Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Nassiriyah Truck Stop in Ur, Dhi Qar, Iraq by New World Design LLC
February 9th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Located on a desolate and dusty plane near the ancient Ziggurat of UR, the Nassiriyah Truck Stop is proposed as a modern day oasis along one of Iraq’s most dangerous highways. The project is intended to become an economic seed for the local community by proving space and microfinance grants for family-owned businesses, as well as vital services and supplies for Iraq’s trucking community.
The project’s distinctive modular steel canopy is designed with both economy and efficiency in mind. Each module can be pre-assembled offsite and bolted together in the field. By combining inverted and regular pyramidal modules, the design is able to create a compound span capable of clearing 17 meters from inexpensive lightweight steel members.
The canopy is bookended by two commercial retail buildings that will be constructed using locally-made bricks, the traditional building material in the region. The retail component of the project will house a restaurant that serves local Iraqi cuisine, a driver dispatch and communications center, a tire change shop, an engine repair shop, a grocery, and an oil change shop.
The tectonics of the project carefully balance the need for labor-intensive manual construction that can employ as many local laborers as possible with precisely engineered steel components that can be assembled by more highly skilled regional workers. Many of Iraq’s reconstruction projects to date have been heavily reliant upon the construction of large, high-tech, and difficult to manage projects, many of which employ third party nationals for construction purposes. In order to ensure that the creation of the project, and not just its end use, economically benefits the local community, the Nassiriyah Truck Stop targets a smaller scale and simpler methods of construction, and is generic enough that it can be franchised and repeated throughout Iraq.
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