Wildly Ambitious Plan to Rebuild Mosul, Iraq

Mosul is a major city in northern Iraq that at it’s peak, had nearly 2 million residents.  ISIS made it a stronghold of theirs in the last few years, and also brutally destroyed the residents, and the city’s iconic landmarks and historical artifacts, leaving it a shell of it’s former self. Most of the city’s beautiful architecture was entirely destroyed. Thankfully, ISIS has been beaten back and mostly killed off, leaving the city to live another day.  To say Mosul is in need of rebuilding would be a huge understatement.

Enter the Rifat Chadirji Prize, a competition calling for designers and architects to come up with innovative ways to rebuild this city. Belgian “ecological architect” Vincent Callebaut has a winning design that is innovative, futuristic, and ambitious, to say the least.


The “bridges” would be massive infrastructure that house more than 53,000 dwellings, created through 3D printing, using war ruins and debris as raw material. Still following?


The plan seems pretty far fetched to us, despite it’s humanitarian angle, and obvious need. Though if 3D-printed home technology were to mature, this would be a great test-bed. farming-bridges-moss-and-fog-3

In the proposed design, drones would carry building material to the “modules”, where 3D-printing robots would assemble the muqarnas-inspired home, a structure used in Islamic architecture since medieval time.


Don’t get us wrong, we love the ambition and foresight of Callebaut’s concept. Though we hope it’s at least somewhat feasible, as the city of Mosul and it’s displaced residents are in dire need of a permanent home again.


The homes would be made up of multiple modules, and this rendering showcases a very light, airy, and modern rendition of an Iraqi home.


The promise of 3d-printed homes is that the structural forms and repeatability lead to cost-efficient building.


The idea of using war ruins as building material is innovative and energy efficient, as opposed to using virgin building materials.


Hat tip to DesignBoom for a great story about design that has real world consequences in a part of the globe that is far too often neglected and diminished.