Laith Matarweh Studio for Architecture

Death in Architecture: New Potentialities of Life

Personal Essay



A personal essay that takes the reader into a journey of the natalism, life, and mortality of two villages that date back to the late 19th century in the south of Jordan. The reconstruction of architecture’s course of life in both villages takes material and immaterial lineages. On one hand, it emanates from physical, contextual elements; while on the other it is rebuilt through the stories of those who once dwelled them. However, as the architecture of those villages currently sits, or rather what is left of it, the backdrop of its catastrophic encounter with Time is vivid; they appear to be striving to win a battle of temporality. It is in this very encounter and its aftermath on architecture that the formal configuration of Death is examined, while new potentials are discovered, turning architecture’s mortality into a prospective catalyst for endurance. This essay devises pictorial parallelism, by which I’m trying to make a case for my argument, while on the other hand it can be looked at as a documentation of a dying breed of Jordan’s vernacular architecture.