Iraqi Scientific Academy Building
Baghdad, Iraq
The Iraq Scientific Academy Building houses the institution of the same name, which was founded in 1948 to promote and regulate the modern Arabic language. The building was constructed by Rifat Chadirji in 1965 in the Najib Pasha neighborhood of Baghdad. The building is exemplary of the architect's modern Iraqi style, blending elements of international Modernism with regional traditions.


The building is composed of two blocks, each rising two stories high. The block on the northwest side, a rectangle oriented northeast to southwest, is largely devoid of windows or other apertures on its front and back facades. Its long, side facade (facing northeast) is fronted with a riwaq, or covered passageway rising to the level of the roof and communicating with the exterior through two sets of three tall archways. The block on the southeast side of the building is roughly square. Its front and back facades (facing northeast and southwest) have a row of six large french windows surmounted by smaller windows on the second story and framed by projecting arches. This block's side facade (facing southeast) is also fronted by a riwaq. Separating these two blocks are the building's main portals (one on the northeast or front facade and one on the southwest or back facade). These portals are framed with a rectangular projection creating an iwan-like space.

Entering the building through either portal, visitors step onto a large corridor separating the building's two blocks, which house different functions. The block on the building's northwest side contains assembly halls on its front end and service areas in the back. The block on the southeast side of the building houses the book stacks of the academy's library and a large reading room on its back end, and smaller, private reading rooms and the office of the library director on its front end. 

The second story is accessible via two staircases, one in each of the two blocks described above. The upper floor of the northwestern block houses the president's offices on the back end and administrative offices on the front. These are separated by a broad middle corridor. On the southeastern side, the staircase leads onto a second-story reading room and rare book storage in the center of the building, which are flanked on either side by small offices for members of the academy. These offices enjoy views toward the front and back of the building through the second story windows housed within the projecting archways described above.


Al-Sulṭānī, Khālid. Rif‘at al-Jādirjī: mi‘mār, 274-278. Amman: Adib Books, 2016.
Najib Pasha District, Baghdad, Iraq
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Associated Names
Variant Names
مبنى المجمع العلمي العراقي
Mabnā al-Majma‘ al-‘Ilmī al-‘Irāqī
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