Beit Al-Fann, House of Art, Amman

The project team documented one of Amman’s notable traditional heritage houses, the Beit Al-Fann in Amman, also known as the House of Art. It is in the center of the capital, Amman and embodies within it beautiful memories of those who lived, studied and sang in this place.

Digitalisation using laser scanning of the entire house was completed by our partner Surveyteq. The data and drawings from the 3D laser scan were inserted into Autodesk Revit to create BIM (Building Information Modelling) models. The models are free to access and download through our BIM library. You can also explore the 3D Virtual Tour of Beit Al-Fann (House of Art)

Watch the short virtual tour video of Beit Al-Fann (House of Art)

Virtual Tour Video of Beit Al-Fann

The City of Amman

Amman is the capital and largest city of the Kingdom of Jordan. The city is located on Seven Hills, which are represented on Jordan’s flag as a seven-pointed star. It is located 35 km northeast of the Dead Sea, 110 km east of the Mediterranean Sea and 65 km east of Jerusalem. During the first decade of the 20th century Amman was a small town with a small population experiencing an awakening of construction activity. The construction boom of Amman was characterized by houses of unconventional sophistication, and in the tradition of the latest style then prevailing in cities east of the Mediterranean. Beit Al-Fann is a reflection of this period.

Beit Al-Fann (House of Art)

Beit Al-Fann is an example of Jordanian traditional architecture which characterizes the social, cultural, and political timeline of the city, holding historical, artistic, and cultural value. It is one of the first buildings that reflected the gradual transformation of Amman from a village to a city. The Jordanian House of Art is one of the old Omani houses that carry Mahmoud Al-Zayoud’s art. The house has a floor area of 402m2, but the land is built on spans approximately 1269m2. According to Al-Zayoud, this house belongs to the late “Ahed Al-Sukhon”, who assumed the position of commander of the Jordanian Badia, and is the first Jordanian officer to hold this position, as he was transferred to the Ma’an region in the south of the country to occupy the position of mayor of the region.

Currently, the building has been emptied to allow restoration work, in order to maintain its condition. The Beit Al-Fann was designed by the Palestinian architect Fawwaz Al-Muhanna consisting of two storeys. The work was split into two stages, the first one included the construction of the ground floor, which took around three years between 1923 and 1926; the first floor was added in 1937. In 1995, the Greater Amman Municipality started renovating works on the building that lasted until 2002. This was the year in which the house opened to the public with the new and current name of “The Jordanian House of Art”.

Right image shows Beit Al-Fann from the street and the left image shows a closer image of the Beit Al-Fann facade. (Image taken by Herit-IT team, 2021)

The orientation of the house was designed not to follow the street line but dynamically oriented towards a different angle, in such a way to have a wider entrance preceding the construction as seen in the images above. The entrance from the main street is dominated by two opposing spiral staircases leading to the main door of the building.

Right and left images showing the external rounded arch of the porch of Beit Al-Fann (Image taken by Herit-IT team, 2021). The arch is made of limestone. The middle image shows a BIM model of the arch which can be accessed here

The façade of the ground floor presents unique rounded arches inspired by Mediterranean architecture laying on slender columns. The entrance block leans forward, to give the first floor a balcony from which to observe the city. The openings in the stone constituting doors and windows are different from floor to floor, but both on the ground floor and first floor are tall, proportionate to the height of the building. Some stones were delivered from Palestine and some were collected directly from quarries in the areas near the capital. As for the roof of the house, the sand for its construction was brought on camels by the stream of Oman. The interior tiles of the building are a very interesting feature of the house and differ from one room to the other in terms of pattern and colour.

Images of interior tiles from Beit Al-Fann and a laser scan of the floor plan showing diverse tile patterns, Herit-IT, 2021
%d bloggers like this: