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Iraq Unveils Gorgeous Plans for First New Public Library Since 1970s

After decades, Iraq will finally soon have a new public library. It's part of a bigger "Youth City" plan for part of Baghdad, intended to inspire the younger generation. Developer Ali Mousawi explains his motivation:

I had to leave Iraq myself in 1982 and returned in 2003 to assist with the rebuilding of the country, with the aim of revitalising Iraq and establishing a new vision for the future. What I saw when I returned and still see today is that the Iraqi youth are in many ways lost. They have been surrounded by violence, and for years there has been a lack of services and few opportunities for work or personal development. We hope that the library will help shape Iraq’s next generation of intellects and politicians, artists and writers, poets and musicians, doctors and lawyers, and change makers.


The design was based on what future library-goers will really need, versus traditional library architecture. Along with three million books, the library will have state-of-the art computers, and flexible spaces for public events like art exhibitions, film screenings, book clubs, theater, conferences, and workshops—a place where students can be creative and share ideas.

The roof is filled with skylights to illuminate the reading rooms, and solar panels to power the building. It's scheduled to be built later this year.

Images courtesy of AMBS Architects

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