Zaha Hadid has been confirmed as one of the architects shortlisted for the international competition to design a new, $1 billion Iraqi parliament complex in Baghdad. Located in the middle of the city, the new complex will be challenged with the remnants of a partially built super mosque planned by Saddam Hussein. Massive 50m (165 ft) reinforced concrete columns tower over the site, as construction was halted by the US-led invasion in 2003.
The parliament building promises to be still a potent symbol of the new Iraq. Baghdad- based Dewan Architects, London- based firm Assemblage and possible some French and German architects will also be joining the shortlist.
The project briefing revealed that the firms may keep or demolish the columns, as it will be an important aspect as to how those columns are treated. Entrants will return their proposals to technical committee by the first week of July. An international jury will then be drafted to choose a winner toward the end of the year. In addition to the complex, the finalist will also be asked to produce a master plan for the surrounding city, as well as additional government buildings, a new hotel and public parks.