Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)


Newtechnic wins Contract for new Central Bank of Iraq

By John Lee.

Newtechnic, which describes itself as a world leader in building engineering technology, has reportedly won the contract to design the facade and oversee the co-ordination and construction of the new Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) building in Baghdad.

According to New Civil Engineer, the building, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), will be 172m high and will stand on a 200m by 100m podium.

Chief Executive Andrew Watts said he will deploy UK- and US-based design-engineering teams to work on the project, which is expected to be completed by 2021.

More here.

(Source: New Civil Engineer)

How British Creativity can Help Iraq

By Ashley Goodall.

How British Creativity can help Iraq and rebuild nations and communities.

As middle Eastern economies begin to realise dependency on oil is no longer an option, they are diversifying their economies and evolving their cultures to position for the future, key is creativity and the tech economy.

For many the’ Iraq’ word brings shivers of gloom. Whatever doomsters think, Iraqis still have to create a new future, free of rancour, prosperous and ultimately hopeful. The UK can really help them on this journey.

As IBBC companies rebuild the Infrastructure and economy of Iraq (Oil and gas, Power and engineering), the other big win that the UK can help Iraq with is ‘creativity. We can help leapfrog sectarian divides, bring the country together, inject pride and confidence and begin the process of nation building.

Two complimentary areas of expertise come neatly together to rebuild nations and communities: Architecture and Tech: The physical and virtual, the national and the communal, visual and intangible, shared and entrepreneurial, cultural and business.

In Architecture, Zaha Hadid’s amazing inspirational work to define and create Iconic cultural statements is being deployed for the new Central bak building nearing completion and the  Parliament building designed to build a sense of national identity and articulate a new aspirational narrative for Iraq. Charles Walker MD of Zaha Hadid believes architecture is a physical manifestation of a nation state and, particularly for countries that are recovering from conflict; architecture can play a reconciliatory role to build a new sense of nationhood and community.

Charles believes ‘buildings are the national landmarks that project a nation’s sense of itself through the semiotics of communal values .Zaha Hadid’s creative modernity frees nations to imagine the kind of visions they want to project about themselves. The scintillating new parliament building draws inspiration from the geological alluvial plane of the Tigris River and a cultural belief in civic democracy that indicates normality is returning to the country’.

Anne Kerr and Bob Philips of Mott MacDonald believe that planning and ‘Place making’ is fundamental to national and urban success. Anne says it can take 50 years to establish a ‘community’ in the broadest sense. Mott MacDonald’s ‘Placemaking’ brings together all aspects of community building – from the physical infrastructure, to provision of what holds a community together- education, health, a sense of purpose, buildings, mobility and economic prospects, work, and individuals’ sense of self-worth – iconic buildings and tech can help inspire and aggregate but the softer aspects of community building and capacity also have to be factored in.

As civil engineers Bob Philips says you can’t have social infrastructure unless an engineer designs and builds it and civil engineering provides for people – ‘Engineers make it happen’. Mott MacDonald’s work includes large International development projects and to make the idea of creating communities come alive. The consultancy launched its ‘Engineering Hope’ report to explain how to make fast communities, through place making and especially for the 60 million refugees currently living in camps.

‘Tech’ brings its own benefits and opportunities: The UK’s record in start-ups and the new tech industry is remarkable, Tech city was established in 2010 but this start up cluster now leads Europe , is second only to USA for investment . Key to consolidating tech is the recent location of Facebook , Google’ and Spotify’s headquarters to London, the location and power of the city to drive investment and knowledge in Fintech and a record volume of new tech businesses in London.

Tech ecologies grow fast and drive external perceptions of a country. Put together with a strong creative sector, design and film production, and London/UK becomes the leading location for film production, design and gaming, music and communications. Tech enables communities to flourish and interact in areas of interest beyond sectarian or religious boundaries. On line communities are strengthened by their interests and bring people together.. British and international tech is well placed to help build Iraqi communities, provide education and skills for young people on line, enable them to trade, to be entrepreneurial, retail and interact with the world beyond their borders.

In Iraq Yazen, MD of Zain Cash explains ‘Zain have set up clear objectives to close the current financial gap that left majority of the population unbanked.  We’re building financial services that meet current needs and assist in fuelling new digital economies. Services that are getting strong traction are electronic salary disbursement, electronic bill payment, and online payment solutions. A key success of Zain’s is a vast network  which we  are heavily investing in, to ensure convenient and accessible services for everyone, whether in rural and urban areas”

Fethi Kirdar of Moby group, a leading Media company, is encouraging the Iraqi government to support tech initiatives: ‘’to provide seed capital, low cost workshops and build the tech ecosystem, including promotion of E Government. Fethi says’ Iraqi young people already engage with high penetration of digital media, are keen on e-commerce and have the attitude, aptitude and ideas  to create tech solutions for the problems they see around them. The time is right and the audience is primed for take-off.’

