Third Prize, Dewan Award for Architecture 2020 – Almedina Youth House Competition


| oakyard |

A shared courtyard to spread hope in Baghdad city.

“Young people are a country’s never-ending energy even more important source than all its wealth.
My whole hope is in youth.”

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Iraqi youth are the people who were born and raised in war times. When chaos becomes everyday life, people forget to hope. Life continues and nature lives on. Like the Oak tree sheds leaves in every winter but gains its leaves back in summer.

Surroundings of the project site despite wide streets there is a lack of public sphere. Mass strategy based on this , the closed programme elements are gathered on one side of the site and public plaza’s flow encouraged. Closeness of the site from the view of the publicness site tends to act like a courtyard which is not a strange culture to the urban context of Iraq (Diagram 1 & 2). By defining edges this void becomes a courtyard (Diagrams 3).

Functions such as, shared work spaces, exhibition areas, workshop spaces, are spread in the building in an open plan/shared space scheme.

Form follows (closed walls- arch walls- pavilion piece) openness of programme elements, from closed functions (auditorium, cinema, library) to open air activities (open workshops, public forums, open air performances,).

Pavilion pieces can host a variety of activities, or they can just be around some public element (Diagrams 5) while providing shade.

The youth center is for youth and also people who feel young. Adaptable elements used in design to replace the transience feeling (that comes with the chaos) with freedom feeling. ‘The oakyard’ is shared by all the citizens to spread hope (that represented by defoliation cycle), emotions and experience. Use it. Own it.


Leave a Reply