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Thresholds - Attabat
Baqa'a camp, Jordan--2015

It Only Takes One Threshold

Historically, inside the Palestinian camp, Attabat (doorsteps--thresholds) took the form of an architectural element; made of cement, has the form of a rectangular block or mass, is attached to the shelter frontal elevation, and built as a means to protect the shelter from rain and sewage water seeping in.

These cement-masses would quickly acquire a social use and turn into intimate, outdoor common spaces. The refugee families would utilise those Attabat to occupy and mingle with the street goers, and even host other passer-byes intermittently for a cup of tea or coffee, or a little chat. This is mainly because, as Palestinian refugees experienced a protracted displacement, they would eventually build up their refugee plots, taking away any open--garden spaces. Instead, the Attabah would become the open--social space for each refugee plot, or family.

As the Palestinian displacement protracted even further (now reaching its 71st year), the refugee needs would demand that they also replace their Attabat to become rooms, or stairs to help them build vertically. This is where my project to re-construct Attabat in Baqa'a camp, Jordan emanated.

The design concept was to utilize a historical spatial form, created by the refugees themselves. Yet as these forms disappeared with the violent protraction of displacement, the question was; how can we re-create Attabat in the form of new social spaces. A main element to interrogate the historical Attabat, was the integration of tree--green pits, as a way to mediate the displaced time, and further introduce a new time of social and environmental significance. Attabah.jpg existing attabat.jpg A1_v2.jpg A2_v2.jpg A3_v2.jpg A4.jpg A6.jpg A7.jpg B before.jpg B2.jpg B1.jpg B3.jpg C before.jpg C1.jpg C2.jpg C4.jpg C5.jpg Site.jpg 2.jpg 4.jpg 6.jpg 3.jpg 5.jpg 15.jpg 14.jpg 16.jpg 13.jpg 10.jpg 17.jpg 18.jpg 19.jpg 20.jpg 21.jpg 22.jpg 23.jpg 24.jpg 25.jpg