First-of-its-kind centre in Amma to open in fall 2011
The Galleria, a retail-driven, mixed-use project in Amman's pedestrian-oriented Swefiyah District, now under construction and is on track to open in fall 2011. Los Angeles-based Nadel Architects designed the EUR 62.7 million (JD 60,827,943) project.
“The progress of The Galleria is an impressive feat in a market where many construction projects are facing financial setbacks due to the global recession,” said Patrick Winters, AIA, LEED® AP, design principal architect for the project. “Once completed, this project will be a much-needed, pedestrian-focused, mixed-use destination with a design that knits the center into the urban fabric of the surrounding neighborhoods.”
The first-of-its-kind for the country, the 10-storey, mixed-use project includes two large atriums at the centre of approximately 560,000 square feet of mid-level retail tenants; 6,000 square feet of top-floor office tenants; and 430,000 square feet of below-grade parking. Although nearby street-level retail buildings have commercial uses on higher floors, this is the first mixed-use complex of this magnitude in the country.
“Most buildings in Amman have strong, cubic shapes,” said Winters. “Our design concept uses geometric blocks that define the shopping center’s perimeter, yet we deliberately focused the interior to center on a curvilinear, sky-lit atrium. By designing exterior features such as Café Row, we were able to reach out into the surrounding neighborhoods and entice people into The Galleria itself. The end result is a visually exciting space that encourages visitors to explore, shop and dine.”
The architects conceived of the “erosion” of the building mass, designing meandering walkways through the atrium as if the naturally fluid pedestrian paths wore down the buildings like water erodes rock.
In addition to its purpose as a retail centre, The Galleria provides a greatly-needed pedestrian connection between adjacent Zahran Street and the Swefiyah District.