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Zaha Refines Baghdad Skyscraper

Skyscrapers can be a sign of reconstruction, rising out of the ruins of war. With Iraq now in something approaching a state of stability Pritzker Prize winning Iraqi born British architect, Zaha Hadid, has been working on her first high-rise commission for the country.

Hadid's design is for a new 37-storey tower to be occupied by the Central Bank of Iraq. Engineered by Arup, the building boasts the flowing organic lines that Hadid has employed lately.

Rising from the contours of a heavily landscaped podium, the tower expands from a narrower base growing broader as it rises. The glazing emerges from the metallic white cladding of the lower floors creating a strong sense of verticality. The white cladding continues to run over the top of the tower creating a stepped roof, whilst only the face of the building that fronts the River Tigris presents a sheer glass fašade maximizing the views of the water.

This all combines to create a more streamlined look than the serrated design that was unveiled when Hadid signed the deal with the Central Bank of Iraq back in February 2012. The site is already fenced off in preparation for redevelopment, complete with billboards advertising the project. Once complete the building will be comfortably the tallest building in Baghdad.
Central Bank of Iraq, Baghdad
Central Bank of Iraq, Baghdad