Iraq’s young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs are finding business opportunities in mobile apps at a time when the government is strapped for cash and looking to the private sector to create jobs. Iraq has one of the most youthful populations in the world, with  60 percent of its 2015 estimate of 37 million people under the age of 25, according to the U.N. In a bid to create up to 250,000 private sector jobs, the government last year started a $5 billion loan initiative for small, medium and large projects called Tamwil, or Finance, which is run by the Central Bank.

Entrepreneurs are already versioning delivery apps like Wajbety, or My Meal, and  al-Khateeb launched an Uber style app called Ujra, or Fare according to Sinan Salaheddin of Associated press  Baghdad. Arabic App creation is a clear opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

What Iraq needs now is direct investment in entrepreneurial tech start-ups and expertise from UK tech industry specialists willing to take a leap of faith to back the catch up opportunities Iraq offers. IBBC have a new tech group that will support and help you navigate Iraqi business, led by Botan Osman of Restrata, Zain and Alastair Kett’s PWC, are keen to attract new members who can take advantage of the opportunities for both tech and architectural reinvention and nation building that Iraq offers.

Once tech takes hold growth will be fast and positive. And, as with Architecture, the Brits now have a number of world class leaders like Zaha Hadid and Mott MacDonald to enable the rebuilding of Iraq’s communities as the Iraqi Government so requires.

Ashley Goodall is a martketing consultant to Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).

twitter @IBBC_London

How British Creativity can Help Iraq

By Ashley Goodall.

How British Creativity can help Iraq and rebuild nations and communities.

As middle Eastern economies begin to realise dependency on oil is no longer an option, they are diversifying their economies and evolving their cultures to position for the future, key is creativity and the tech economy.

For many the’ Iraq’ word brings shivers of gloom. Whatever doomsters think, Iraqis still have to create a new future, free of rancour, prosperous and ultimately hopeful. The UK can really help them on this journey.

As IBBC companies rebuild the Infrastructure and economy of Iraq (Oil and gas, Power and engineering), the other big win that the UK can help Iraq with is ‘creativity. We can help leapfrog sectarian divides, bring the country together, inject pride and confidence and begin the process of nation building.

Two complimentary areas of expertise come neatly together to rebuild nations and communities: Architecture and Tech: The physical and virtual, the national and the communal, visual and intangible, shared and entrepreneurial, cultural and business.

In Architecture, Zaha Hadid’s amazing inspirational work to define and create Iconic cultural statements is being deployed for the new Central bak building nearing completion and the  Parliament building designed to build a sense of national identity and articulate a new aspirational narrative for Iraq. Charles Walker MD of Zaha Hadid believes architecture is a physical manifestation of a nation state and, particularly for countries that are recovering from conflict; architecture can play a reconciliatory role to build a new sense of nationhood and community.

Charles believes ‘buildings are the national landmarks that project a nation’s sense of itself through the semiotics of communal values .Zaha Hadid’s creative modernity frees nations to imagine the kind of visions they want to project about themselves. The scintillating new parliament building draws inspiration from the geological alluvial plane of the Tigris River and a cultural belief in civic democracy that indicates normality is returning to the country’.

Anne Kerr and Bob Philips of Mott MacDonald believe that planning and ‘Place making’ is fundamental to national and urban success. Anne says it can take 50 years to establish a ‘community’ in the broadest sense. Mott MacDonald’s ‘Placemaking’ brings together all aspects of community building – from the physical infrastructure, to provision of what holds a community together- education, health, a sense of purpose, buildings, mobility and economic prospects, work, and individuals’ sense of self-worth – iconic buildings and tech can help inspire and aggregate but the softer aspects of community building and capacity also have to be factored in.

As civil engineers Bob Philips says you can’t have social infrastructure unless an engineer designs and builds it and civil engineering provides for people – ‘Engineers make it happen’. Mott MacDonald’s work includes large International development projects and to make the idea of creating communities come alive. The consultancy launched its ‘Engineering Hope’ report to explain how to make fast communities, through place making and especially for the 60 million refugees currently living in camps.

‘Tech’ brings its own benefits and opportunities: The UK’s record in start-ups and the new tech industry is remarkable, Tech city was established in 2010 but this start up cluster now leads Europe , is second only to USA for investment . Key to consolidating tech is the recent location of Facebook , Google’ and Spotify’s headquarters to London, the location and power of the city to drive investment and knowledge in Fintech and a record volume of new tech businesses in London.

