Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
A Gateway to Petra in Wadi Musa, Jordan by Maisam Architects And Engineers
June 4th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Maisam Architects And Engineers
The city of Petra, one of the seven wonders of the word, is the foremost historical and archeological city in the region, carved out of the red-rose rocks, as the capital of the Nabataeans. ‘Wadi Musa’ town situated at the entrance of the old city has unfortunately gone through periods of terrible urbanism and witnessed uncontrolled development sprawl for years. Within this context the brief was to design a gate that streamlines the movement of visitors in and out of Petra.The challenge was in designing at a location that is chaotic in its setting; due to the lack of planning, The haphazardly placed kiosks and the scattered buildings which consist of a hotel, a visitor’s center and a proposed museum, components that are rich however, not connected visually nor physically on site, All positioned Next to a neglected Wadi (valley) that lost its character.
The proposed design revolves around creating a transitional space where the visitor is transferred from a dense & developed urban setting, to the serene journey into the historic city, Petra, In a context where the different activities work together both in their organization, architecture and urban implements.The minimal design approach continues the natural flow of the context’s intertwining elements of Nature; the greenery, the Wadi, and the rocks and brings together an open gateway to the past, a museum to preserve its history and a vibrant plaza where locals and visitors can gather and meet. Altogether at the edge of the slope, overlooking and celebrating the revitalized Wadi.
As an introduction to the scenic journey of Petra, this project seamlessly blends within the desert landscape. By carving into the rocks to reveal walls and planes of different heights, lengths and direction that define a relevant spatial experience. Under the plaza, tucked within the slope is the museum, which illuminates the river at night through its random openings to foreshadow the experience that lies ahead.
As the visitor slopes down the landscaped path, a powerful and sculptural wall emerges from the natural topography and ascends towards the end thus filtering the visitors from the plaza to the start of the journey.Finally, the components on site are bound together harmoniously, providing a complete and welcoming experience for the visitor. The design heightens one’s awareness of the past and present contexts while providing the necessary functions for a contextual architectural intervention.
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