Peace and Quiet


Sharif Qandour

This project, presented to me by Mr. Andrew Berg was a revolutionary idea; not only for me, but also for students who are enrolled in Technology Assistant class.  We’ve spent time moving around school giving aid to those in need; however, now was the time to commit to ourselves in our own personal project.  My project was significantly different from that of my classmates, for I wanted to pursue architectural studies.  At first my project was to at find an online layout of an environment and manipulate formations around the landscape to create a “living breathing” structure; however, all being digital and intangible.  Then after further discussion, we decided to make use of the resources of ACS and changed the idea, still leaning on architecture, to upgrade the roof space about the Learning Commons into a “living breathing” environment for the students and teachers to use.  We started out from this idea of a 20% project, where as I would continue along my school day and now I can spend 20% of my time working on something I truly enjoy and that I think will benefit me in other ways than the classes I’m taking.  To further understand why I chose architecture was simply because it is a passion of mine.  It involves designing, creativity, mathematics, physics, and attention to detail.  Also, because ACS didn’t have any architectural programs, with this project I can push past the boundaries of what is offered and educate myself further with not only architecture, but with planning, discussion, plausibility, all under a budget; real life considerations.  This is a true possibility of mine; that this project will give me an insight on what is to come with architecture as a career. Also, with this project, I get to place something worthwhile in my portfolio of meaning and significance.

I started with the basis of how I wanted to start this project by thinking about what the school needs and doesn’t have.  So I was sitting in the LC thinking of this idea exactly, and all of a sudden children storm in and disrupt my thinking.  Unfortunately they were loud and obnoxious; however, they gave me my first thought of having designated quiet areas.  I wanted an area that will give me my own breathing space, my own peace and quiet.

I didn’t get started on the design on Sketchup straight away of course, what was needed first was brainstorming and cognitive collaborations on trying to get a basis of what this ‘Rooftop Project’ was going to be all about.  I first started talking with Mr. Berg about what the school needed as of space and resources; what we can do with the space.  Deciding on more selective independent study space, I started sketching some draft ideas on the iPad to get a tangible feel to what’s being discussed.  All of this is recorded on my Time Log.

After some fundamentals of drafting and researching it was time to propose this idea officially to Principal, Mrs. Isley.  I believe a great presentation was held and the seal of approval was given for me to continue my work on solidifying this project to hopefully be held in the near future. For one, I wasn’t expecting how many different styles of work I had to do for this rooftop Project.

Taking a look at the drafts I have as sketches and on the computer, it shows that I want to divide up the rooftop into given sections.  To the right of the blueprints and sketches there is the only entrance to the roof.  (I don’t plan on only having one possible entry point)  This right side of the roof I want to declare to be a reading/quiet zone where gazebos or overhead shading areas will allow the students to come up to this area and get their individual time to themselves for work, relaxation, or simply just to get away from all the noise.  After my time spent in the Learning Commons, I’ve noticed that no matter what happens, students will be loud.  This is why I decided that the rooftop would have a lower tolerance to noise than downstairs.  Another thing to consider while up on the roof is the access to computers and Internet; my plan is to not have any dock computers there, only laptops are allowed.  For one, the weather will harm the computers there if left unattended.  Now, this is a quiet space for students and teachers.  I came across the thought after sitting outside one afternoon and having my last class being AP Physics; I thought to myself how amazing it would be if we were to have class outside that day.  What would need for the students and teacher to make this a reality?  Since it is primarily lecture and discussion, where we take notes and write on the whiteboard all class, which would be necessary in giving a clear understandable class.  Therefore, my idea would entail a section of the roof space to have a set of tables and chairs and a whiteboard where a teacher reserve the space up there to teach their class in the amazing weather and view.  

The other side of the rooftop, Mr. Berg and I decided that it should consist of botanical gardens.  With this idea in mind, we were talking to Mr. Leblanc and Mr. Eid for their input on what plants they would prefer if they needed to take data or take experiments.  We concluded with ideas such as hanging gardens that can be created by the Elementary or Middle School, herbs and spices for cooking for the after school cooking class.  To grow and use your own ingredients make the meal ever so more desirable.  

While also talking with Mr. Leblanc, we were discussing what the roof could fulfill for scientific purposes.  Using the roof for telescopes and weather observation is a very simple and helpful goal to complete.

The average student does not spend more than one and a half hours outside during the school day.  This isn’t due to the horrible gloomy weather of Jordan.  Quite frankly the climate in Jordan permits its people to be outside the majority of the time.  Therefore, the school needs to amplify the students’ duration of being outside.

