The Blue Fig is a social theatre of a building staging internal scenes/ social theatrics while being panned during approach. The building is expressed with both extreme evocative materials and forms. At one extreme heavy, thick, grounded walls and on the other end light, transparent, in-flux steel and glass forms. Blue Fig is inherently a soulful place exchanging a flow of authenticities, be it light, shadows or rustic and natural materials.
The Blue Fig design holds the honorary privilege of being the only recipient of the very first Dubai Cityscape architectural award for excellence in 2002. The building was recognized for its total architecture and for its positive social and cultural impact on the city of Amman.
The building primary material use opted away from the typical white stone with its glare and utilized the warmer terracotta earth tone concrete and plaster on both indoor and outdoor surfaces to primarily ground and compress areas to create intimate spaces. The steel and glass is utilized to express expanded space, whether in opening up horizontally towards views or thrusting vertically to create double and triple volumes. All guard rails utilized the remains of steel re-enforcement bars as part of its assembly and in an effort to both reduce cost and waste as well as maintain a sense of rawness and authenticity of material expression. In the same effort, most other materials such as floor tiling, wooden floors, light fixtures and duct works were hand custom made locally through utilizing small scale cottage industry fabricators.
The building places many human rituals in focal point culminating in a rich array of visual theatrics. The service kitchen is placed centre stage and remains open. The coffee bar is placed by the entrance and is almost pulled out of the building to be seen from the street. The beverage bar is a focal point to the upper floor. Nooks and deep openings in walls were articulated to feature art work and artifacts as inherent objects of the building and its meaning.
Location: Amman, Jordan
Client: International Coffee Gardens Co.
Land Area: 940 sq.m
Built-up Area: 2,400 sq.m
Structural Eng: Modern Consultant
Electrical Eng: Abbas & Kaffaf
Mechanical Eng: Abbas & Kaffaf