Modern Commercial Building Design
Location: Basra, Iraq
Scope of services: Architectural Design and Exterior Design
Date: June 2018
Client: Mustafa Mohammed Jawad
Mixed use commercial buildings are increasingly occupying prime property in urban neighborhoods. Retail and service establishments provide multiple opportunities for interaction and bringing together people of various backgrounds. Centrally located, often close to a primary form of transport, mixed-used establishments reduce carbon footprint by minimizing the need to travel long distances to work.
This five-level modern commercial building design located in Basra, Iraq, offers residents many such opportunities to socialize. Comprising five equal height blocks, stacked vertically on top of each other, it makes a bold statement with its distinct elevation. The stacked boxes feature alternating footprints that allow for a rhythmic sequence of cantilevered viewing terraces on all sides of the building, providing the structure with a unique and contemporary profile.
The rear elevation houses an exposed fire escape, clearly marked by yellow arrows. A transparent tube elevator, built into an exterior niche, connects the different levels. The basement level houses the service areas for the ground level restaurant. The VIP restaurant on the ground floor is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass. The first and second levels house the men’s and women’s gymnasiums respectively, while the upper levels are designed as residential apartments. The upper most level is meant to provide accommodation for the employees working at the ground level restaurant.
The ground level establishments are fronted by large glass display windows facing the street corner on both sides. The crisp glass wrapped corner gives this modern commercial building design a feeling of floating lightness. The main entrance to the building is demarcated by a protruding entrance structure. The secondary entrance is more discreetly located on the side.
Three-meter-high windows maximize views and are calibrated to provide a corporate feel to the building’s innovative form while maintaining construction efficiency through repeatable formwork.
At the top-most level, the roof structure is stopped short. A vine-covered pergola provides a shaded area that can be used for a variety of outdoor activities. The upper-level terrace offers magnificent views across the city. The building façade with its translucent panels hazily reflects its surroundings, exuding a sense of mystery at what lives behind its walls.
The building is a work of art, with its constantly changing reflections, standing tall like a beacon in its neighborhood.