My designs for furniture and other structures are still being decided; however, I managed to search for financially plausible outcomes, and some that may require more consideration.  I have designs that can be easily be crafted with wood and metal combinations.  One of my ideas is to have a circular centerpiece containing a tall green plant and the perimeter will be bench facing outwards.  I decided to have this ‘centrifugal’ seating system because I want to students and staff to enjoy the outside and appreciate the stunning view we have of Amman from our rooftop.  This building is one of the tallest in the area, so we have a great overlook.  Now, considering the low edge stonewalls surrounding the roof will be an issue of safety; however, bringing those walls up will remove the view.  There is now the issue of having glass structures to keep the safety and the view available.  The need for strong glass is evident, because we have to consider the different forces that will be applied on the glass: the students (there will be a meter or so of planters to keep them away from the edge) and the weather.  Winds can have high velocities, so we must have the glass with thick structural beams for support.

The files that I will include with this document will include the Sketchup design work, Time Log, all photos, and Presentations.

I want my hard work to come to something productive and in all, a unique aspect to ACS’s goal for increasing student’s pleasure studying and attending school.  This place should be an outside sanctuary where the students and teachers may go to complete their individual work in the sunshine or shade.




Feb. 4th

Mrs. Levitt – Started drafting ideas for rooftop space.

Feb. 8th

Mr. Berg and Mr. Leblanc – overall design layout

Feb. 12th

Mr. Berg – designing the “xeriscaping” for KG- 5th grade.

– Mr. Leblanc already has the ideas for what needs to be planted possibly for vegetation.  Knowing what to plant and coordinate through the KG teacher to see what they’ve already planned.

Feb. 24th

Mrs. Isley/Mr. Berg – Presentation, discussion, my proposal for the OLC.

Feb. 26th

Mr. Berg – overall layout – visited rooftop – took pictures – sketched rooftop bluprint

March. 3rd

Hasan Qandour (father) – discussion about project, prices, materials, ideas.

March 4th

Independent work – Searching for overall prices for outdoor furniture.

March 8th

Mr. Berg – Rooftop perimeter measuring and documenting.

March 10th

Mr. Berg – search for prices [continued]

March 12th

Block B – completed perimeter and calculated Areatotal – Areaextra = 1284.7m2 (AreaFitted)

Block C – Mr. Berg, continued price search. Photocopied blueprint – extended drafting design.

March 27th

Continue designing 3D model in Sketchup ( 4 hrs)

March 29th

3D sketch (1.5 hrs)

March 30th

3D sketch (1.5 hrs)

April 6th

3D sketch (1.5 hrs)

April 8th

3D sketch – gazebo/shading design (1.2 hrs) [had difficulty with controls and manipulation]

April 17th

3D sketch continued (1.5 hrs)

April 19th

3D sketch continued (1.5 hrs)

April 20th

Preparing Presentation For OLTC

April 21st

Preparing Presentation at home (20 min)

April 22nd

3D sketch and Preparing Presentation (1.2 hrs)





what is my overall theme?

  • To create an ‘Outdoor Learning Teaching Commence’ space where it would be accessible to the students  
  • The green space will utilize the space and can be used as a quiet learning place with the value of having the view of jordan from the rooftop, will give a peaceful open space to independently study.
  • The teaching space will incorporate the aspects to be able to take advantage of the healthy weather and the teaching environment.
    • teachers and students will be able to enjoy the space as though to enjoy our surrounding

Design Principal

  • Consists of multiple sectors, for reading and xeriscaping; using what is natural for Jordanian climates to grow on our own.  Using recycled materials to use as for multiple purposes.  

To do list…due March 8.

  • cabinet
      • Cushions – sold separately
        • ranges from 4 JD – 30 JD
        • down to the balad to buy local cushions for cheap.
          • regular square/rectangle seat cushions are from 11 JD – 15 JD
        • Additional corner/arm cushions – 8 JD
      • Flooring
        • Decking
          • Tiles – (once the area is calculated I will go to the shop and determine an approximate price.)
        • Gravel
  • Plexiglass ($) – Find someone in Amman who has plexi glass
    • ‘Bayyader’ – There is a glass store with the owner, 3izat mansoor – sha3ra makkeh.
      • stainless steel connectors/posts
      • the sun
  • Decking ($) – Find someone in Amman who can do decking
    • ‘Bayyader’
    • Tiles – not wood (maintenance)
    • (drainage systems)
  • Flora – This is huge.  You need to itemize EVERY single plant you want to be on the roof.  I would make a google sheet and organize the flora into different areas of Jordan…obviously this can be bought in Jordan for cheap.
  • Might look into some more gravel to ‘clean’ up the gravel that is already there.
    • would be sold with the flora I presume.  No selected place.