In what will be her first project for her native country, Zaha Hadid will design the new headquarters for the Central Bank in Baghdad. Earlier in the summer, Hadid prepared a conceptual presentation with a feasibility study, and this past month, Hadid travelled to Istanbul to discuss initial details with the bank’s governor, Sinan al-Shabibi. The bank, which is one of the first central banks in the Arab world, has the sole right to issue the Iraq’s national currency – the dinar.
Although details of the bank’s security features probably will not be released to the public, the bank has required Hadid to design the headquarters to withstand terrorist attacks – the existing headquarters, designed by Danish practice Dissing & Weitling in 1985, was stormed by insurgents in June in an attack that killed 18 people and injured 50.
Zaha Hadid is focusing on creating a structure that speaks to the new spirit of the country, saying the design will act as a symbol of the new Iraq. According to the BDOnline, Hadid’s spokesman explained, “The new headquarters will enable the monetary authority of the CBI to perform its continued role serving stability, development and economic growth in Iraq.”
We’ll keep you updated on the design as we learn more.