King’s Academy, February 14, 2016 — Class of 2012 graduate Nadine Zaza returned to her alma mater earlier this month for a brainstorming session with the community about potential ways to achieve sustainability through the unfinished Jordan Gate Towers project. Currently a fourth year architecture student at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Zaza recently spent five weeks in her native Amman working on a design charrette at the Columbia University Middle East Research Center (CUMERC) based on the towers, which have remained incomplete and abandoned since 2009. As part of her independent study, Zaza spoke to King’s students about the social, political and economic history of Amman leading up to the failed project (including the exponential growth of the population over the years and congestion of the city due to an influx of refugees and migrants from neighboring countries) before examining possible solutions for sustainability through barazza group discussions.
“We can’t ignore what we create anymore,” Zaza said. “We sustain our way of life but not our way of building. How can these buildings help solve the problems of Jordan? We need to look to the future to create a sustainable idea of Amman.”