COUNCIL OF REPRESENTATIVES
Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Client: Federal Government of Iraq
Consultants: Adamson Associates, Buro Happold, Schumann Smith
[ CIVIC / GOVERNMENT / EDUCATION ]
[ 1111 ]
Part of the Iraq Parliament scheme, the Council of Representatives building stands as one of the primary elements. The forms of the landmark buildings are stable, elemental forms sitting firmly on the ground. Their raised profiles read clearly above the firm horizontal datum of the low rise fabric.
The Council of Representatives building is placed as a landmark in the primary arrival plaza on axis to the Zawra Park approach. It has a circular outer shell of monumental brise soleil which protects the building and whose deep shadows tell of the intense Iraqi sun. Encircled within are the two great hemicycles of the Great Hall and the Council Chamber, with technical spaces and services embedded in the spine walls. The charged space between these two great volumes is the Entrance Foyer, further dramatised by raking roof-lights. A press conference hall is situated at lower ground level.
The public and members may populate the building’s façade by appearing amongst the large fins of the brise soleil. Generous areas adjacent the façade may be occupied at all levels, animating the entire perimeter of the building at all levels. Navigation is simple and intuitive. Users of the building look down from the perimeter areas into the Great Hall and Entrance Foyer, witnessing the motions of government. This transparency in the building is direct: to at once look out over the land and its citizens, and then at those who represent and serve.
Location: Kadhimiya, Iraq
Client: Baghdad Mayoralty
Consultants: Adamson Associates, AECOM, Davis Langdon, Max Fordham, Schumann Smith, Ihsan Fethi, Akram Ogaily
[ URBAN DESIGN / INFRASTRUCTURE / SACRED / EDUCATION / CIVIC ]
[ 0905 ]
On the disused space to the west of the centre a collection of major new buildings is proposed, formed around a new primary western axis from the Shrine. The buildings are strategically arranged on a raised plane, which carries a large variety of logistical services inside, but which also allows a vehicle-free environment at surface level for the large number of visitors. The new Mosque, Library, Religious School, and religious/general administration buildings are assembled here. Dramatically top-lit Eating Halls are placed at natural ground level adjacent the local urban street pattern, for easy movement from all sides.
In character, the new buildings play particular roles/functions:
The new mosque is an important new religious landmark and has a formal disposition. It is oriented to match the Shrine and has a generous shaded courtyard/Sahn and colonnades. The proposed dome is the focus of an important new street axis leading the south-west.
The Library and Religious School buildings are paired inside a large architectural decorative screen. Movement through the screen and building portals and interstitial spaces is rich with spatial complexity and interplay of natural daylighting. Separate reading rooms for men and women crown the Library building in the intense booklined reading rooms on the top storeys. In relative contrast, the Religious School building has layers of formal teaching rooms at entry level, but which breaks into an informal assembly of rooms and elevated small courtyards higher up where the residential community of scholars live.
Dome - produced through collaboration between Professor. Lugi Aline and study AION which sees students of Laboratory Project II of the Faculty of Architecture and students of the School Building in Syracuse committed to achieve a 1: 1 a housing system for low-tech, arches, vaults and domes in brick.
Image source: http://divisare.com/projects/170979-Dome
Location: Tower Hamlets, London, UK
Client: Urban Practitioners
[ EDUCATION ]
[ 0513 ]
Part of the rejuvenation of libraries in the London borough of Tower Hamlets via the Idea Store initiative. The study scourers the borough for suitable sites and systematically reports on their suitability. Four sites were identified and feasibility studies run on each, assessing access, massing and architectural issues.
RESEARCH . CIVIC
THE NEW SOUK
Location: Tangier, Morocco
Research Student: Hui Xu, UCL BPro MArch UD RC12 2012/13
[ RESEARCH / URBAN DESIGN ]
The project attempts to use souk trading networks as a basis for developing the local economic and cultural environment. Each souk varies according to its specialised productions. It offers a meaningful way of cultural exchange besides Medinas in Morocco. Inherently souks are able to morph according to their surrounding typological demands. They are mutually informative and inter-relational. The New Souk's key functions are designed according to its 'living organism' nature so that it is able to stand strong against rejection process in an urbanised environment. The design strategy reconsiders and redesigns the key functions of the souk to fit the modern age.
Souk economic network and production specialisation in Northern Morocco
Troin, J.F., (1975 ). Les souks marocains: marchés ruraux et organisation de l’espace dans la moitié nord du Maroc. Frenched. Aix-en-Provence: EDISUD.Volum 2, Planche no.2.
Commerce was a vital component of Muslim urban life. The term ‘souk’ means market—places of trading of goods which have existed since the 8th century AD—along the ‘silk road’ from Transoxania and Iran, as well as the frankincense trail through the Hejaz, serving intercontinental transactions.1 Since then, crafts trading has been one of the most significant parts of the economy in the souks. Cities are established through trading, sequentially incorporating functions of caravanserai, minaret, mosque, settlement, madrasa, and permeate retail. The souk itself managed to reach beyond its economic function to the urban realm. It’s an embodiment of trade historically being an embryonic catalyst for settlement. The historical cities of Damascus, Aleppo, Cairo, Istanbul, Isfahan and Samarkand are all based on the development of inter-regional commerce, benefiting from their strategic geographic locations in terms of trading.
There were 850 souks covering Morocco according to field surveys carried out in 1975. There were 55 networks in northern Morocco showing distribution density, coverage, and periodicity. Colours are used on the map to highlight the running day/days of the weekly rotation. The most common periodicity is weekly. Each network headed by a centre-pole, the largest of the administrative and economic centre. (in most cases in cities). A centre-pole is inter-linked by a series of satellite souks (in most cases in villages) representing interdependent relationships, The hatched area showing each network’s extent of the coverage.
'The New Souk'
Hui Xu, UCL BPro MArch UD RC12 2012/13
Historically, aside the primary economic function of trading. souks have played important social and political roles. They have been the meeting point for social interaction for citizens and governments alike. At inception the souk's function is as an embryonic catalysts for settlement.
During the interim occupancy the souk continues to generate further settlement and act as an important city infrastructure. It enables the growth of social, government and cultural infrastructure, including health, education and leisure facilities. These frameworks lay down the foundation for serving the citizens.
After maturation the previous centre of exchange transforms into public space following the souk's shift to the next desired location. The strategic movement of the souk acts as an urban catalysts and an urban structuring element providing infrastructure and public space for the city over time.