Zaha Hadid Returns Home, Commissioned to Design for the First Time in Her Native Iraq

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By Steve Delahoyde Comment

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After years of living and building in Europe, Zaha Hadid is finally going to be working at home. Bloomberg reports that she has landed the commission to design a new headquarters for Iraq’s Central Bank in Baghdad, her hometown she last visited more than thirty years ago and left in 1972. Since then, she has been living in and basing her incredibly successful architecture firm out of London. The bank’s current headquarters, which Building Design informs was designed with “marble-clad reinforced concrete with few exterior openings,” was recently attacked by suicide bombers just two months ago, along with armed insurgents, killing 15 people in the attack. Meeting in Istanbul with developers, Hadid has now been hired to design an entirely new structure, presumably with even more additional safety and security features in places in limit the danger of future attacks like these. Here’s a bit:

A spokesman for the practice said of the Istanbul meeting: “This preliminary workshop concentrated on the vision of the project’s objectives, success criteria and the operational functions that will be performed by the bank through the coming decades as a national institution that represents the symbol of sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq.”

…The Hadid spokesman said the brief made it clear the new bank would act as a symbol of the new Iraq. “The new headquarters will enable the monetary authority of the CBI [Central Bank of Iraq] to perform its continued role serving stability, development and economic growth in Iraq,” he said.