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New Ministry’s Divan in ERBIL (autonomous Iraqui Kurdistan capital)

Nell’ ambito del concorso in due fasi per la realizzazione delle nuove sedi ministeriali della capitale del Kurdistan Iracheno (Erbil), bioprojectgroup srl è stata incaricata da ARS Progetti (link) per la redazione del progetto. Il progetto è stato selezionato per la seconda fase di concorso.

Committente: ARS Progetti

Progettisti: bioprojectgroup srl (Arch.tti J.Fedi, C. Brizioli)

Collaboratori: Alice Buzzone ( supporto progettuale e Rendering 3D), Valentina Murgia (supporto progettuale e redazione tavole), Camilla Baldassarre (supporto progettuale e redazione tavole)

Relazione descrittiva (ingese):

Explanatory notes Our concept design for the new Ministry of Municipality and Tourism complex of Kurdistan Region has taken into consideration the scope for symbolic and representative aspects of a governmental building, the peculiarity of the project area and the lack of significant landmarks in the newly built areas of Erbil. The project area is located in proximity of the crossing between one of the main roads, Mosul Street, along which the Parliament and other Ministries are located, and the Ring road 100. The international airport is very close too. Every day thousands of people drive along these roads going to various directions and destinations. These facts made us to consider that the vision of the Complex while “in motion” will most likely be the prevalent way people will perceive it. The whole complex will be located 5 meters higher than the road level, 100 meters from Mosul Street and 160 meters from the roundabout. A green soft slope, planted with local vegetation (see table 1) will stretch from the complex to the perimeter of the area. This slope will emphasize the view to the buildings and will make them look accessible, open and transparent, i.e. the contrary of a fortress. Furthermore, the view to the complex will be kept completely free form obstructions, avoiding the use of fences and tree lines. Prevention of intruders and security will be granted by the distance itself of the building from the perimeter, by large hedges across the slope used as barriers and by electronic security devices. The Complex of Ministry’s Divan buildings consists of two separate buildings of seven storeys, a conference hall with 500 seats and a service building for parking and other facilities.  A monumental square will connect all these structures. The entrances to the two main buildings are located on the northern section of the square. From the square, through glass footbridges crossing a shallow water pool, people can reach the entrance hall where receptions, turnstiles, staircases, elevators and ramps to the upper floors are located. The entrance to the conference hall is through two circular ramps located in the centre of the square. The square garden on the east is the compulsory entrance/exit from and to the service building, with shadowed parking for 250 cars, open parking for another 100 and other facilities. The square is provided with a double system of shading elements. A monumental shed, where photovoltaic panels can optionally be mounted, covering the northern section in between the two buildings and a secondary shading system, covering the whole square, made of fretworked metal panels overlapping among each others.  The first one is very high, a little higher than the buildings, and will have an impressive formal and visual impact. Southward, the square incorporates the ceiling of the conference hall, which is at a lower level. The south end of the square accommodates a second access to it, open during the evening or the night, when some event takes place during non-working hours. Access to these cultural, social, public events is a bridge to a relationship with future urban areas which could develop around the Ministry area, thus contributing to its urban integration. The square plays a functional, aesthetic and bioclimatic function. Beyond being a space connecting the different structures, it is a sort of public space for meeting and resting, for events  and for temporary and/or permanent exhibitions, for instance of large size archaeological objects or other kind of large size manufacts. The sun breaking obtained by the double shading structures of traditional pattern will ensure light refraction day and night creating a spectacular effect, while at the same time resulting in a pleasant space even during hot summer days. Part of the vertical bearing structure of the horizontal brise soleil, made of pillars, is also the bearing structure of the roof of the conference hall and its appurtenant areas for restoration, canteen or mess. A system of pools, water bodies and fountains linked by canals with ever moving recirculated water, is developed at different levels: the two fountains located in the square, a rectangular one (+4) and a ring one (+4,5), the water pools at the two buildings ground floors (+3), the pool  surrounding of the conference hall (-3). This system of moving water masses is functional to important bioclimatic functions, such as natural cooling of open spaces and summer and winter air conditioning of internal building areas. The two Ministry buildings have been studied with a bioclimatic approach. The critical HVAC aspects in these kind of buildings is the need for fresh air ventilation and thermal conditioning. The latter is normally obtained by mechanical plants with high energy consumption and sometime at the expenses of air quality. The system here proposed is a combination of natural ventilation and air conditioning, where the first one may contribute up to some 50% of the needs. The internal air conditioning avail itself of the combined contributions of the geo-cooling ducts, of a “shape factor” and of the water bodies system above described. The 5 large and circular vertical chimneys (bioclimatic courtyards) provide a substantial contribution, both in winter and in summer. These vertical openings-chimneys provide also for a very important contribution to natural lighting of high quality (light ducts), with further energy saving. The optional photovoltaic plant, with a surface of about 2500 sq. m., can generate up to 500.000 KWH per year, which would  make up for the total lighting power demand plus a residual amount for the heat pumps, which are located in the technical area at the underground level of the buildings. All external walls of the two buildings have a double brise soleil system, which can be made of wood or clay or ceramic tiles, which will act as sun breakers of the walls and of the windows. All these bioclimatic aspects are better described in the tables submitted The distribution of internal spaces offers most flexibility and various common areas where various functions can be accommodated, such as waiting and restoration spaces, secretarial services, sitting rooms, exhibition areas etc. Each building is served by a minimum of 8 lifts. In one of the buildings one lift is dedicated to the private use of the Minister, who will reach his room directly from his parking area in the underground of the building, without crossing common spaces. Direct access stairs have been provided and a monumental helicoidal ramp surrounding the larger one of the vertical ducts, which can also be used by disabled persons or for transport of materials of relevant weight. The duct containing the helicodal stairs is confined by circular glass walls. The bearing structure of the buildings can be made of steel or concrete pillars and beams; the internal courtyards are made of a reticular tubular structure. The external surfaces of the walls are covered by clay bricks locally produced, light yellow colour. The plan shape proposed for each one of the required buildings is inspired by the two following concepts:

  1. to allow a distribution of offices by separate groups and implement centers of gravitation for each group, as opposite to offices distributed along corridors. These centers of gravitation are common areas where employees can meet, where common services and reception for the public can be accommodated, including libraries, exhibition of various materials, sitting and waiting facilities, and other general services. This kind of distribution should also make it easier the access to the offices, the escape in case of emergency such as fire, the public address system and its mapping. The selected answer to these requirements is a shape made of three crossing branches which form a T shape, each branch being a square.
  2. to implement a modular shape where the single modules can be arranged in many different manner, which could be reproduced in other public administration buildings in Erbil, thus providing a possible reference standard for such buildings. This would results in a number of landmarks in Erbil made of public administration buildings, strongly characterised by their functional shape. This concept is illustrated here below by a regular square grid, where various units, each one reproducing the basic modular shape,nhere belo shown with four branches, can be assembled in plan in many different manners according to specific requirements, and where the height of each unit and even of each branch within a unit can vary according to requirements.