All images by David Matthew Walters

A 1940s building in Amman is renovated into a culinary showroom

Renovated by Dina Haddadin, the new office and showroom for Kama Local Gourmet seeks to blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.

A 1940s building in Amman, Jordan has recently been renovated by architect and artist Dina Haddadin. Now housing the office and showroom space for Kama Local Gourmet, a Jordanian brand that offers high-end culinary products from the Middle East, the space aims to integrate indoors with outdoors while featuring a shop-style set up that highlight the products to customers.

The low-height space opens up to the street thanks to its transparent glass and metal facade, which can retract to allow for connectivity, spatially and visually, between the interiors and the exterior front garden, where future public events can be held. A long black steel canopy accentuates the architectural intervention, which accentuates the duality between the old, modest-scale stone and the new, full-span contemporary cold steel sheets that shape the cantilever canopy beams. Kama’s logo appears on the canopy, too, and is subtly lit from behind.

Inside, the space was designed around three main concepts, which Haddadin felt best reflect the brand: locality, community and growth.

“Middle Eastern food is about the shared dining experience,” she said, “whether it’s cooking or eating. Hence two main stone masses were positioned to celebrate the communal in ‘Kama’.”

The first stone is a grounded heavy mass that resembles the kitchen, or “heart of every house”, while the second is the ‘sufra’, or dining table, where locals are invited to sit and engage with one another. Made from local ma’an stone, the table is suspended on four metal legs and stretches alongside the main glass facade.

Behind the table, the ‘mouneh wall’, or pantry, highlights Kama’s products, and is designed as a flexible and dynamic elevation that can change by season or theme, or per staff need. A forestry green, the wall’s colour was inspired by olive tree leaves – a symbol of longevity, perseverance and growth.

On another wall, an oil dispenser offers an interactive, personalised experience where visitors can fill their own bottle of extra virgin olive oil over a stone top sink. The glass jar filled with the oil is specially lit to celebrate its richness and highlight its colour.

Elsewhere, six mobile drawer units were designed to offer more flexibility in the layout. Each features a set of sliding wooden boxes held together by a minimal steel structure that can be moved around.