Awarded Design by ACE Group
The Al Muthana-Airport site in Baghdad has been vacant for the last 10 years. Only reinforced concrete columns of a mosque commissioned by Saddam Hussein remain. Hussein intended the mosque to be the largest in the Middle East.
The Iraqi government invited a select group of international and regional architects to submit designs for its future parliament. The structure is billed as an embodiment of a new sovereign Iraq. Among the over 100 participants, including Zaha Hadid, the design by ACE Group was awarded a prize.
The design by ACE Group features a public square, composed of two levels, the city level and a higher one, overlooking the city of Baghdad – both connected to each other by a system of ramps – the latter again forming intimate public places. This leafy terraced structure establishes an interface between the public and the legislative, between the citizen and his representative – offering transparency, accessibility and places of interchange.
All the meeting rooms, those for the smallest committees as well as the great hall for the council are situated at this interface – visible – and easily accessible to the public and embedded in a north-oriented large-scale structure.
The great hall follows a circular concept to provide an equal orientation for all – representatives, presidency and government.
A comb structure, 10 storeys high and housing the representatives’ rooms and the administrative offices, opens to the garden. Only the guest house is separated from the other buildings and embedded in the park.