Architect's Archives

Hisham Munir Archive

This archive highlights the work of one of Iraq's noted architects, Hisham Munir, founder of Hisham Munir and Associates. 

Munir ranks among the most prominent architects in 20th century Iraq and is considered a pioneer in Iraqi modern architecture.  His projects include buildings for education, health, administrative, governmental, banking, hospitality, tourism, housing, and agriculture, among others. He frequently partnered with The Architects Collaborative (TAC), as well as British, Brazilian, Canadian, Dutch, Italian and Swiss firms. Some of Munir's best known work includes the University of Mosul (1956), the Agricultural Complex (1975), the Iraqi Reinsurance Company in Baghdad (1976), Sheraton Hotels in Baghdad and Basra (1981), the Al-Sabah Complex in Kuwait (1976), and the Unknown Soldier Monument (1982). He is also a respected academic and one of the founders of the School of Architecture in the University of Baghdad, where he also taught and served as Dean.

Much of Munir's architectural documentation was left behind when the architect and his family left Baghdad. Therefore, records of many of the buildings in this still-developing collection are being recreated through oral histories. In 2015 Michael Kubo interviewed Munir over the course of two days near his home outside Washington, DC.  During the course of the interviews, Munir spoke about the founding of the School of Architecture, his friendships and collaborations on leading figures of global Modernism, and the innovative ideas he developed and tried to embody in his work. Munir also addresses the obstacles he encountered during his long career in Iraq, a subject he also addresses in his lecture "When Politics and Architecture Collide," delivered in October 2015 as part of the lecture series of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT. 

In 2017, Hisham Munir was awarded the Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award. The prize, which was previously awarded to Iraqi architecture pioneers including Mohamed Makiya and Rifat Chadirji, honoring individuals who have made significant contributions toward the advancement of architecture in Iraq1.

Michael A. Toler, Archnet Content Manager.
18 October 2016

(Updated: Sharon C. Smith, Ph.D., Program Head, AKDC@MIT
20 March 2018 and 25 March 2020 by Michael A. Toler)


SOURCES:

1 Alsammarae, Rima. 2017. “Iraqi Modernist Architect Hisham Munir Wins Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award.” Middle East Architect. December 11, 2017. http://www.designmena.com/insight/iraqi-modernist-architect-hisham-munir-wins-tamayouz-lifetime-achievement-award. Archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20200525214457/. (accessed 20 March 2018)

"About Us." Munir Group. Accessed October 05, 2015. http://www.hishammunirarch.com/.

Hisham Munir & Associates. Hisham Munir and Associates. Architects and Planners. Baghdad, Iraq, Ca. 1964.

Kultermann, Udo. "Contemporary Architecture in the Arab States: Iraq." In Contemporary Architecture in the Arab States: Renaissance of a Region, 31-43. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999.

Munir, Hisham. Hisham Munir & Associates-Project List. Arlington, VA, 2014.

Munir, Hisham. Hisham Munir Summary CV. Arlington, VA, 2013.

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