M+S Pte. Ltd, Singapore
Buro Ole Scheeren, Hong Kong
The Central Bank of Iraq will perform a vital role in the economic growth in Iraq, whilst showcasing the country’s stability and development. Its location by the banks of River Tigris inspired and shaped the unique and dynamic design of the over 170m-tall tower, defined by a structural exoskeleton that also functions as an envelope.
This presentation discusses the design approach adopted on the bank’s headquarters tower, including its evolution from the original concept to construction now on site: ranging from the site specific constraints that tailored the tower’s inverted form, with a narrow, solid and opaque base mutating to a wide, open and more transparent top; the merits of adopting real-time parametric models, which intertwined the tower’s distinctive exoskeleton with its environmental performance and the structural behaviour of the different stability systems that provide the backbone to the tower; to understanding the impact of loadings specific to site and the building’s function through the use of extensive time-history analysis; to the challenges of creating the grand atrium, one of the tallest atrium spaces ever designed. It also proposes one possible solution to the question of how to create more usable space in ever-decreasing site footprints.
The Central Bank of Iraq is a tall building designed to represent the ambitions of a new era in the country’s long history, identifying a ‘new place’ that balances aesthetics, environmental, social and economical aspects.