Tech ecologies grow fast and drive external perceptions of a country. Put together with a strong creative sector, design and film production, and London/UK becomes the leading location for film production, design and gaming, music and communications. Tech enables communities to flourish and interact in areas of interest beyond sectarian or religious boundaries. On line communities are strengthened by their interests and bring people together.. British and international tech is well placed to help build Iraqi communities, provide education and skills for young people on line, enable them to trade, to be entrepreneurial, retail and interact with the world beyond their borders.

In Iraq Yazen, MD of Zain Cash explains ‘Zain have set up clear objectives to close the current financial gap that left majority of the population unbanked.  We’re building financial services that meet current needs and assist in fuelling new digital economies. Services that are getting strong traction are electronic salary disbursement, electronic bill payment, and online payment solutions. A key success of Zain’s is a vast network  which we  are heavily investing in, to ensure convenient and accessible services for everyone, whether in rural and urban areas”

Fethi Kirdar of Moby group, a leading Media company, is encouraging the Iraqi government to support tech initiatives: ‘’to provide seed capital, low cost workshops and build the tech ecosystem, including promotion of E Government. Fethi says’ Iraqi young people already engage with high penetration of digital media, are keen on e-commerce and have the attitude, aptitude and ideas  to create tech solutions for the problems they see around them. The time is right and the audience is primed for take-off.’

Iraq’s young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs are finding business opportunities in mobile apps at a time when the government is strapped for cash and looking to the private sector to create jobs. Iraq has one of the most youthful populations in the world, with  60 percent of its 2015 estimate of 37 million people under the age of 25, according to the U.N. In a bid to create up to 250,000 private sector jobs, the government last year started a $5 billion loan initiative for small, medium and large projects called Tamwil, or Finance, which is run by the Central Bank.

Entrepreneurs are already versioning delivery apps like Wajbety, or My Meal, and  al-Khateeb launched an Uber style app called Ujra, or Fare according to Sinan Salaheddin of Associated press  Baghdad. Arabic App creation is a clear opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

What Iraq needs now is direct investment in entrepreneurial tech start-ups and expertise from UK tech industry specialists willing to take a leap of faith to back the catch up opportunities Iraq offers. IBBC have a new tech group that will support and help you navigate Iraqi business, led by Botan Osman of Restrata, Zain and Alastair Kett’s PWC, are keen to attract new members who can take advantage of the opportunities for both tech and architectural reinvention and nation building that Iraq offers.

Once tech takes hold growth will be fast and positive. And, as with Architecture, the Brits now have a number of world class leaders like Zaha Hadid and Mott MacDonald to enable the rebuilding of Iraq’s communities as the Iraqi Government so requires.

Ashley Goodall is a martketing consultant to Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).

twitter @IBBC_London

IBBC Women’s Group Holds First Roundtable

IBBC Women’s Group Roundtable: Judge Marilyn Mornington on Women in the Workplace

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) Women’s Group held its first roundtable with District Judge Marilyn Mornington as the key note speaker.

The event was held at G4S offices in Victoria on the 7th April and was attended by representatives of member universities and international companies, think tanks, Iraqi guests and the Iraqi government.

Angelique Lecorps, Senior Consultant at G4S and Chairman of the IBBC Women’s Group, gave an introduction on the Group’s background and explained its aim to become a networking platform to help Iraqi women to enter and advance in the work place.

Judge Mornington asked for a minute of silence to remember Zaha Hadid, the famous Iraqi-British architect who died last week, as ‘a role model for women around the world’. The judge praised Zaha Hadid and pointed out how she overcame her situation as a female working in a male dominated sector, as a refugee and as an immigrant.

The roundtable touched upon topics such as women’s access to education and the workplace, how women’s choices affect the next generations, and the Judge’s experience in countries such as the UK, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The contradictory fact of highly educated Muslim women being forced into arranged marriages, the existence of laws that protect women but are not enforced by the society, and the difficulty of the work-life balance were highlighted.

Iraqi guests from the audience gave their views about the situation of women in their country, highlighting how poverty, regional and social aspects have direct impact on women’s access to the work place.

Participants spoke about successful female entrepreneurship programmes and encouraged the Group and the IBBC to think about a way of promoting this amongst Iraqi women. ‘Women have the duty to help other women’ said Judge Mornington whilst explaining her own experience as a mentor. She was quick to add that ‘the best work I’ve done though is with the best men’, highlighting the importance of getting men on board in any initiative towards women empowerment.

