Uraiqat Architects (UA) is a rising architectural firm founded in Amman in 2009 by husband and wife team Basel Uraiqat and Basma Abdullah Uraiqat. Over the past few years UA has become known in Jordan for its contemporary industrial aesthetic, embrace of technology and an experimental artistic and philosophical approach to design.
The two founders approached SYNTAX at a critical point in their journey. As the firm grew and moved into new premises, they began to reorganize their creative and operational capacities and decided to grow their business with greater intentionality.
In preparation for the firm’s growth, Uraiqat tasked SYNTAX with clarifying and amplifying the core of their brand, requiring a more systematic approach to communication and business development.
SYNTAX closely collaborated with Uraiqat on a deep branding and communication initiative aimed at consolidating UA’s identity, put the firm on the regional map and start attracting the attention of a global audience increasingly interested in stories about pioneering creative companies emerging from places outside the dominant economic and creative centers in Europe and the US.
But as we dug deeper, another facet of UA’s identity emerged. Namely their persistent, ambitious drive to deliver architectural excellence in the context of their home city, Amman, an emerging metropolis of contradictory forces, that presents immense challenges for architects who resist the prevailing commercialism, the lack of advanced craftsmanship or the reluctance of society to accept new, daring architectural ideas. We started seeing UA as a firm that embraced the tensions around them, turning the challenges of their context into creative and business resilience. Thus, Amman, Jordan and the wider region became an important player in shaping UA’s identity. A tense stage upon which they operate.
As we started to develop the visual identity of UA, we moved between extremes. Do we represent the firm through an iconic symbol? or do we develop a non-logo: a visual pattern that becomes the design language of the brand?
We opted for the latter. A visual identity based on a design system which places the letter U (for Uraiqat) and A (for architects) at the two furthest corners of an object, publication or surface that needs to be branded, with repeating typographic sequences strung between the two extremities.
These strings represent the architectural journey between extremes. On another level these strings of code can be seen as architectural patterns, or even as the underlying ‘code’, the programmatic method, that underlies UA’s design work.
SYNTAX, in collaboration with Eyas Tayyem, also designed and developed the new website of the firm. Here, a unique content management and presentation system was devised, based on the repeating typographic sequences that ultimately produce a fluid grid for the web content on the site.
Alongside the delivery of visual and verbal assets of the UA brand, SYNTAX directed a cinematic brand relaunch trailer. This short film stages the raw, urban context of Amman, juxtaposed with a selection of UA’s cultural, residential and workplace projects. The film embraces the tension between the extremes of digital fabrication versus hand crafts, urban chaos versus architectural minimalism and material rawness vs intricate detailing.
The new brand of Uraiqat was guided by their own process of self-discovery and a willingness to embrace discord and extremity. As such, the Uraiqat brand unfurled from the inside out; their attitude of openness towards challenge and possibility, their unique process of working the edges, and their relationship to place are all elements which, in the end, truly set them apart.
For us at SYNTAX, the value of this project exceeded the visual and communication work that we designed and delivered. It represents the emerging spirit of collaboration within Jordan’s creative industries on the road to regional and international exposure.