Reimagining Amman’s Abandoned Megaprojects

What should become of the half-finished real estate megaprojects that still litter Amman’s landscape from the heady boom days of the mid-noughties?

Studio X Amman, the Jordanian branch of Columbia University’s global network of architecture and urban planning research centers, has dreamt up some ideas for the potential re-use of these grandiose buildings, some of which stand uncompleted because developers simply ran out of cash when the global economy tanked.

Studio X Amman’s Frozen Imaginaries project paid particular attention to the capital’s unfinished Jordan Gate towers. Work on the arguably overbearing structures began in 2005, and for many they stand as testament to the frenzied, on-the-fly planning that ruled the country’s real estate sector at the time.


Sixth Circle Towers, Reimagined“In addition to piercing through the city’s skyline, the towers’ dark exteriors, high wall fences, and marked edges, are both intrusive and smothering to the neighborhood and its community. There is hardly any human traffic, with the exception of the round-the-clock congested traffic,” said Jawad Dukhgan, the co-curator of Studio X Amman.

The cornerstone of Studio X Amman’s design for Jordan Gate envisages the creation of adverse health teen dating violence all-too-rare public space around and under the towers, while leaving the existing structures intact for when and if an investor comes along to complete them in the future.

Dukhgan said Jordan Gate was an “ideal site for re-imagining space, and ways in which commercially acquired sites, with no added value to surrounding communities, commercial or otherwise, can be transformed into viable and livable spaces, perhaps even appreciated by the community.”