Baghdad Design Centre, Tamayouz Excellence Award, NYXO, DIDI, Design concepts, Iraqi architecture

NYXO reveals design proposal for a 3D-printed Baghdad Design Centre

UK-based design and architecture practice NYXO has revealed its design proposal for Tamayouz Excellence Award’s Rifat Chadirji Prize 2018, which called for architectural solutions for the Baghdad Design Centre.

Founded by Mirko Daneluzzo, a founding lecturer at Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), and his brother Michele, NYXO created a scheme inspired by the cultural and geographical context of the centre, and which incorporated 3D printing technology.

“Traditional Iraqi architecture and the special climate are the driving factors of the project,” the architects said. “Our proposal divides the site into different units, representing the many faces of design. The volumes coming from this subdivision are contrasting at the bottom to define funnel-like shapes but then connected at the top. This guarantees a continuous connection between the surroundings and the public space at the core of the design centre.”

The buildings in NYXO’s design scheme consist of 3D-printed clay walls defined by a series of pipe-like elements intersecting each other.

“The intersection makes the wall stronger, as well as generates a series of void chambers,” said the architects. “The 3D-printed clay wall is designed to be built directly in the construction yard, using robotic manufacturing technology. The components are then placed in the correct position, and following the insertion of the steel reinforcements, the concrete could be poured inside the dedicated cavities to structurally consolidate the wall.”

The prize, named after Dr Rifat Chadirji, a renowned Iraqi architect, theorist and author whose influence and importance stretches far beyond his built work, is an annual international award that calls for design proposals that respond to local challenges in Iraq.

In its second cycle, the prize witnessed the overwhelming participation of 310 firms and individuals from 54 countries. Its challenge asked participants to transform the current unused site of the Old Governorate Building into the Baghdad Design Centre while integrating the damaged original facades into their ideas for the new building.

UK-based Brooks Murray Architects won the cycle with their design that incorporated the original wall as its main feature, and transformed it into a living function. Judges said the winning design “responded to the traditional local fabric and enriched the urban surroundings.”

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