When it comes to building an important construction, the competition goes in a higher level and sometimes into a “war” between architects. This time the challenge was not only the building but the place too. RIBA’s winner for the Iraqi Parliament Building was Assemblage, who left behind Zaha Hadid at the third place. Assemblage won in August with the designs for a network of buildings, plazas, streets and circular complex in a 50 ha court. The plan included even a master plan for the neighboring part of the city.
This complex is created by the circular Council of Representatives and the square-shaped Federal Council. The first one involves a Great Hall and a Council Chamber while a press conference hall is planned for the lower ground floor. A great part of the complex is formed with indoors/outdoors roads, which are closely tied with a green courtyard, allowing excellent daylighting and services access. Even that a considerable number of 50 meters high colons are built, the constructions are suspended due to mysterious circumstances.
“The industry is all too familiar with the failure of the fashionable icon building which is supposed to bring fame to a city and instead brings a cost and functional nightmare, and a rapidly dating aesthetic. Some in the client body know this, some do not, and it’s something they need resolve internally”, explained Peter Besley, director of Assemblage.
But NO! This is not Zaha’s project. This is the winner that chose Royal Institute of British Architects for the Iraq Parliament. Even that Zaha was placed as third, somehow she has won the scheme and the deal was signed at the Iraqi Embassy in London. All her work is a secret because she has not shown any plan or design how this building will be.
“ZHA was made aware that the competition rules allow for any of the submitted design proposals to be selected for construction, irrespective of placement in the competition, and only on this basis, ZHA continues to address the committee’s ongoing queries. To our knowledge, no decision has been made”, notify a representative of Zaha Hadid for the Guardian. The parliament should be transparent with citizens, but both the project and the way Zaha won are a big mystery that we are waiting to find out.
Architect and Lead Consultant: Assemblage
Executive Architect: Adamson Associates
Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Iraqi Partner: Al‐Khan
Design Management: Schumann Smith
Project Name: Iraqi Parliament Building
All Images Courtesy Of Zaha Hadid Architects