In Iraq, as an estimated 900,000 people return home to the city of Mosul after liberation, many of the returnees will only find desolation. The Tamayouz Excellence Award, Rifat Chadirji Prize focuses on bringing global awareness as well as global talent toward addressing the social issues Iraq faces through design.
This year’s theme, “Rebuilding Iraq’s Liberated Areas: Mosul’s Housing Competition” asked applicants design prototypes for affordable housing. The winning housing proposals selected by the jury are practical, inspiring, and scalable, while adding capacity and density. The competition received 223 submissions from 42 countries. The Top 20 entries will be featured in a traveling exhibition that will visit Amman, Baghdad, Boston, Beirut, Milan, and London. Read on to learn about the three winning proposals and seven honorable mentions.
The Rifat Chadirji Prize got its namesake from Iraqi architect, theorist and author, Dr Rifat Chadirji. Chandirji’s work, both in thought leadership and built projects, has influenced the built environment and holds significance today. The founder of the Tamayouz Excellence Award, Ahmed Al-Mallak said, “all contributing ideas responding to the humanitarian crisis is heartwarming. This competition had the value of reflecting difficult and controversial situations but through a reasonably optimistic lens. Although the competition finished, our work starts now to help organizations responsible for the reconstruction efforts.”
First Place: Re-Settlement by Anna Otlik of Wroclaw, Poland
The tessellating and evolutionary project, Re-Settlement by Anna Otlik, takes into consideration the immediate needs of the city of Mosul, as the anticipated 900,000 displaced citizens return, but also longer-term needs for community and public services. The first phase of re-settlement is an informal process, with catalyst points determined organically by the returning community. With a matrix of modules, the settlements can then grow, densify, and evolve through the proposed rule-set. The judges panel states that Re-Settlement “considers the situation at all the relevant scales and stages, from initial emergency housing to a full-fledged neighborhood.” Otlik’s design takes inspiration from the vernacular Iraqi architecture, with the incorporation of outdoor spaces “it complements the fabric and the density of the city,” as described by the Judging Panel.
Second Place by Mariia Chorna & Oleksandr Kostevych of Wroclaw, Poland
“It has a kind of familiarity. It has got variety and expandability. It encourages self-build, but not manufacturing. It is a building approach, not industrial. It brings it to a personal level,” commented the Judging Panel. Two students of the Wroclaw University of Science and Technology came together to make this proposal. It begins with a 5x5x3 meter grid infrastructure provided by the city, that then will be fitted-out by the tenants. Having the individual returnees build their own partitions creates an aesthetic diversity but also creates a sense of ownership. The infrastructure allows family units to take on as many modules as needed for the number of occupants. The team designed fit-outs for these units for as few as 3 and as many as 8 occupants.
Third Place: The Five Farming Bridges by Vincent Callebaut Architectures of Paris, France
The Five Farming Bridges is a proposal to rebuild the 5 Mosul bridges that crossed the Tigris River which were destroyed to encircle ISIS. With a reference to the hanging gardens of Babylon, this proposal “offers a vision of a positive future to restore the self-confidence of war refugees” as described by Vincent Callebaut Architectures. The new bridges are to be inhabited and contain urban farms and agriculture for food production. The design proposes many passive systems for a sustainable future and improved quality of life for the tenants. The Judging Panel selected the Five Farming Bridges because “this proposal directed to two of Mosul’s most immediate needs: housing and the reconsideration of its bridges, and yet at the same time uses the historical precedent of an inhabited bridge and yet speaks to the future in its morphology and construction”.
Honorable Mention: The Big Mosulian Family by Ali Nashwan and Fatima Ehsan of Mosul, Iraq
The Big Mosulian Family proposal takes a different approach, providing a home for those that lack family -- the homeless, orphaned, and elderly. The project aims to provide a network for the community to raise future generations in a healthy society.
Honorable Mention: Over Ruins by Mina Saadatfard Ali Arzaghi, Parham Ostovar & Zahra Haghi of Shiraz, Iran
Over Ruins responds to the rubble of the previous Mosul, and offers a housing complex that is raised, to allow for a street level market, to revive local businesses, and create a sense of belonging and community. The Judging Panel adds, “building the market over the ruins, which allows of the the ruins to remain, so there is the incorporation of memory into everyday life which makes a powerful idea [...]”
Honorable Mention: People’s Habitat by Marek Rytych, Natalia Ciastoń & Tomasz Hryciuk of Warsaw, Poland
People’s Habitat takes solutions from Arab architecture to create modules for the 4x4 meter grid modular system which incorporates patios, elevated gardens, and housing units.
Honorable Mention by Mostafa Alani of the United States
Taking the larger problem, and addressing it in two phases, Alani’s proposal is comprised of the Seeds, and the Metamorphosis. The Seeds addresses immediate relief with housing necessities, while the second phase, Metamorphosis addresses the larger urban scale, as the city develops.
Honorable Mention: A City without Fences by Tay Othman of San Francisco, United States
A City without Fences focuses on removing barriers within the city, visually and physically to create a safer for vibrant Mosul. As a strong anti-war statement, the project is proposed on the Al Kindy military site, and repurposes the site for mixed-use residential with amenities and shared public spaces.
Honorable Mention: TIE by Triplicity Architects of Stuttgart, Germany
In order to created a resilient and independent community, the new development will build off the remaining patterns the city has left behind through the framework. The proposal uses the infrastructure from ISIS and adapts it for urban needs such as transportation and utilities.
Honorable Mention: Becoming Home by Philip Turner, Andrew Weston & Chris Williamson of London, United Kingdom
Designed by Weston Williamson + Partners, Becoming Home is a type of masterplan strategy to address the imminent needs for building homes while also responding to the long-term needs of the city to regrow. The proposal focuses a lot of attention on the skills available the the buildability of the units, such as a gabion walls constructed with rubble.