King Abdullah II Park, Aqaba
The seaside resort town of Aqaba commissioned a city wide master plan which focused on spaces within the public realm. Because of its emerging importance as a tourist town, in combination with the commercial shipping industry, Aqaba town leaders felt it necessary to make a visual assessment of the existing landscape and public infrastructure. This study served to move the town towards it destined future as Jordan’s southern most seaside tourist attraction. Aqaba Town Park, one of 5 public projects defined by the city-wide master plan, incorporates a variety of activity areas including an outdoor theater, coffee shop and restaurant, library, botanical garden, and numerous play areas. The central feature of the park is a water dome from which water channels radiate out in the cardinal directions.
Plants, in the form of canopied trees such as blooming Jacaranda, Delonix regia and Ailanthus altissima, and the linking water ways unify the various park functions into one lush outdoor setting. Particular attention was paid to the parks entrances as they relate to neighboring areas, traffic patterns within the city and most importantly the conceptual reference to the natural landscape of this mountainous seaside region. When first beginning to think about the design of Aqaba Town Park I began looking at other coastal towns. What better place to find design insights for a seaside resort than by going to Malta. Just replace Malta with the place name Aqaba and the relationship is surprisingly similar.
“A city’s relationship with the sea is never accidental; the city has grown there because of the waterway, never vice versa”.7 Good designers need to gather this kind of information. They need to feel the relationship between land and sea, not to oppose it. By visiting Malta I found a similar place to study this relationship which has, in addition to the physical information, an added quality of history and culture and regional identity (and personal friendship between two design minds). The ideas gathered, “the knowing”, was used as an inspirational point for designing the new environment of Aqaba Town Park.
Tel : +962 (06) 5711085.
Fax : +962 (06) 5711207.
P.O.Box : 33, Marj Al Hamam 11733.
Address : Althair, Sami Shams Eldeen St, Next to Rosary College, Bldg #43.
Amman - Jordan.