Tamayouz Excellence Award announces the winners of its Mosul housing competition

The Tamayouz Excellence Award, an independent initiative established in 2012 by architect and academic Ahmed Al-Mallak to encourage and promote architecture across Iraq, has recently announced the winning proposals for its Rifat Chadirji Prize for Architecture.

Named after prolific Iraqi architect and theorist Rifat Chadirji, this year’s inaugural theme was ‘Rebuilding Iraq’s Liberated Areas: Mosul’s Housing Competition’, and invited regional and international architects to propose designs that respond to local challenges in Iraq.

The industry-strong jury included award-winning Palestinian architect Rasem Badran, past president of RIBA Angela Brady, founder and chairman of Dewan Architects + Engineers Mohamed Al-Assam, head of Cambridge’s architecture department Wendy Pullan, and Ali Naji, the CEO of Najmat Al Sharq.

The three jury panels for the Tamayouz Excellence Award stand together during a recent meeting held in Coventry, UK. All images courtesy of Tamayouz Excellence Award

Three members of the Mosul Housing Competition jury — Rasem Badran, Wendy Pullan and Mohamed Al-Assam — review the shortlisted proposals

Other members of the Mosul Housing Competition include Angela Brady and Ali Naji, seen sitting here with founder of Tamayouz Excellence Award Ahmed Al-Mallak

After reviewing the 223 entries from 42 countries that were submitted for the Mosul Housing Competition, the Tamayouz team hope to realise the winning design by presenting it to Iraqi authorities, including Iraq’s Ministry of Housing and Reconstruction, as well as to organisations currently active in restoration efforts.

The shortlist consisted of 20 proposals, chosen for their ability to meet the award’s criteria, design imagination and consideration of the people of Mosul. The jury met in early October at Coventry University in the UK to review the projects and determine the winners.

Re-Settlement by Anna Otlik

Selected unanimously through a thorough process of evaluation, first place went to Anna Otlik’s ‘Re-settlement’, which proposed a community-oriented design that values the autonomy of future residents. In Re-settlement, returning refugees are provided the necessary support from the municipality and charities in terms of delivering networks, building materials and arranging helping centres, which would later transform into public service stations. Using recycled materials, Re-settlement allows the people of Mosul to determine how their built environments will function and serve their needs, from faith to culture.

“The housing structure extends spontaneously in a sustainable, slow way and remains under constant evolution to provide a better future for Mosul,” the jury statement read. “Re-settlement also presents the very balanced relationship between mass and voids, with voids spanning across different categories. The private voids include courtyards, while semi-private public spines lead to different dwellings and houses. The shading itself creates a sustainable approach to the fabric.”

The jury also appreciated Re-settlement’s integration of a traditional courtyard, which was reinterpreted to create a modern version of the courtyard house and was sympathetic to the wider landscape and Mosul’s ecology.

The second place proposal by Mariia Chorna and Oleksandr Kostevych

Second place for the Mosul Housing Competition went to Mariia Chorna and Oleksandr Kostevych from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, who devised a similarly flexible layout. Asking for the state to build the skeleton of the city infrastructure, while residents themselves develop the internal spaces, the second place project features modular units that support the expected spurt of Mosul’s residential need, while also responding to its organic growth over time.

The third place project is the ‘Five Farming Bridges’ concept by Vincent Callebaut Architecture

Third place went to the ‘Five Farming Bridges’, an imaginative and innovative design created by Vincent Callebaut Architecture that suggested connecting Mosul’s west and east via rebuilt bridges that further function as urban farms and agricultural fields.

“Five Farming Bridges signifies itself by approaching a neglected zone in most cities – above the river. The ‘above the river’ concept is more industrial, but this one humanises the inhuman by creating a liveable bridge, which has been seen in cities like Florence,” the jury commented.

“There is a sense of cultural background, and the designers hint at it in the views, shaded spaces, construction and materials. This proposal is directed at two of Mosul’s most immediate needs: housing and the reconsideration of its bridges… The ziggurat inspired the mountains and the muqarnas inspired the design, which provokes the imagination – it’s a fantasy of the hanging gardens,” the statement added.

Tamayouz Excellence Award also gathered the jury panels for its other two competitions, including the Tamayouz Award 2017 for Iraqi Architecture Students and the Tamayouz International Award for graduation projects worldwide.

The judges on the second two panels included architects and designers Ayad Al-Tuhafi, Fernando Olba, Sebastian Hicks, Philip Michael Wolfson and Akram Al Ogaily, as well as academics and writers including Caecilia Pieri, Hannah Vowles, Marc Glaudemans, Kanan Makiya and many others.

The jury for the Tamayouz International Award for graduation projects discusses their shortlist

The jury for the Tamayouz Award 2017 for Iraqi Students

Tamayouz will be holding an awards ceremony this coming December in Amman, Jordan, which will be followed by the opening of the Iraqi-Jordanian Building and Reconstruction Expo at the city’s Grand Millennium Hotel. The ceremony and expo will be attended by regional representatives in both industries.

“I hope, for the competitors, that this competition gives them some sort of place to vent their frustrations and anger, especially those involved in the conflict,” said Pullan about the Mosul housing project. “I think that it will provide some possibilities that will help them look ahead – having a vision and aspiration is extremely important.”

Brady, currently running an award-winning practice Brady Mallalieu Architects, added, “When you have a competition like this, with loads of ideas coming in from people who are really connected, looking at solutions and daring to dream beyond what we’re looking for, it becomes a very exciting process with real meaning and impact.”

To see the shortlisted design proposals for the Mosul Housing Competition, use the gallery at the start of the story. 

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