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Design unveiled for new $1 billion parliament complex in Iraq
Design for a new $1 billion parliament complex in Baghdad, Iraq by the winning team of London-based Assemblage, Canadian firm Adamson Associates, and engineering consultant Buro Happold has been unveiled.
The Government of Iraq launched an international competition in late 2011 for the $1 billion project, which attracted more than 100 international firms. The competition carried a first prize of $250,000.
The new parliament complex is expected to be built at a 50ha site of Baghdad’s disused Al Muthana airport, which was once the most favoured location of a super mosque conceived by Saddam Hussein.
The new design is conceived as a pattern of indoor and outdoor streets and green courtyards which are linked together to a number of buildings. The site will also feature other buildings which will house government departments and administration buildings. Various courtyards and streets in the new design will enable infiltration of natural daylight and service access.
The Council of Representatives building features a circular outer shell of brise-soleil, which protects the building. The inside shell includes the Great Hall and the Council Chamber, with technical spaces and services located in the spine walls. An entrance foyer is featured between these two buildings, which is accentuated by roof lights. A press conference hall is situated at the lower ground level.
The buildings are envisioned as transparent, enabling users to look down from the perimeter areas into the Great Hall and entrance foyer, witnessing the motions of government. The Council of Representatives building is shaped like a circle, which conveys a sense of strong, simple geometry of great architectural power. Navigation of the building is simple.
A number of 50m high concrete columns are already present at the site, which was built when work was suddenly disrupted by the US-led invasion 10 years ago. These will now be torn down with a series of piles to be retained.
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