Year: 2011



Aura, the new city center for Erbil, creates an iconic skyline in vein with that of major metropolitan areas. The design uses the diagram of an equalizer to achieve an iconic skyline, and ultimate flexibility of program and area distribution.  The buildings form two wings which embrace the parkland in between, allowing for not only for a dynamic landscape within the park, but also maximizing the natural light and ventilation into the park and underground retail center. The landscape within this park is designed using a series of interchangeable modules which act as pools, tree planters, pavilions, and grass panels.  These intensive operations resulted in a matrix that not only directed the physical implementation of each wing, guided the carve-out of their massing, but also laid out their interior partitioning and their exterior landscaping. The consequence of this unique system of modular variation across all levels and all scales results in perfect alignments between interior and exterior spaces.  In summary, this unifying system, or matrix, successfully unites landscaping, architectural and interior design in one operation.

Project Name: Aura
Designers: SOMA
Location: Erbil, Iraq
Date of Completion: In Construction
Gross Floor Area: 200,000 Square Meters
Building Type: Mixed Use
Main Materials: Concrete
Setting: Urban