Architect dedicates career to improving lives

Thaer Quba poses in undated photo provided by him (Photo: JNews)
AMMAN — Architect Thaer Quba believes that architecture is not about designing masses and forms; it’s about designing spaces.

Husband and father of two; Farah and Omar, founder and managing director of Thaer Quba Consultant Architects and industrial professor at the German Jordanian University, Quba has dedicated his career to design spaces that influence people, improve their quality of life, and enrich their experiences.اضافة اعلان

As Quba grew up drawing black and white political caricature, he did not find it difficult to choose a discipline when he started university in 1984. He spent the five academic years in the University of Jordan’s architecture faculty hung up on details, admiring modernism and trying to define the Jordanian-regional architectural identity. 

Modernist Jafar Tukan, who was a lead juror on Quba’s graduation project panel, offered him a job on the day he presented his project, which is where he acquired his appreciation and pride in the profession.

Since establishing his business in 1994, Quba says he witnessed the change in the property market as it shifted towards a more universal style, overshadowing the regional and Jordanian architecture character. 

Quba describes it as “the human identity overpowering the climate and sense of belonging to the place.”

“Globalization has led to the declination in quality of all types of arts, including architecture. Architecture has to evolve because the world changes, as do we, but the main principles and ethics should remain clear. It is not either or, I can build using concrete, which is a cheap local material, and an architect in Japan can use it too!” Quba told Jordan News in a recent interview.

The bright side of globalization for Quba is the accessibility of information to everyone, as well as the ease and affordability of travel, which, for architects, leads to artistic awareness, and improves their aesthetic appreciation and knowledge.

On another front, and completely by chance, Quba started an academic career when he was invited to take part in panel jury at a university and found that he thoroughly enjoyed it. He worked as a part-time tutor at the University of Jordan between 2004 and 2011, and as an industrial professor at the German Jordanian University since 2012. 

With a new found passion for teaching, Quba said he started teaching “the way he always wanted to be taught,” noting that he grew as an architect by dealing with architecture students on a daily basis.

The benefit was mutual, he said; the students learned from his experience and he was exposed to new ways of thinking and was able to stay up to date with the modern world of the young. 

Tha’er says he witnessed firsthand the direct impact Covid-19 had on architecture, and how people’s perception of their homes changed.

“When the pandemic started, people flocked to architecture offices to adjust their homes. They realized how unlivable their houses are! I used to spend a lot of time trying to convince clients to add swimming pools, or enlarge the terrace and garden instead of the guest room, now they’re the ones suggesting that themselves,” Quba said.

Quba is a winner of the international Dewan Award for Architecture 2019’s first prize for the design of Al Umma Park, as well as the first prize of JWICO showroom competition 2009, and Engineers Park Competition 2003.