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 [Central Bank of Iraq] 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.