Dewan Architects wins bid for Basra Culture Center

Dewan-Basra Culture Center
Dewan Architects & Engineers has been awarded the contract to design and supervise the construction of the Basra Culture Center by the Basra Governorate in Iraq. This is another very prestigious achievement for Dewan’s newly established Basra branch office and comes soon after the award of the Basra Governorate Building and the 5-star Shatt Al Arab Hotel and further entrenches Dewan Basra as the premier architectural and engineering design firm in the province.

The Basra Culture Center, which will be situated on a 15,275 square meters plot of land near Shatt Al-Basra, will form part of Basra’s new administrative complex. The complex will also include the new Basra Governorate head quarters offices and will be the cultural platform of the city, hosting different cultural events and festivals, in a contemporary and built-for-purpose functional environment that will utilise the latest in sound, acoustics, and lighting technology and systems and designed with sustainability, durability, security, and functionality as main pillars of the design. The main components of the building will include areas designated for fine arts exhibitions, meeting rooms, conference halls, heritage museums, cinema halls, a theatre, radio and television broadcasting department, a public library, cafeteria and large areas with lush greenery for people to sit back and relax..

“We are very pleased to have been awarded this landmark project. The Basra Culture Center will be the cultural platform of the city. With the city’s importance in mind, our design is modern and contemporary, while still celebrating Basra’s heritage and cultural and commercial legacy, thus reflecting a bright image of the city for many years to come,” Mohamed Al Assam, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Dewan, said.

The design approach is translated on the building façades in randomly-placed diagonal square shaped openings, reminiscent of the “dots” in Arabic Calligraphy, which are gradually reduced in size as they get closer to the main entrance void, which is the focal point of the architectural and engineering composition of the project, and the heart of the project, where social interaction takes place, with curvilinear gradual architectural elements that resemble an open book.

Further, some ornamental features were introduced, in terms of calligraphy and poetry to decorate those “pages”, and perpetuate the cultural role of Basra throughout the history.
In addition to its main function as an entrance for the public, the central void contains sequential ramps, linked on different levels, connecting the two parts of the building.

“We have worked on a number of highly successful projects in Iraq and are looking forward to putting our considerable experience to work towards contributing to the development of Iraq to the highest international standards. Cultural and infrastructure projects such as these are of paramount importance in the future development of the country and with this particular project, we are keen to modestly support Basra to regain its leadership role as an important trade, commercial, and historic city,” Al Assam added.

The Basra Culture Center is one of a number of projects that Dewan is taking on in the GCC region and forms part of the company’s regional growth strategy. Dewan Architects & Engineers is a regional architectural and engineering design firm with nearly three decades of industry successes across GCC countries, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The firm has offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar, the Philippines and soon in India and has received many awards for excellence including being placed on the ‘World Architecture Top 100’ list by the esteemed UK Building Design Magazine for four consecutive year for its ethics, practices and professionalism. Major projects undertaken successfully by Dewan include the Yas Island Viceroy Hotel and Al Bateen School in Abu Dhabi, Ibn Batutta Shopping Mall and Green Community in Dubai, UAE, and Baghdad Rotana Hotel and Shaza Karbala Hotel both in Iraq.

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