Posts tagged with "Baghdad":

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Influential Iraqi architect Rifat Chadirji passes away at 93

Rifat Chadirji, an Iraqi architect, author, and critic, passed away on April 10 at the age of 93 from COVID-19. Born in Baghdad in 1926, Chadirji has been hailed as the “father of Iraqi architecture,” and built over 100 buildings across the country during the second half of the 20th century.

Chadirji left Baghdad to study architecture at the Hammersmith School of Arts & Crafts in London. After graduating in 1952, he founded the Iraq Consult IQC, a professional architectural and engineering practice, and moved back to Iraq to design several modernist and postmodernist buildings throughout the country. “From the very outset of my practice,” he once said, “I thought it imperative that, sooner or later, Iraq create for itself an architecture regional in character yet simultaneously modern, part of the current international avant-garde style.” One of the architect’s first and best-known works is the Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Baghdad. Built in 1959, the arched monument was an abstracted homage to the arch of Ctesiphon in the ancient Iraqi capital of the Parthian Empire (though the monument was ultimately demolished in 1982 to be replaced by a statue of Saddam Hussein). Chadirji’s design signaled a new path for modern Iraqi architecture and was completed six years prior to Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. Chadirji later came to define his aesthetic as “international regionalism” as he set out to design other, larger civic projects throughout Iraq. As forward-thinking as his architecture was, however, Chadirji was also deeply invested in Iraq’s past and ultimately produced over 10,000 photographs documenting the country’s modernization over his lifetime. “I felt that many things were disappearing, and I wanted to document them before they did,” he told arts magazine Ibraaz in 2016, according to The National. “This is what motivated me to create a sort of archive of these things.” The year after the Monument to the Unknown Soldier was demolished, Chadirji no longer saw a place for himself in the country and moved to the United States to become a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He then went on to publish several books, including Portrait of a Father (1985), Dialogue on the Structure of Art and Architecture (1995), and The Characteristics of Beauty in Man’s Consciousness (2013). A month after his 90th birthday in January 2017, the Tamayouz Excellence Award program established the Rifat Chadirji Prize to “introduce Iraq and its challenges to the world and invite them to submit their ideas and to establish an uncompromising open source of ideas tackling social issues in Iraq through design.” Chadirji’s legacy will live on in this prize, as well as in the memory of those who remember the modernist transformation of Iraq he championed.

Call for Entries: Baghdad Design Centre September 9th

Tamayouz Excellence Award is delighted to invite students, designers and architects worldwide to transform the current unused site of the Old Governorate Building into the Baghdad Design Centre in the city's Cultural District, Al-Rusafa. The competition hopes to see a new architectural approach that helps Baghdad celebrate its architecture and heritage. The transformation of the site into a Design Centre that showcases the best of contemporary design and is also a space of creative collaboration forms the basis of the brief. Whilst creating a new and optimistic vision for the future of design within Iraq the proposals should also set a benchmark for the respectful treatment of cultural heritage in a true fusion of the old and the new. ELIGIBILITY Architects, students, engineers and designers are invited to participate in this prize. Participation can be on an individual or team basis (maximum of four team members). We encourage the participation of multidisciplinary teams. SCHEDULE 09 / February / 2018 - Start of Early bird registration. 06 / June / 2018 - Start of the Standard registration. 01 / September / 2018 - Last week for registration. 06 / September / 2018 - Closing date for Registration. 09 / September / 2018 - Closing date for Submissions. November / 2018 - Announcement of Results. December 2018 - Annual Tamayouz Excellence Award Ceremony. All Deadlines are 11:59 pm GMT (London) PRIZES PRIZE WINNER: $5000 + The Rifat Chadirji Statuette + Trip to the 2018 Award Ceremony (Flights & Hotel covered by the organisers) 2nd & 3rd PRIZES: $1000 Each + Certificate + Trip to the 2018 Award Ceremony Flights & Hotel covered by the organisers) PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD $500 + Certificate 7 x Honourable Mentions: Certificates TOP 20 & TOP 50 Published on our website and social media pages THE AWARD CEREMONY: An invitation to attend the Tamayouz Award Annual Ceremony for the Top Three mentioned above (Flight and Accommodation costs covered by the organisers of the prize; Tamayouz Excellence Award), Every year Tamayouz International Award chooses a different city to host the ceremony, in 2017 it was held in Amman - Jordan. This year’s City will be announced later in the year. Download the information related to this competition here. The site is the old Baghdad Governorate Building in Al-Rusafa side of Baghdad (old Al-Rusafa area), the site lies between Al-Rasheed st. to the north, Al-Mutanabbi st., Al-Shuhadaa Bridge and Madrasa Mustansiriya to the east, the Abbasid Palace to the west and Al-Qishla and Tigris river to the south. The partially remaining building fabric on the competition site is what was once the Old Baghdad Governorate Building built in the early 20th century. The Old Baghdad Governorate building was heavily damaged (only the skin of the building remains) due to the looting and the vandalism in the week that followed the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.  The site is currently underused, and have not been properly maintained. The competition site and the skin of the old building are now called Al-Multaqa (the meeting point), where people usually meet before heading to the crowded surrounding areas.
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With latest exhibition, The Graham Foundation explores Iraq's modernization period

Every Building in Baghdad explores the work of Iraqi architect Rifat Chadirji through his own photographs and building documents. Curated by Mark Wasiuta, the show was originally produced for the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation. Chadirji was an important cultural figure in Iraq though its modernization period of the 1950s and 70s. A prolific architect with over 100 buildings, his work ranged from factories and communications structures to monopoly headquarters and colleges. Every Building in Baghdad fills the Graham Foundation with custom display armatures holding over 70 photographic paste-ups of Chadirji’s photographs of his work and the streets of Baghdad from the 1960s through the 80s. The show will also include drawings, etchings, and more photographs by Iraqi photographer Latif Al Ani.

Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation runs at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts (4 W Burton Place, Chicago) to December 31, 2016.

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On View> Middle Eastern Ambitions at the Center for Architecture

City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952–1982 Through May 5 Change: Baghdad, 2000–Present Through June 23 Center for Architecture 536 LaGuardia Place Two complimentary exhibits at the Center for Architecture capture an aspirational past and equally ambitious present in the Middle East. City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952–1982 shows a flourishing cosmopolitan city that—whatever the regime—commissioned an impressive array of international design talent for much of the last century resulting in an architecture combing modernist ideas with interpretations of the local climate and culture. Through models and drawings, including Walter Gropius and Hisham A. Munir’s campus building (top) at the University of Baghdad, rather than photographs in order to emphasize the optimistic intentions of the period, City of Miracles sheds light on a significant but rarely seen corner of global modernism. CHANGE: Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East, 2000–Present surveys 123 contemporary works from 20 countries in the wider Middle East, including Asymptote and Dewan Architects’ Yas Marina Hotel in Abu Dhabi (above), gathered through an open call for submissions. The impact of rapid growth and instant globalization is evident through supertalls, man-made islands as well as UNESCO monument sites under siege.
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Zaha Hadid shortlisted to build icon in her home country

Zaha Hadid. BD Online is reporting that architect Zaha Hadid has been shortlisted for the $1 billion new home of the Iraqi parliament. The project will be built on a site of the former Al Muthana airport once slated for Saddam Hussein's partially constructed super-mosque in central Baghdad. The finalists haven't officially been made public, but Iraqi-born Hadid is on the list along with Buro Happold and AECOM. Designs are due in July and a winner will be announced at the end of the year.