Architect In Charge: Dina Haddadin
Design Team: Dina Haddadin, Khalid Ali
Client: Kama Local Gourmet
Text description provided by the architects. For a special local thriving brand, selling the highest quality culinary products from the Middle East, ‘Kama local gourmet’ the showroom was open to the public last November to offer their clients a variety of products under a spatial communal experience. The 1940s old building was renovated to house the offices and main showroom of “Kama” in Amman, Jordan. The main street front was opened up to expose the space inside through a long stretch transparent glass and metal façade that also retracts to connect the interior with the exterior front garden for future public events, making the space more visually and physically accessible. A long black steel canopy accentuates the architectural intervention creating a duality between the old, modest-scale stone and the new, full span contemporary cold steel sheets that shapes the cantilever canopy beams. The canopy also plays as the ribbon for the cut-out logo that is subtly inner lit.
The showroom interior was designed around three main concepts that reflects best the brand; locality, community and growth. Middle Eastern food is about the shared dining experience whether it’s cooking or eating. Hence two main stone masses were positioned to celebrate the communal in ‘Kama’; one is a grounded heavy mass that resembles the kitchen; the heart of every house, the place where freshly baked Saj-bread will be made with the built-in Saj top, to offer the guests a full sensory experience of taste touch and smell… The other element is the “Sufra” which translates as “dining table”; a communal table sitting as the main spine of the space. Made also from local Ma’an stone yet suspended on 4 metal legs offering lightness to the heavy, stretched alongside the main glass facade by the street. The stone slab offers a space for people to gather around the food, the stories and the culture ‘Kama’ has to offer in the heart of the space.
The backdrop is the “Mouneh Wall” which translates as “pantry”, reflects growth in ‘Kama’, designed as a flexible dynamic elevation that changes by season, theme and need by the staff. The color was inspired by the olive tree leaves colors which is a symbol of longevity, perseverance and growth. At the end of the space, the altar piece, the "oil dispenser" an interactive personalized and intimate experience where one fills his own bottle of extra virgin olive oil on a stone top sink. The glass jar sits suspended above, specially lit to celebrate the richness, pureness and color of the local Jordanian olive oil. 6 mobile drawer units were designed to offer more flexibility in the layout and display, each with a set of sliding wooden boxes held by a minimal steel structure that can be carried around, creating a dynamic ever-changing display of products.