Old Iraq

An exhibition in Chicago is celebrating the work of the Iraqi architect who rebuilt Baghdad following Iraq’s 1958 revolution. After deposing its British mandated monarchy, post-colonial Iraq faced building a modern nation which stayed true to its national identity. Rifat Chadirji became the pivotal cultural figure in consolidating Baghdad’s postwar image from the 1950s through to the 1970s. With nearly 100 buildings, Chadirji, now 90 and living in London, contributed to the design and construction of factories, colleges, communication structures and monopoly headquarters through his architectural office, Iraq Consult. His iconic works include the 1955 Abboud Building, Baghdad’s very first high-rise.