Image production: Moka-Studio

Image production: Moka-Studio

NEW Municipality

Location: Iraq
Clients: Iraq Government, United Nations
Construction cost: Confidential

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Winning international competition scheme for the Iraq government and UN-HABITAT (United Nations Agency for Human Settlements). A fully integrated settlement for 3000 people is proposed including schools, markets, health centres, and a variety of green spaces and playing fields. Building designs are low cost, architecturally advanced, use local resources, and have sustainability ratings rivalling western standards. Novel approaches to vehicle parking and circulation allow a safe, fully pedestrian landscaped centre.



This masterplan proposes a safe, convenient, affordable, and beautiful community settlement for 3200 Iraqi people (536 flats). Community facilities are included in the masterplan further to the Ministry’s guidelines on provision.

Modern construction methods and traditional aspects from Iraqi urbanism are appropriately applied throughout the scheme. A network of fully shaded pedestrian streets will protect inhabitants from the harsh sun, while circulation is orchestrated in a way to achieve a safe, fully pedestrian landscaped center. Local labor and materials will be used for construction.



Site Information:

Site Area: 11.0 ha
Units: 536
Density: 48.7 flats/ha
Parking: 559
1.04 spaces/flat
Height: 3 storey (4 storey at spine)

Housing Types:

High-density apartments
Terraced housing
Detached Houses


Primary school
Secondary/Inter. school,
Souq & administration
Health centre



The housing unit design rises to the competition challenge of providing 2, 3, and 4 bedroom units to standard dimensions, with excellent family layouts, and at very low cost.

Modern western apartments only have perimeter windows and so little privacy to their neighbours. On the other hand, traditional Iraqi courtyard houses have excellent privacy but are difficult to air-condition and day-light (as circulation is to the courtyard) and cannot be stacked. The designs proposed here provide advantages of both types: privacy of outlook to dedicated lightwell gardens and terraces, but centralised circulation for efficient air-conditioning and access to the common vertical stair.

Two building types are proposed: 

  • Type 01 (no parking)

  • Type 02 (parking under)

The competition is part of a larger program by UN-HABITAT and the Iraq government to construct new housing across the country.

ASSEMBLAGE has undertaken the following projects as a consequence of their UN HABITAT competition win:

  • Economic Settlement

  • High - density Settlement

  • Low - rise Settlement