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Thursday31 July 2014

Hadid signs design agreement for Central Bank of Iraq

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Governor and architect in ceremony at London embassy

Zaha Hadid signed the agreement to design the new Central Bank of Iraq at a ceremony held at the Iraqi Embassy in London.

The Baghdad-born architect won the project - her first in her native land - 18 months ago and is about to start work on the detailed design.

The bank will stand on the banks of the Tigris and is intended to be a symbol of a new Iraq, though security remains a key design requirement.

It will replace the existing modernist headquarters – designed by Danish practice Dissing & Weitling in 1985 and built from marble-clad reinforced concrete with few exterior openings – which was stormed by insurgents in 2010.

Since Hadid’s appointment she has also been shortlisted to design a $1 billion (£650 million) new parliament building in the Iraqi capital.

She and the Central Bank governor Sinan Al Shabibi signed the agreement for the design stages of the new bank headquarters in a ceremony hosted by Muhielddin Hussein Abdullah, the Iraqi chargés d’affaires at the Iraqi Embassy in London.

Hadid said: “I am deeply touched that I have been asked to design the new headquarters for the Central Bank of Iraq. I was born in Iraq and I still feel very close to it. I feel very privileged to be working in Iraq on a design of such national importance.”

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