The IBBC Women’s Group hopes to hold another roundtable in June/July 2016 on Women in Iraq and the KRI.

————-

Judge Mornington is an international lecturer, broadcaster and writer on international women’s rights, domestic violence, gender crime and international peace and has dedicated her life to eradicating violence against children and women. For over 20 years she has been instrumental in advancing many UK policies, laws and practices concerning issues of domestic violence, forced marriage and honour‐based violence.

She has founded and chaired many prestigious committees, advised governments, written and lectured to a wide range of audiences, on Family Law and issues affecting Asian/Muslim communities, nationally and internationally, recently including giving the concluding keynote speech in Abu Dhabi at the Worldwide Forum for “The Promotion of Peace in Muslim Communities” at the invitation of HRH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister UAE.

(Source: IBBC)

Architect Dame Zaha Hadid Dies

Iraqi-born Architect Dame Zaha Hadid has died, aged 65.

BBC News reports that she died following a heart attack on Thursday in a Miami hospital, where she was being treated for bronchitis.

Among her many awards, she received the Pritzker Architecture Prize (considered the Nobel Prize of architecture) in 2004, and was the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal,

Born in Baghad, she studied maths at the American University of Beirut, before embarking on her career at the Architectural Association in London, and setting up her own company — Zaha Hadid Architects — in 1979.

Her most notable designs include Guangzhou Opera House, ROCA London Gallery, and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku.

In her native Iraq, she was contracted to design the new headquarters for the Central Bank, and the new parliament building.

Iraq Architecture and Planning Forum in London

The Annual Forum of the UK’s Al-Kindi Society for Engineers takes place in London on Saturday 9th January, and it promises to be an essential event for all in the industry.

Chaired by Dr. Subhi Al-Azzawi and Dr. Caecilia Pieri, the Forum will address the topic of Iraq Architecture and Planning, and will include speakers from such firms as AMBS Architects, al-Bayan Center, Dewan Architects, Hill International, NB Consultancy, Turath and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA).

H.E. Dr. Salih Husain Ali, the Iraqi Ambassador to the United Kingdom, will give the keynote speech.

Please click here for more information.

Zaha Hadid Wins 2016 Royal Gold Medal

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (24 September 2015) announced that the globally-renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid will receive the 2016 Royal Gold Medal, the first woman to be awarded the prestigious honour in her own right.

Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”.

Awarded since 1848, past Royal Gold Medallists include Frank Gehry (2000), Norman Foster (1983), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1959), Le Corbusier (1953), Frank Lloyd Wright (1941) and George Gilbert Scott (1859).

Zaha Hadid is internationally known for her built, theoretical and academic work. Each of her dynamic and innovative projects builds on over thirty years of revolutionary experimentation and research in the fields of architecture, design and urbanism.

RIBA President and chair of the selection committee, Jane Duncan, said: “Zaha Hadid is a formidable and globally-influential force in architecture. Highly experimental, rigorous and exacting, her work from buildings to furniture, footwear and cars, is quite rightly revered and desired by brands and people all around the world. I am delighted Zaha will be awarded the Royal Gold Medal in 2016 and can’t wait to see what she and her practice will do next.”

Zaha Hadid said:

I am very proud to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal, in particular, to be the first woman to receive the honour in her own right. I would like to thank Peter Cook, Louisa Hutton and David Chipperfield for the nomination and Jane Duncan and the Honours Committee for their support. We now see more established female architects all the time.

“That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Sometimes the challenges are immense. There has been tremendous change over recent years and we will continue this progress. This recognition is an honour for me and my practice, but equally, for all our clients. It is always exciting to collaborate with those who have great civic pride and vision.

“Part of architecture’s job is to make people feel good in the spaces where we live, go to school or where we work – so we must be committed to raising standards. Housing, schools and other vital public buildings have always been based on the concept of minimal existence – that shouldn’t be the case today. Architects now have the skills and tools to address these critical issues.”

Born in Baghdad in 1950, Zaha Hadid started her architectural journey in 1972 studying at the progressive Architectural Association in London. She joined her former professors, Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis, at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, where she became a partner in 1977.

By 1979 she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – garnering a reputation across the world for her trail-blazing theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994).

Working with office partner Patrik Schumacher, Hadid’s interest is in the interface between architecture, landscape, and geology; which her practice integrates with the use of cutting-edge technologies – the result is often unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.

Hadid’s first major built commission, one that catapulted her rise, was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993); subsequent notable projects including the MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011) and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013) illustrate her quest for complex, fluid space.

Buildings such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003) and the Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010) have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with new spatial concepts and dynamic, visionary forms.

