It is difficult to imagine how the serene curves of the Al Shaheed Monument, reflected in a glimmering lake in the ancient city of Baghdad, could have been built in a time of conflict and genocide. Commissioned by Saddam Hussein’s regime as a memorial for the fallen soldiers in the Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s, this graceful structure exudes a quiet beauty that belies the turmoil of its birth.
Al-Kindi Society for Engineers will be holding its annual engineering forum in London, titled “Iraq Architecture and Planning 2016”.
The forum will be held on Saturday the 09th January 2016 and will be attended by a host of distinguished professionals from international high profile engineering and architectural firms.
The forum will be held as a 1-day symposium and will feature expert speakers and presenters. It will also be complemented by a range of activities including an exhibition on architecture and technology.
Zaha Hadid has now officially signed a deal to design the Iraq Parliament building in Baghdad, despite only coming third in the original design competition. BD Online reports that Hadid attended a signing ceremony held at the Iraqi Embassy in London last month, finally bringing a close to the controversial process.
The original competition run by the Royal Institute of British Architects at the request of the Iraqi Government was won by Assemblage, however shortly after the win it became apparent that the Iraqi Council of Representatives had other ideas, as they remained in discussion with Hadid's Practice. Under the rules of the competition, the client is under no obligation to follow through with the winning design.
More on the controversy after the break
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.
Assemblage has succeeded against a prestigious shortlist – which included Zaha Hadid Architects, Capita Symonds, Fevre Gaucher and ADPI – in an international competition for the new Iraqi parliament complex in Baghdad. The $1Bn USD project challenged contestants to design a new, large scale complex amidst the remnants of a partially built super mosque planned by Saddam Hussein (photos of the existing site here).
The London-based practice will be awarded $250,000 USD and asked to produce a master plan for the surrounding city, as well as additional government buildings, a new hotel and public parks. The anonymous jury plans to exhibit the submitted projects, along with the judging committee’s decision. However, a date has yet to be announced.
Continue after the break for more images and the architects’ description.