title. Contemporary Qanat, Columbia GSAPP

date. Spring Semester, 2017

city. Amman, Jordan

description. Due to the fact that the existing water system in Jordan is failing, we want to replace it by introducing a new resilient and integrated social urban infrastructure by reinterpreting the Qanats traditional system. In order to prove the flexibility of our proposal we are working in three different contexts, urban, desert and edge. The system incorporates rainwater collection, greywater reuse, groundwater recharge, water purification and public space activations. The new infrastructure will strengthen itself throughout phases and will build a new water lifecycle in Jordan.

team. Sreyash Dasgupta, Vrinda Sharma, Jiaqi Sun

Midterm Reviwe Presentation of the process of the Design Proposal
Longitudinal Abstract Section of the implementation of the system in Downtown Amman


The project addresses the obsolescence of the existing water infrastructure in Jordan— a system that is causing ecological, social, and financial damage, both on a national and local scale. The intervention proposed revolves around a reinterpretation of a traditional and sustainable water supply system, implemented by the Romans in this region, known as the Qanats. 

The proposal is composed by a combination of several water harvesting techniques. It incorporates rainwater collection, grey water reuse, natural purification system and groundwater recharge. The growth of this new system will be parallel to the decline of the existing water infrastructure, aiming to achieve water independence in different areas around the country in the next 50 years.

The system is flexible enough to adapt to the different contexts within Jordan, we chose to work in three different environments: urban, desert and edge. Due to the fact that the project is proposed in phases, we are designing a duality of complementary programs that will address other social and cultural issues in the areas of intervention.

Plan view of the selected site in Downtown Amman to test our ideas

Ras Al Ein Park is in an strategic location in between a traditional gathering space for the local people, The Friday Market, and the new Cultural Center of Amman. The park is in between two highways and it is facing a strong disconnection from the neighborhoods across the highways. This disconnection is mainly generated by a lack of access to the area and to the lack of identity from the citizens in relation to the large scale spaces and buildings adjacent to the park. The proposal incorporates the idea of design underground activated connections in order to reactivate the park and locate the Qanat in order to reach the underground water level.