however also expresses a duality combining two and three dimensional compositions with planar arrangements competing with three dimensional masses The weight of the masses especially is apparent when Nahhas frees up the mass of one of the house corners with a recessed window thus revealing the considerable thickness of the exterior walls of the house figure 7 This duality also clearly is evident in the composition of the entrance area of the house which architecturally is its most elegant figure 8 The entrance door is situated between a mass with a recessed corner window and a long thick planar wall which also may be perceived

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/exploring-the-edge/grafting-the-ammani-landscape/page-119/ (2016-02-13)
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