BC Prestige Housing
With its tall slopes inviting you to skateboard all over them, 4M Architects in collaboration with RGGA and BC Prestige have come up with a conceptual design of a large scale urban centre in Arbil, Iraq. A cocktail of luxury residences, commercial and business centres, this high end urban strategy aims to provide comfort to the existing layer of fat on the city of Arbil.
Surrounded mainly by low rise structures, the mixed use housing stands out as a symbol of dynamism in a city developing as fast as Arbil. With 280,000 square meters of construction area, 4M has envisioned the BC Prestige to be an active hub of commercial, retail and residences all in one. Addressing issues it feels Arbil might face in the future such as a lack of green open spaces and public recreational areas, 4M has designed a series of gardens and terraces on each floor that provide a private open area to spill out onto while at the same time add a nice rhythm to the whole structure as well.
Keeping in mind that a structure this vast must primarily serve the public, 4M has kept the lower edges of the structure quite interactive with the public with retail outlets and commercial activities. The concept integrates different functions of daily life into one programme with the office complex and the luxury residences being essential elements of the design. The exclusivity of their functioning however does not translate into the experience of the complex as the public and private areas merge into one another and with the exterior quite seamlessly. A feeling of fluidity and continuity has been given to what otherwise would have been 3 different built mass on the site by having a continuous roof spanning all 3 of them. The apartment blocks have been conceptualized such that they get the best views of the Arbil Castle and the Martyr Sami Abdul-Rahman Park while the office tower stands out as the tallest structure on site.
All in all, this large scale topographical intervention in the city occupies a large amount of space but at the same time opens up a vast range of opportunities at various levels. It serves as a symbol of growth and prosperity and puts the city of Arbil on the map of Architectural innovations with its tall tower serving as a symbol to remember the city by.
By: Shamita Chaudhry