Masterplan for Basra, Iraq, includes 3,000ft vertical city in the clouds

Basra, site of some of the most fierce fighting during the Iraq war, has revealed a redevelopment masterplan which will include the construction of a vast vertical city called The Bride.

The scheme is described by its designers – AMBS Architects – as “the tallest structure and first vertical city in the world and a groundbreaking project in all disciplines of engineering.”

The development will featuring entire neighbourhoods, commercial centres, leisure facilities, public parks and even its own vertical rail network. It’s the biggest component of a downtown masterplan commissioned by the Basra Government to hugely increase the city’s capacity by 2025.

As Basra is surrounded by natural oil reserves, planners have made the avoidance of urban sprawl a top priority, saying the need is to develop upwards rather than outwards.

To meet this criterion, AMBS have proposed a 1.5 million sq m (16m sq ft) development of four conjoined towers, the largest of which will be taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa at a record-breaking 964m (3,000ft).

The towers will be built using repetitions in the structure to control costs, and AMBS said no usable space will be wasted. Each tower will be connected at many levels to create sky gardens and plazas. For security reasons, multiple access and escape routes have been designed both horizontally and vertically.

In an exclusive interview with CLAD, AMBS director Marcos De Andres explained that despite its unorthodox layout, the city has been designed as a huge public space to improve the lives of residents and visitors, saying: “The Bride will be a place enjoyed by all in endless ways, from walking in the vast shaded parks and promenades at ground level, to having lunch or shopping in a sky lounge hundreds of metres above sea level.”

“Basra was once the most beautiful city on the Arabian gulf,” he continued, “Famous for its cosmopolitan flair, cuisine, arts, dance and music. This project will bring back that rich and varied culture. It will send a message to the international community that Iraq is back in business.”

Basra is believed by some religious scholars to be the location for the Garden of Eden, and the local government wanted the project to represent the giving and sustaining of life. This has influenced the architectural approach of the designers.

AMBS said: “We’ve taken on the challenge of building a city that produces as much energy as it consumes, making it independent to Basra’s electrical grid.

"To reduce carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, natural daylight must be optimised while minimising solar heat gain. The most logical intervention is to simply create shade.”

To achieve this, the designers have worked with engineering and development consultancy Mott MacDonald to create The Veil – a 600,000sq m (6.5m sq ft) canopy extending off the tallest tower and covering the low-rise buildings and public areas below in shade. Photovoltaic solar panels will generate power and also feed absorption chillers driving the city’s cooling cycle.

Basra is one of the hottest cities on earth, with temperatures regularly reaching 50ºC.

Planners are currently deciding how much of the development will be dedicated to leisure, residential and office space. A project budget has not been disclosed, but De Andres said "revenues generated by the city are likely to far exceed the costs”.

Basra contains the bulk of Iraq’s oil reserves and is Iraq’s main port, making it one of the fastest-growing business centres in the world and an in-demand location for property developers and investors.

Despite this, De Andres insisted to CLAD that The Bride will remain first and foremost a project for the people, saying: “This is an important social development, unlike any other project in the world. Despite being the world’s tallest structure, the design is not a gimmick or an architectural statement, like some super-tall towers. This is for the people of Basra.”

It seems that architects and masterplanners are increasingly opting for high rise, dense development. Architects OMA and Buro Ole Scheeren recently won the Building of the Year award at the World Architecture Festival for ‘Interlace’, a vertical village in Singapore.

Basra, site of some of the most fierce fighting during the Iraq war, has revealed a redevelopment masterplan which will include the construction of a vast vertical city called The Bride. The scheme is described by its designers – AMBS Architects – as “the tallest structure and first vertical city in the world and a groundbreaking project in all disciplines of engineering.” The development will featuring entire neighbourhoods, commercial centres,
CLD,AAC,PRO,ARC,DES,DEV,INV,ECO,TEC
A lead architect on the project said: 'The Bride will be a place enjoyed by all. It will be used by thousands of people in endless different way – in it, on it or under it' / AMBS Architects
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7785     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7785     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: TechnoAlpin
TechnoAlpin is the world leader for snowmaking systems. Our product portfolio includes all different types of snow-making equipment for outdoor and innovative holistic solutions for indoor applications.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The sky pool was engineered by Arup Associates, Eckersley O’Callaghan and aquarium designer Reynolds
The project is the brainchild of Ballymore CEO Sean Mulryan
"It will feel like floating through the air while you’re swimming "

On his plans for the London 'sky pool'

Profile: John Rhodes
John Rhodes
"It’s about the celebration of people coming together. If you can manage that well, a venue can become very special"

HOK has been tasked with designing a truly flexible arena for Valencia. John Rhodes is up for the challenge

The female bathing area at Chikusenso Mt Zao was built around existing trees
"The difference between a hotel and a ryokan is that a hotel is more public and a ryokan is less intense and more intimate"

Across Japan, architects are giving traditional ryokans a modern makeover with surprising results. We take a look

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The Venus Williams-designed Tennis Lounge features a bright yellow, green and teal colour scheme
DMAC’s Dwayne MacEwen
"The hotel concept came late in the game, but it was an inspired idea"

The newly renovated Chicago Midtown Athletic Club features a boutique hotel, a pool-come-ice rink and spaces designed by Venus Williams

The new building and landscaping will create habitats for local flora and fauna
"You can see the torch displayed in the window, like a beautiful piece of jewellery"

The architects behind the new Statue of Liberty Museum

The museum consists of four galleries, built into the surrounding sand dunes
Finn Norkjaer
"The Tirpitz Museum is very special. We have created a very clean and simple building, and we’ve been very honest with the materials."

On the Tirpitz Museum and his love of music

features
Ben van Berkel
"Making buildings more healthy is definitely the future"

UNStudio’s Ben van Berkel shares what he’s learned from projects including the Mercedes- Benz Museum and the Theatre de Stoep

REX’s CLC and MSFL Towers in Shenzen, China
Eric de Broches des Combes founded Luxigon in 2006
"A drawing is the most genuine form of architecture"

Eric de Broches des Combes on the unexpected challenges of creating architectural visualisations

The Living Room offers yoga, children’s programmes, art and family therapy
"The key to a happy and successful society is a philosophy that places wellness at the heart of everything"

Calvin Tsao and brother Frederick are reviving the Chinese culture of physical and mental wellbeing with their Octave Living development company, as Christopher DeWolf discovers

cladkit product news
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
cladkit product news
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
cladkit product news
CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
The event will allow buyers and suppliers to meet
Magali Robathan
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo ...
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates