Zaha Hadid Officially Signed Up For Iraq Parliament Job

The now abandoned competition-winning design by Assemblage. The Iraqi Council of Representatives has come under fire for not releasing details of Hadid’s design. Image © Assemblage

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 Chosen to Design Iraqi Parliament Building in Baghdad

Central Bank of Iraq / . Image © ZHA

Zaha Hadid has been selected to design the new Iraqi Parliament building in . 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 Wins Iraqi Parliament Competition

© Assemblage

Assemblage has succeeded against a prestigious shortlist – which included , Capita Symonds, Fevre Gaucher and ADPI – in an international competition for the new Iraqi parliament complex in . 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.

“Lost” Le Corbusier Building Sparks Preservation Movement in Iraq

Gymnasium in , Sketch by Le Corbusier. ©SketchPlanet

In Upstate New York, residents are clamoring to raze down their Government Center, Paul Rudolph’s classic 1970 example of brutalist design. Ostensibly, this is due to flood-damage. But it can’t hurt that, as one resident was quoted in The New York Times as saying, it’s “a big ugly building.”

In Minnesota, city officials would rather tear down M. Paul Fiedberg’s Peavey Plaza, a “Modernist gem” completed in ’73, than spend the time, money, and effort to revitalize it.

In Baghdad, on the other hand, a gymnasium completed in 1982, suffering the signs of decades of violence, poverty, and ill-executed renovation, has sparked a small movement, reawakening a country to its neglected cultural heritage.

The architect behind this Iraqi endeavor? None other than Le Corbusier himself.

Read More on the “forgotten” Le corbusier in Baghdad, after the break…

Zaha Hadid Architects and Central Bank of Iraq sign agreement for new Headquarters

H.E. Dr Sinan Al-Shabibi, Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Zaha Hadid, H.E. Dr Muhielddin Hussein Abdullah, Charges d’Affaires of the Iraqi Embassy - Courtesy of

Zaha Hadid joined H.E. Dr Sinan Al-Shabibi, Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI), at a ceremony to sign the agreement between CBI and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) for the design stages of the new CBI Headquarters building. The ceremony was hosted at the Victoria & Albert Museum by H.E. Dr Muhielddin Hussein Abdullah, Charges d’Affaires of the Iraqi Embassy.

ZHA have already completed the client’s Brief Development and will immediately begin the design process that will focus on developing a national symbol for the new spirit of Iraq on the shores of the Tigris River in . ZHA will lead the international team of specialist consultants including: Adams Kara Taylor, Max Fordham, Newtecnic, DEGW, Gross Max, Davis Langdon, Arup, Warringtonfire, Winton Nightingale and A2 Project Managers.

Dr Sinan Al-Shabibi said: “The new building shall be a symbol of the Bank’s role in the economic development of Iraq and a reflection of the determination to rebuild the country.”

Zaha Hadid said: “I am deeply touched that I have been asked to design the new headquarters for the Central Bank of Iraq. I was born in Iraq and I still feel very close to it. I feel very privileged to be working in Iraq on a design of such national importance.”

Continue after the break for more images of the ceremony. 

Update: Zaha Hadid shortlisted for Iraqi parliament

Existing site for Iraqi parliament complex in - Courtesy of

It has been confirmed that Zaha Hadid is one of the architects shortlisted for the international competition to design a new, $1 billion Iraqi parliament complex in Baghdad. The full list has yet to be released, but as we have announced earlier, the London-based firm Assemblage has also been shortlisted. Located in the middle of the city, the new complex will be challenged with the remnants of a partially built super mosque planned by Saddam Hussein. Massive 50m reinforced concrete columns tower over the site, as construction was halted by the US-led invasion in 2003. Continue reading after the break for more.

Assemblage wins competition for Economic Housing in Iraq

Economic Housing in - Courtesy of

The London-based firm Assemblage has won the United Nations HABITAT international architecture competition for the design of new housing in Iraq. The competition is part of a larger program by UN-HABITAT and the Iraq government to construct new housing across the country. After succeeding teams from the Netherlands, France and other Arab states, Assemblage plans to refine their proposal and prepare their design for construction sometime within this year. Continue reading for more details on the project.

T-Wall Housing / New World Design LLC

Construction Diagram

Turning an element synonymous with security in into a method for constructing affordable housing, New World Design LLC has shared with us their T-Wall Housing proposal for , Basrah, Iraq. Follow after the jump for further images and a description from the architects.

Nassiriyah Truck Stop / New World Design LLC

Courtesy of New World Design LLC

New World Design LLC,a consortium of Harvard trained design professionals, have shared with ArchDaily one of their recent Iraqi humanitarian aid and infrastructure development projects, a truck stop at , . Additional images and a narrative from the architects after the break.

Central Bank / Zaha Hadid

MAXXI Museum / Zaha Hadid Architects © Iwan Baan

In what will be her first project for her native country, Zaha Hadid will design the new headquarters for the 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 ’s national currency – the dinar.

Dewan Architects wins first prize in Baghdad competition

Dewan Architects & Engineers have won the first prize for The Competition of Developing the Area Sorrounding the Holy Shrines in Kadhimiya, , .

Dewan was shortlisted among ten other international and Iraqi firms to participate in this competition. The project contains the Historical area with the Holy Shrines in the centre and the its surroundings with a radius of 500 m. an area full of historical markets, traditional houses and cultural and religious activities.

More images and architect’s description after the break.