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ONE Creative environments (ONE) is proud to have received second place in the Dewan Award for Architecture 2020.

The Dewan award, which is in its third year, seeks to recognise design proposals from around the world that respond to local challenges in Iraq. The brief this year required proposals for the Almedina Youth House Complex and Plaza in Baghdad’s Sadr City.

Earlier this month (December 2020), the Tamayouz Excellence Award announced the shortlist of 20 finalists from the 100 entries received from 36 different countries, with ONE being the only U.K. company shortlisted. The final result, with ONE placed second, was announced on Sunday (20 December 2020).

The competition sought entries that considered the existing urban fabric as well as the requirements of the community and local context. ONE’s entry focused on the growth (نمو) design concept which provides social ownership over public spaces.

ONE’s design builds upon how local people live in and use space for all aspects of life; such as births, marriages, fasting, education, business, religious ceremonies, and funerals – Almedina functions as adaptable spaces to support diverse functionality. ONE’s proposal seeks to enable the local people to build the space they require using vernacular materials and gives local communities the freedom to grow their spaces according to daily needs and provides the tools to do so. For example, brick and clay tile production units to locally produce construction components, gardens to grow vegetables and two main adaptable spaces to host activities. The space also provides support for nearby schools with playgrounds and football fields.

The building’s design references traditional Baghdadi planning and is divided into 3 houses: Education, Arts and Joy all of which are characterised by a central courtyard ‘Hosh’ surrounded by light weight arcades. The courtyard functions as a hub for activities and has Islamic style gardens with water surfaces to cool the air within the building and semi-open Ursi style spaces are attached to courtyards to function as adaptable exterior spaces.

Pathways are covered using a shading system comprising of small wind-driven cooling towers with rows of supports connected by wires which could be filled with climbing plants, cloth sourced from Mreedy Market, palm branches or Imam Hussain flags during Muharram traditions. Environmental passive comfort solutions also include clay brick walls and wind towers framing the site to increase wind speed at openings to create a cooling breeze.

Jason Whittall, Director at ONE, said: “We are delighted to have received the second place award in such a prestigious international architecture competition. ONE is a multi-disciplinary design company that works across the U.K. and internationally and here our landscape architects collaborated with our architecture team to create functional and attractive multi-use indoor and outdoor spaces for the local communities of Sadr City.”

Dan Martyr, Senior Landscape Architect at ONE, said: “This was a great design challenge. We undertook significant research to understand the area, environmental considerations and the local requirements and our design can evolve over time so that it will continue to meet the needs of local communities.”

Full details are available on the Tamayouz Excellence Award’s website www.tamayouz-award.com. Further details about ONE are available at www.oneltd.com

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