This exhibition of several hundred original photographs examines the work of Iraqi architect Rifat Chadirji through the collection of his documents held at the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut. With the work of his architectural office, Iraq Consult, and in his other roles as a planning consultant and as director of buildings for several government agencies, Chadirji became a pivotal cultural figure in Baghdad during the period of its postwar modernization from the 1950s through the 1970s. Chadirji was central to the organization and consolidation of the image of the postwar city and helped foster the emergence of the factories,
"Part of war and conflict has always been the collateral damage. Buildings have fallen in the path of military objectives, but, [...] in this war, buildings aren't destroyed because they're in the way of a target. The buildings are the target." As the narrator of The Destruction of Memory so eloquently explains, the destruction of culture—of buildings, books, and art—is often not an accidental consequence of conflict. As we can see by the actions of ISIS in Iraq and Syria today, the destruction of cultural artifacts is part and parcel of a conscientious strategy to target and destroy the collective memory, history, and identity of a people.
Daniel Libeskind has unveiled plans for The Kurdistan Museum in Erbil, Iraq. With the building, Studio Libeskind seeks to create “the first major center in the Kurdistan Region for the history and culture of the Kurdish people.” The project was developed as a collaboration between the Kurdistan Regional Government (the KRG) and client representative RWF World. The 150,000 square-foot museum will feature exhibition spaces for both permanent and temporary exhibitions, a lecture theatre, state-of-the-art multimedia educational resources, an extensive digital archive of Kurdish historical assets, as well as community center and landscaped outdoor spaces for public use.
Zaha Hadid's sudden passing has led to an outpouring of heartfelt tributes from some of the profession's most prominent figures. A "brave and radical" trailblazer, and the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, Hadid's significant impact on the world of architecture is undeniable. She will be missed.
"We are all shocked and devastated that we lost Zaha today, a most beautiful individual, talent, leader and friend," Patrik Schumacher, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, wrote on Facebook.
We will continue to update this link as more tributes come in.
The Iraqi-born British Architect Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE (1950-2016) has died aged 65, in Miami, Florida. According to reports from the BBC, Hadid was being treated in hospital for bronchitis when she suffered a heart attack. Earlier this year she became the first sole woman to receive the RIBA Royal Gold Medal at a ceremony in London.
Read on for the official statement from Zaha Hadid Architects:
Leaders in Architecture MENA is dedicated to developing, celebrating and connecting architects, interior designers and senior decision makers from leading international architectural practices, contractors, developers, government officials, engineers and solution providers. Gathering the most senior industry professionals from across the world, the summit provides a unique opportunity to learn from and get inspired by leaders, luminaries, and legends from within and outside architecture, set future business plans and appreciate breathtaking and daring architecture.
An 1152-meter super tall tower is being proposed for the Iraqi city of Basra as part of a government-backed masterplan that aims to expand the city's capacity by 2025. As reported by Slate, the "Bride of the Gulf" was designed by AMBS Architects as a cluster of four net-zero towers interconnected by sky gardens and independent of the city grid. Together, they would add nearly 17-million-square-feet of usable space to the city's growing business center. Parks, "sky-squares," schools, hotels, clinics, commercial centers, offices and much more would provide all the amenities needed for a self-sustaining vertical city.
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.
Located in the autonomous Iraqi state of Kurdistan, Vogue Architects have won a competition to construct a new building for the Kurdistan Engineers Union in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. The mixed-use concrete and glass tower will serve as the new hub for the Engineers Union and will become home to several engineering firms, administrative offices, a fitness centre and public space. Designed to pay homage to the land, the tower was created on principles of holiness, honesty and respect for nature.
Former RIBA president Angela Brady has announced Shereen Sherzad as the recipient of the second annual Tamayouz Women in Architecture and Construction Award, Iraq’s most prestigious architecture prize for women in architecture. Sherzad, an architect, academic and planner, taught at the school of Baghdad School of Architecture and worked as the director of the Higher Commission for the revitalization of the Erbil Citadel, which was awarded World Heritage Status. She is also the author of four architecture textbooks, used as references and teaching materials in Iraq and other Arab schools of Architecture.
The winners of the Young Woman Architect and Special Commemorative Awards, after the break.
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.
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 preservation 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…
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.
Turning an element synonymous with security in Iraq into a method for constructing affordable housing, New World Design LLC has shared with us their T-Wall Housing proposal for Al Qurnah, Basrah, Iraq. Follow after the jump for further images and a description from the architects.