Design Libya Announces Competition To Redesign Gaddafi’s Former Military Stronghold: Bab Al-Azizia

Posted on November 21, 2011 in Architecture, New Concepts

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Many of Libya’s cities were damaged or destroyed during the February 17th Revolution. While the human cost was heavy by any measure, there is an opportunity for Libya to be rebuilt in pioneering new ways. Design Libya will be sponsoring a major international conference in Tripoli in mid to late 2012, bringing together innovative thinkers, designers, architects and visionaries to collaborate on new ideas for Libya’s new schools, ports, hospitals, public spaces, plazas and more.

Bab al-Azizia, Gaddafi’s former military stronghold, bunker and palace in the heart of Tripoli, was transformed from a 2.3 square-mile symbol of fear and oppression into a place for public gatherings and weekly markets before it was finally demolished in late October. Bab al-Azizia is now the site for an open architecture competition.

Announcing an open competition in 2012 for redesigning Bab al-Azizia. Architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, artists, horticulturalists, students and community members are invited to create visionary, inspired design proposals for the space’s reuse as a public, open space for all. The competition will culminate in a major exhibition in Tripoli, Libya, accompanied by a publication and website. Design Libya hope the rebirth of Bab al-Azizia will come to powerfully symbolize the rebirth of the new Libya, and serve as an inspiration to the Libyan people, and all free people around the world.

The competition is not meant to result in awarding of actual contracts to formally design the new site. This is a preliminary call for open ideas, not sponsored by the Libyan government, to help shape inspire citizen participation and creative investment in the future of the country. Design Libya hope as the government is formed and elections take place to build systems to properly begin reclaiming Bab al-Azizia, raising funds and preparing a formal call for design submissions.

As much as the competition sound interesting, I just hope their new government will really take on such a project and allow Libyans a breath of novelty.


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