The new Sallahaddin University of Kurdistan, a region in North-Iraq is to be sited in the city of Hawler (Erbil), an ancient city dating from approximately 6,000 BC with one million inhabitants. The university will be developed to admit 20 – 22,000 students, potentially increasing to 30,000 students.
The project is located outside the city on arid grazing land on a gentle and even slope, comprising 18 faculties distributed among the arts and technical subjects. In addition, there are 8,000 residential units for students and 500 family houses for teaching staff. Other buildings house administrative staff, a mosque and a student union, a library, a museum, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and sports complexes.
The master plan and the subsequent pilot project was designed as an urban and linear structure on an elevated travertine ‘shelf’. Excavated zones in the raised ‘shelf’ provide drainage and permit the establishment of planted areas in connection with the adjacent outside ridge. The ridge is drawn into the building stock, splitting this. The houses and network of roads with adjoining parking facilities are situated on the outside of the plateau.
Important criteria in the planning are the revival of traditional building methods and the attempt to convey a modern interpretation of Kurdish architecture in form and expression, as would be experienced in a crowded city centre with its wide diversity and different facets.