International Competition Erbil Citadel North-South Axis 

International Competition organized by the Erbil Citadel High Comission Rehabilitation (HCECR) to develop a conceptual urban and architectural design project for the north-south axis area of the Citadel 

Selected for participation in the second phase - Deadline for submission on 1st of August 2011






Background Introduction

The Citadel of Erbil has evidence of many millennia of habitation, making it one of the longest continuously inhabited sites in the world. It rises 28-32 m above the surrounding city, with successive layers of settlements: Assyrian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Persian and Greek.

The standing buildings of the Citadel consist primarily of houses dating from the mid-eighteenth century onwards. Very few houses were built after the 1930s, while many of them were remodeled afterwards. Additionally, a large number of shacks were built during the 1990s. Currently, there are 252 shacks, while the total number of classified buildings is 335; these include 94 Grade 1 and Grade 2 buildings, 226 Grade 3 buildings, and 15 that are known as Public Buildings.

Prior to the mid 1920s, the Citadel had only two entrances: a gate located at its southern end, the original of which was demolished in the 1950s, and, a small gate along the eastern part of the Citadel. In 1925, a gate located along its northern end was formed, while in 1958, the current road connecting the Citadel’s northern and southern ends was established. During that process, a number of buildings – or parts of buildings – were demolished, and hence changing the urban morphology of the Citadel. Large and open spaces were thus created, with the vehicle asphalt road passing through.

A Conservation and Rehabilitation Master Plan was prepared for the whole site, which establishes the overall conservation and rehabilitation planning process for the Citadel. The plan has also set the first priority areas for implementation and has proposed the main circulation and service routes, as an alternative to the current vehicular asphalt road. Thus, the current open spaces provide opportunities and potentials for the future development of the Citadel.

The High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization is announcing the launch of the Erbil Citadel North-South Axis Competition.

Overall Objective

The overall objective of the competition is to develop a conceptual urban and architectural design project for the north-south axis area of the Citadel comprising the area between the northern and southern gates, with its current open spaces and some of the buildings along its sides. The main goal is to revitalize this area in the short term, to become a dynamic and living core that would enhance the experience of the visitor to the site, while at the same time it can be considered as the node for the future long term development of the Citadel.