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Competition: Refugee housing for post-Isis Mosul, Iraq

Mosul (1)
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An open international ideas contest has been launched for new housing for refugees returning to Mosul following its anticipated liberation from Isis

The contest, organised by Iraqi architectural awards initiative Tamayouz, seeks ‘practical and inspiring’ residential prototypes for the city of 1.4 million which has suffered a significant housing shortage for decades.

The city was captured by Isis in the summer of 2014, and is in the process of being liberated by the Iraqi military. It is expected to face an even greater housing crisis after hostilities cease.

According to the brief: ‘The conditions for returning refugees and internally displaced are extremely challenging. The question of how to support those who wish to return to their homeland will become extremely pressing. Limited resources in terms of finance and land mean that carefully considered material and spatial responses are needed.

‘Participants are asked to propose a solution for the Mosul’s upcoming housing crisis, which will affect the city as more neighbourhoods will be freed and internally displaced persons and refugees will start to return.’

Mosul, around 400km north of Baghdad, occupies the west bank of the River Tigris opposite the ancient Assyrian City of Nineveh. 

Despite significant growth following the discovery of oil in the late 1920s, Mosul has suffered a chronic housing shortage in recent decades with only one large new residential complex built since the 1980s when a mere three were completed.

The partially completed Al-Hadbaa project was confiscated by Isis and has now been abandoned as ruins. Large informal settlements also ring the city.

Around 500,000 people fled the city following the insurgents’ invasion in June 2014, and up to 75 per cent of Mosul’s government and civic infrastructure has now been destroyed.

A small number of refugees have now returned following the ongoing liberation campaign which started in October. A detailed report drawn up by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme exploring Mosul’s housing and other infrastructure is available on the competition website.

The competition is open to architects, students, engineers and designers. Multidisciplinary teams of up to four members are encouraged. Proposals should increase housing capacity, be flexible and easy to replicate, and may occupy any site in the city or be of any scale.

The overall winner will receive the inaugural Rifat Chadirji Prize worth around £4,000 along with flights and accommodation to attend the annual Tamayouz awards ceremony. There will also be a second and third prize worth £800 each, a sustainability prize of £400, and seven honourable mentions.

The registration deadline is 1 September and submissions must be completed by 4 September.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

The Apex
2 Sheriffs Orchard

Email: info@rifatchadirji.com

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