AMBS: baghdad library will be the first realized since 1970's
AMBS: baghdad library will be the first realized since 1970's AMBS: baghdad library will be the first realized since 1970's
jun 19, 2013

AMBS: baghdad library will be the first realized since 1970's

AMBS architects designs first baghdad library in 30 years
all images courtesy of AMBS architects




british-iraqi firm AMBS architects has just shared with us their design for the new baghdad library- the first public library to be constructed in the city since the 1970s. informed by the sinuous shape of the drop-like peninsula and the arabic kufic word for ‘read’, the building will project out over a lake at the heart of the 1,200,000 square meter youth city masterplan. the revitalizing structure will boast the largest reading room in the world, in part due to a steel cable mesh building system that will allow a 80 meter across, single-span volume. the central architectural gesture is a double curved roof designed specifically to allow ample natural light to pervade the space through a network of skylights.

the kufic word for ‘read’, one of the first words spoken by the prophet muhammed, informed the shape of the building




the sweeping architectonic language remains a constant throughout the interiors, what with a cascading terrace and directional valley that creates pockets of smaller reading areas and event spaces. AMBS will use the opportunity of the monumental project to implement sustainable systems in the region, namely rooftop solar panels and a streamlined form optimized for passive cooling. while the library is but one of the 30 new buildings envisioned in the masterplan, the progression of so elegant a project shows a greater commitment to building an iraq that remains a cultural center, accessible place of knowledge and a beacon of centuries-long erudition.

the library will jut out over a nearby lake in the iraqi capital

the double curved roof dictated the sequence of skylights that illuminate the interiors

a steel mesh construction will allow the main reading space to be the largest in the world

view of the impressive main hall




 project info: 


baghdad library, youth city, iraq
dates: awarded november 2011, scheduled to tender late 2013
project size: 45,000 sqm
client: ministry of sports and youth
services provided: architecture

  • Simply amazing .. looks like Zaha Hadid designs… I love it…

    luisefe80 says:
  • This is outstanding, so happy to finally see something positive coming out of Iraq beings seen by the world. Thank you for sharing such beautiful news, made my year!

    Ramy says:
  • I fully agree with the previous poster!

    Erik says:
  • Very nice project indeed

    Deepak Shah says:
  • it is nice concept and form ,but…………… wondering where the sight is coming from???????is it Baghdad?????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!we all know that a reality is one of the most important role for the successful project design………….

    hayam says:
  • The concept is unbelievable , the first word in Islam was ” Read ” which is shown clearly in the Roof Design . I wish them all the best

    Adil says:
  • Though Baghdad might be struggling now, slowly but sure it could reconquer its glory back. We hope to see a beautiful Baghdad again.

    Gierlang says:

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