End of a message, start of an era
A walk without a reach
The site of this project is in Mount Nebo, Madaba, Jordan, where the prophet Moses looks out the land of Canaan according to the three holy books.
The main characters are:
The Memorial Church of Moses that renovated in 2016 by the Franciscan monks, a museum displays the ruins in this region. Also, historic Mosaics, which the culture of this area is known for, and Moses stick (Scorpion sculpture).
The idea of this project came from visiting this site on different periods. As when we enter the Court of the Church, we find the tour guides narrate all the events related to the surroundings without following a specific route for the sequence of these events of the site during their Journey.
Some problems in the site show the need for an “Interpretation Center” to organize our visit. The ending of the journey is not apparent for the visitors, the returning route, and the congestion on the Moses Stick to enjoy the panoramic view.
So, we have to organize the route of the visitors, designing, enrich, and clarify the ending. Moreover, signify the message we want to deliver to the visitors from the whole world and in our country Jordan which is “Peace and Love” between everyone from different areas, thoughts, and backgrounds. Also, the correspondent of the city`s religions, that are united. On the other hand, we don't have enough area to add a building on the site. Also, we might block the view of the mountains and cities of Palestine on the west bank of the Jordan.
That`s why I used the cliff on the site and build on to use this panoramic view during the Journey.
The building took the circular shape with its organic shape for movement not polygonal to let the visitors feel the similar experience of the historical events according to the Three Holy books.
I have two carved spiral ramps, the first one took the visitor vertically down, the other takes them back. During this movement the visitors get through seven stations, that have been divided according to researches accurate readings, reviews, and interviews for all the events that the faithful people have got through in this site and transfer those stations to generic names that are compatible with the three great religions, which are: Portal, Journey, Destination, Turning Point (Christianity Era), Discovering, Prosperity (Islamic era) and Reflectance (Remembrance).
After entering the sheltered ramp down, we can find an elevated water boarder that blocks the view, which will disappear gradually after getting to the second underground floor and see the view clearly.
We get through the journey of Moses through the Sinai desert and other stations to reach Mount Nebo. Then the Christianity Era where we can see the baptismal site and feel the real experience. Also, the Islamic era that clinched all the previous events and thoughts by having suspended screens and speakers to float through history.
The shelter has platforms on different levels, around Moses Stick and the other part is glass and water, where we can have inside-out connections between the visitors and the context. And instead of being a non-significant sculpture, I turned it to be the ending point of the project, where the visitor has the choice to enter the church or return by the specified route.
Project Location: Mount Nebo Interpretation Center, Jordan
Function: Interpretation Center, learning tour and Research Center
Levels: Three levels; Ground Level / Starting Point and The Ending Point of the Project ( The Shelter which is part of it is platforms on different levels and the other part is glass and water to let the visitors see the center from above), First underground level (Exhibition and open to the related views), Second underground level ( Exhibition, open theater, Cafeteria all are open to the related views, Administration, Workshops, Storages, Mechanical and Electrical Rooms )
Built Area: 8600 ㎡
Structure: Concrete Structure, Stone from the Site, steel structure for the Glass and water Ceiling(Shelter)
Elevation: Glass and Water
Systems: Photovoltaic Cells, Special Pumps, and Storages for the water in the project, light collectors, using technology in displaying the information (Screens, Speakers, Simulation)
Circulation Systems: Ramps to let all the visitors get the same experience, elevators, and stairs for emergency
Supervised by: Arch, Raid Essoh
Mount Nebo Interpretation Center by Naheel Salloum in Jordan won the WA Award Cycle 36. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.
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