Iraqi Master Architect Rifat Chadirji dies at 93 due to COVID-19

Iraqi Master Architect Rifat Chadirji dies at 93 due to COVID-19


Born in Baghdad, and famous for some of Iraq’s most famous buildings, master architect Rifat Chadirji passed away on 10th April due to coronavirus in London, aged 93.

Rifat Chadirji was an important author, critic, and a rational architect responsible for the design of more than 100 buildings in Iraq. One of his most culturally significant work was the arched monument to the unknown soldier called “Freedom Monument” in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square. 

He helped shape contemporary architectural style of Iraq by respecting the roots of regional expression, and with true appreciation of modernism. As an academician, he taught at Baghdad School of Architecture where his influential presence was felt for many years.

“I set out to learn from traditional architecture and to achieve a synthesis between traditional forms and the inevitable advent of modern technology. My aim was to create an architecture which at once acknowledges the place in which it is built, yet which sacrifices nothing to modern technical capability. At the same time I was concerned to understand analytically the reasoning behind traditional devices of environmental control such as courtyards, screen walls, natural ventilation, and reflected light.”1

Acclaimed worldwide, he was awarded with prestigious Aga khan Chairman Award in 1986, honorary fellowship of Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Architects.

The Rifat Chadirji Prize was launched in his honour as part of the Tamayouz Excellence Award, in the year 2017. The prize is an open international competition focusing on designs that respond to contemporary challenges in Iraq.

For more information read here 


  1. Bazarov, Konstantin. “Rifat Chadirji.” Contemporary Architects, 163. Chicago: St. James Press, 1987. 
  2. Rifat Chadirji”, Archnet
  3. “The Rifat Chadirji Prize for Architecture”

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