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Urban Cistern, Amman

Urban Cistern, Amman

Authors: Anamaria Cristina Preotesoiu

Tutor: șef lucrări dr.arh. Ana Maria Goilav

Authors’ Comment

Jordan is known for its low water resources. Throughout history, the population has suffered from lack of water due to the semi-arid climate associated with the limited number of annual rains. Over the last decades, this problem has been accentuated, as a result of the natural growth of the population, the migration from the rural to the urban area, as well as the major influx of population, in response to the economic and political crises in the Middle East. Although 98% of households are connected to water networks, since 1987, water supplementation has been rationalized. For many parts of the city, water is delivered one or two days a week, but the main problem of households remains the storage of water, most often being stored in tanks on the roofs of buildings.
Located in the vicinity of the city citadel, the Roman Theater and the oldest mosque in the city, Grand Husseini, the site has a rightfully attributed feature as a visual representation within the Old Center of the city, Al Madina. The location of the project offers the opportunity to act as a catalyst site, through a deliberate attempt to meet the current water needs of the city. The theme involves the imagining of a mixed function, (corresponding to the current regulations) of living and urban public space, generated in the presence of water as the necessary resource in the current context of Amman. The collection of water and its storage in a cistern, which serves the local community, thus become elements integrated in the architectural project.
The urban cistern involves the creation of a process by which the rainwater is collected (at the level of the individual dwellings), transported through the channels, stored and put into use.
The urban oasis moves the context from the arid desert landscape right in the congested core of the urban center. Water thus becomes an element of unity in the project, highlighting on one hand its character and necessity and on the other hand its ability to delight the eyes of passers-by, tenants, the whole community and perhaps, in this way, a sensibility for the water’s value can be regained.

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