In 2004 Zaha Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She has twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize: in 2010 for the MAXXI Museum in Rome, a building for the staging of 21st Century art, the distillation of years of experimentation, a mature piece of architecture conveying a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation; and the Evelyn Grace Academy, a unique design, expertly inserted into an extremely tight site, that shows the students, staff and local residents they are valued and celebrates the school’s specialism throughout its fabric, with views of student participation at every turn.

Zaha Hadid’s other awards include the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture.

Zaha has held various adademic roles including the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture; guest professorships at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg; the Knolton School of Architecture, Ohio and the Masters Studio at Columbia University, New York; the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

(Source: ZHA)

Non-Members Welcomed at IBBC Conference

Iraqi and British politicians will be joining senior business leaders from both countries at the Iraq Britain Business Council’s (IBBC) eighth London conference in early November.

Entitled “Iraq – Accentuating the Positive”, the event is being held at the spectacular Institution for Civil Engineers building, One Great George Street, on November 5th and 6th.

In light of the extremely challenging situation in Iraq, the IBBC has this year chosen to focus on the continuing opportunities for British business in the country’s fast growing economy.

Chief Operating Officer, Mr Christophe Michels, said the council would provide a realistic assessment of what was going on in Iraq, financially, politically and socially.

For the first time, the event will be open to non-members.  Mr Michels says this will provide a “excellent opportunity” for business people from all sectors to meet some of the main players in the Iraqi business and political world.

The conference will comprise five separate sessions under the headings:

  • What is really happening in Iraq?
  • Consolidating Success (Using Actual Examples).
  • The Importance of the Built Environment for the Future of Iraq.
  • Oil and Gas.
  • Educational Development in Iraq.

The IBBC has already confirmed the attendance of Sheikh Humam Hamoudi, 1st Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Lords Howell of Guildford and Green of Hurstpierpoint, the new British Ambassador to Baghdad, Mr Frank Baker, and Mr Faik Nerweji, the Iraqi Ambassador to the UK, together with other senior officials and politicians from the UK and throughout Iraq.

From the commercial and business community in Iraq, CEO of Genel Energy Tony Hayward will address the conference, Jack Pringle of Pringle and Brandon will be chairing the built environment panel whilst representatives from Shell, SKA, Al Saraji Group, Zaha Hadid Architects, SSH, Foster Wheeler, BP and Perkins+Will will all be participating.

Dr Alastair Niven will be chairing the education panel with high level representatives of the British Council, the Iraqi Government and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education on it.

The second day of the conference has been organised in partnership with UKTI. Mr Michels says it will provide a valuable chance to assess immediate opportunities and longer-term prospects for small to medium sized companies who want to work in Iraq.

A large number of Iraqi businesses seeking business partners in the UK will be attending both conference days.

Non-members who wish to attend should contact Richard Cotton or Christophe Michels at london@webuildiraq.org. Tickets for the first conference day are priced at £750 each. Attendance of the second conference day is free of charge.

More Companies Join IBBC

By John Lee.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has welcomed two new members:

  • Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), the internationally renowned design firm – with British-Iraqi Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Zaha Hadid at its helm – is set to bring its bold and visionary design to Iraq, as it is contracted to design the new parliament and central bank in Baghdad;
  • AECOM, a leading provider of professional technical and management support services globally, has also joined the influential trade body.

(Source: IBBC)

Zaha Hadid “Topples Winner” to Design Parliament

By John Lee.

Zaha Hadid has won the RIBA-run international competition to design a new parliament complex in Iraq, despite coming third in the original contest, reports Building Design.

According to the report, the deal has been shrouded in secrecy with leading Iraqi architectural critic Ihsan Fethi complaining that he has yet to see what Hadid’s design looks like.

In an email sent by the Iraqi Architects Society, he said:

I personally tried in vain so many times to even have a quick look at the design with no success.

“Of course this is contrary to the principle of transparency and it is absolutely unacceptable for us Iraqi architects, or any Iraqi citizen to that matter, to be prevented from seeing what their Parliament would look like. We absolutely have no idea.”

The competition was originally won by a team led by London-based practice Assemblage, with Capita Symonds coming in second place.

Assemblage director Peter Besley confirmed it had been paid its $250,000 first prize but added that discussions between it and the Iraqi authorities dried up soon after it was told it had won in August 2012. He told BD:

“We were completely frozen out. We have never been officially told we were not getting the commission. Like many things in Iraq, they start off on the right foot but don’t carry it with the transparency that’s required.”

The $1-billion project is to be built on a 50-hectare site at the disused Al Muthana airport in Baghdad.

(Source: Building Design)