AMBS Architects unveils designs for new library in Iraq

12 June 2013 (Last Updated June 12th, 2013 18:30)

AMBS Architects has unveiled designs for a new 45,000m² library in Baghdad, Iraq.

Baghdad Library

AMBS Architects has unveiled designs for the new 45,000m² library in Baghdad, Iraq.

The architectural firm was appointed in 2011 by the Iraqi Ministry of Youth and Sport to create a building that will be the central focus of a planned 1,200,000m² Youth City designed to inspire Iraq’s younger generations.

Youth City will feature more than 30 new buildings, including residential, cultural, official and sports venues.

The new library will be a public space and cultural centre aimed at encouraging intellectual, creative and social exchange.

AMBS Architects said the library’s double-curvature roof structure with 80m span will create the world’s biggest single-span reading room.

The building will feature a lightweight, single-span roof and will be surrounded by floor plates that form a cascading terrace and create a directional valley that includes several reading areas and event spaces.

Plans also include a continuous slot around the perimeter, which allows indirect light to filter through to internal spaces on the lower ground floor.

The floors and walls of the building will be designed to create functional spaces for different cultural, social and educational purposes.

After completion, the building will house over three million books, rare manuscripts and periodicals, as well as computers.

Sustainable features of the project include solar panels, which will be integrated into the roof.

AMBS co-founder and director Amir Mousawi said the library will be accessible for all ages.

"Our ambition is to create a space where people can run a serious and consolidated programme of public events; art exhibitions, book clubs, theatre events, educational conferences, film screenings and workshops," Mousawi said.

The project is anticipated to go out to tender for a contractor later in 2013.

National Library of Iraq director Saad Eskander said, "By responding to the needs of Iraq’s next generations, the new library, we hope, will play an important role in the future of our country."


Image: The new library will be a public space and cultural centre aimed at encouraging intellectual, creative and social exchange. Photo: Courtesy of AMBS Architects.