Year Out (Part 1) Architecture students Alissar Riachi and Ralica Ivanova are finalists in an international competition to design a post -war camp, Mosul, Iraq

Finalist entries // Mosul post-war camp architecture competition // December 2017 run by Archstorming   
The aim of Archstorming is to expose architectural ideas, to get solutions to urban problems and to respond to social demands in order to try to make a better world

The competition brief

The brief set by Archstorming was to investigate architecture after terrorism and to design an urban plan that would rehouse the citizens of Mosul who had fled as a result of ISIS’s invasion. The camp was to be separated into 2 main areas - an emergency zone, which was to include a massive housing area that would quickly admit refugees, and an integration zone that would gradually help the citizens go back to their normal daily lives, mending the scars left by terrorism.

Alissar and Ralica’s Design
Mosul is one of the cities most heavily affected by ISIS, and the resulting crisis has led people to question their identity and collective legacy. Mosul is a victim of “urbicide”– the murder of a city, therefore the challenges to be faced when rebuilding Mosul may dictate its socio-political and cultural future. Thus, the main concept behind the design was an experiment using Regionalism to redefine architectural characteristics, which reflect the social patterns of the city. The design aspirations aim to accommodate the citizens’ return and to reinforce their identity using their traditional built form. With the East and the West heavily separated both physically and socially, this concept investigates the connection between the two by using the symbolism and importance of the Tigris river to Assyrian and Mesopotamian civilizations. The postwar camp is separated into two main areas, connected via a public park and market over Tigris. The emergency zone features a massive co-housing scheme which could be reused as affordable housing. This area is heavily inspired by the ancient city of Nineveh, a former Assyrian capital, parts of which were destroyed by ISIS during Mosul’s occupation. The integration zone is inspired by traditional Iraqi urban planning and architecture, using sustainable and locally sourced materials. This scheme aims to add to the distinction of Mosul rather than blur it and to build in harmony with the social needs and the local tradition, while trying to avoid standard refugee camp solutions. It is an investigation of how “Warchitecture” may be overcome in areas where architectural legacy is terrorism’s main target.