Samarra University

Samarra, Iraq
Home to 16 specialised colleges, the Samarra University plays a pivotal role in empowering the next generation of Iraqis. Its sprawling campus hosts state-of-the-art research centres and laboratories, conference hall, central library, student and faculty residences, social and cultural centres, sports facilities, agricultural farms, the university headquarters and deanship building, mosque and many other facilities.

Inspired by the shape of a noble prow – the forward most part of a ship's bow – the design concept fragments this progressive shape into solid structures and stark voids to form a unique symphony of architecture.

Offering a world-class academic and research environment, Samarra University is intended to accommodate more than 20,000 students. A key design objective is to create spaces that facilitate and encourage meaningful academic and social student interactions. The goal is to nurture students' success and growth via a design philosophy that shapes unique environments – responding to student and campus life patterns. The central idea is a firm belief that buildings and spaces are versatile tools in the achievement of ambitious visions of the future – they are also where lifelong experiences and values are ingrained and reinforced.

As a green-field campus, the design and architecture challenges convention in terms of creating vibrant urban spaces that proactively enhance an interactive educational environment. Sustainability is comprehensively integrated and woven into the very fabric of the institution's personality. Thus, it is quite fitting that the Samarra University hosts the first solar farm in the surrounding local region – generating up to 30% of the energy required for the entire campus.
  • Type: Education
  • Location: Samarra, Iraq
  • Client: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
  • Built-up area: 2.6 million sqm