Accommodation on Najaf-Karbala Rd (Moukkab)

It is an accommodation on Najaf-Karbala Rd, that provides services to those who participated in Arbaeen pilgrimage. The definition that finally shape my design was the sentence below: “Moukkab is an Iraqi house that open it's doors to people”
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Designer(s) : Zahra Abdorrashidi

University : Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran

Tutor(s) : Farzin Izadpanah

Arbaeen pilgrimage is the world’s largest annual public gathering that is held every year in Karbala at the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashura. Iraqi people according to their customs host everybody who participates in this event, and handle all of the needs of this huge population.

They set up some spaces during the main path of walking in order to host people; these spaces are called Moukkab. They cook different foods in Moukkabs, distribute foods and necessary goods, people rest, eat, worship and it is better to say they live in Moukkabs.

In the past people chose minor paths for walking, the paths which across rural houses, and Iraqi people host them in their houses. Hosting is an important part of Iraqi customs, for example Mazif that means a guest-room has been one part of Iraqi houses during many years.

At the beginning of the design process, I tried to define Moukkab. What is a Moukkab? Is it a hotel or a mosque? Certainly not. The definition that finally shape my design was the sentence below: “Moukkab is an Iraqi house that open it’s doors to people”. A Moukkab should belongs to Iraq and local people, it was one of the effective concepts in my design.

As a result of these definition and concept; I started by studying architecture of Iraqi traditional houses; which can be classified in two major groups: rural houses and urban houses. Mudhifs are one kinds of rural houses which are built by reed. Urban houses are two-storey buildings which are made by wood and brick. I analysed every aspect of these houses carefully and find my other concept.

As the next step a site was chosen in the Najaf-Karbala road and necessary functions determined: such as resting, eating, worship, mourning, health and sanitary services etc. According to these functions two kinds of structure were needed: temporary structure and permanent ones.

The final design is a building complex with separately buildings in order to provide great yard and open spaces, which helps population to cross more easily.

Multifunctional building is a permanent steel structure, in the centre of the site. It designed in some way to be suitable for different functions such as collective mourning, worship, short term resting etc. Iraqi urban traditional houses were inspiring in designing different part of this building.

Temporary accommodation camps for mem women and staff are temporary reedy structures. These constructions were placed around the central building. They are easy to set up because the material is familiar to local people, and it is also climate compatible. This construction is a modern definition of Mudhifs.

Food and necessary goods distribution space is a reedy structure that is located across the road to be available for passing people.  

Services and supporting sectors which includes kitchen, clinics, laundries and office. They are located at the end of the site.

Public toilets that are sex-separated and are in touch for both residents and passing people.