University Center, University of Nasiriyah, Iraq

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      Designed for the University of Nasiriyah in Iraq, the Student Life Center incorporates community life, student resources, academics, and administration into a single facility. Contradictory to the traditional high-rise, where public space is limited to the first floor, the Center uses ramps to extend the public access up to the fifth floor, where an elevated park allows raised entrances into the building. Cafes, bookstores, and an auditorium sit below, opening into a courtyard that faces the campus’ main quad.

      In the 14-story tower above, a diagrid facade functions both as a secondary structure and a passive cooling approach. Variations in the size of the diamonds respond to the local solar patter, reducing the demand on interior mechanical systems. Smaller diamonds shade private offices, while larger diamonds allow light into interior restaurants and courtyards. Similarly, punched openings in the tapered form of the tower provide elevated gardens that maximize views of the surrounding campus.