Zaha Hadid Chosen to Design Iraqi Parliament Building in Baghdad

  • 14 Nov 2013
  • by
  • Architecture News
Central Bank of / . Image © ZHA

Zaha Hadid has been selected to design the new Iraqi Parliament building in Baghdad. The controversial decision comes after London-based Assemblage was crowned as winner of a RIBA-led competition for the building, which place Hadid’s proposal third. Though a dispute began once the competition’s client sparked conversations with Hadid after the winning firm was named, the client stated that competition rules allow for any shortlisted design proposal to be ultimately chosen for construction.

Former RIBA president and competition jury member Sunand Prasad backed the client’s claim, stating: “Obviously we selected a winner, therefore we would like to have seen it [built] but the client reserved the right to pick any of the top three and they have gone ahead and done that.”

Existing site for Iraqi parliament complex in Baghdad. Image Courtesy of Assemblage

The £630 million building will be built on a 20 hectare site in West Baghdad, which was originally used by Saddam Hussein to partially construct a super mosque. Situated in the heart of the city, the Iraqi government hopes the new building will be a “more potent symbol of the new Iraq.” Details of the design have yet to be released.

Hadid’s practice has already received a contract in the Iraqi capital back in 2010 for the Central Bank headquarters and, as the Architect’s Journal, is rumored to be involved with the new Iraq National Museum.

Though no official announcement of Hadid’s involvement has been released by the Iraq government, Hadid has reportedly already begun to work on the design.

Reference: The Architect’s Journal

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Zaha Hadid Chosen to Design Iraqi Parliament Building in Baghdad" 14 Nov 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • Chris

    Maybe I’m the only one who is thinking this, but there is probably a lot better things a Billion dollars could do for the Iraqi people outside of constructing a hyper complex super expensive parliment building.

    • puppet

      Good point. Especially when considering most of the political work will be done from Washington anyway.

    • John

      Good point Chris. Is it possible the positive externality, breaking from the past where more money and blood were spent exemplified by Iwasaki Yatarō cutting his Samurai ponytail ushering in a new Japanese era, symbolized by such a powerful symbol of freedom will outperform said monetary expenditures?

  • Tibor Szemenyey-Nagy

    in Bagdad is ok, but…

  • Othman

    I think it Iraqi Central Bank building

  • huda gh. kamil

    Iraqis do need far more than a hyper supper expensive building, with all respect to Ms.Hadid, I hope she would rethink her involvement with the Shiite thieves and gangsters ruling Iraq & shift her creative work elsewhere.

  • Kambakenyi

    Awesome architect so far .l like zahadid works its 4 native land iraqi daughter 2 give her best design 4 her home apart frm politic its architecture pls welcome yr daughter s renown
    Priztize architect

  • Iraqi Architect

    Why hold an international competition with a notable jury and process, and then commission an entry that did not win?
    Isn’t this unethical and dishonoring to the architecture community and all of those who put time and money into competition entries?

  • PouriaM

    Pointless……. just pointless

  • Max

    Sounds like an impossible client probably best to get away while you still can.

  • Cvwmn

    Its not pointless. Its an Hadid building. Imagine what it could do in terms of appreciation and valuation. Fear no art.

  • Iqbal Halani

    First things first, what they need is a million sniffer dogs and HS number plate recognition cameras.

  • Anthony A

    Looks like my Ionic Breeze.