UPA won the competition for new Green Campus University in Babil, Iraq and it was appointed to develop a sustainable green technology university campus based on LEED criteria.

The new campus will consist of five colleges (Agriculture, Veterinary, Biotechnology, Food Production and Environmental College), the presidency building and all related supportive facilities, including Sports Hall, Main Auditorium, Central Library, Entertainment Center in addition to Student and Staff Housing. Presidency Building is  the first LEED registered project in Iraq.

The project is currently in hold at the level of Complete Detail Design.


The New Campus is located close to Al Qasim, in the Babil province of Iraq. The program of the newly established University shall be based on Green Technology Educations, comprising five colleges (Agriculture, Veterinary, Biotechnology, Food Production and Environmental College), with the presidency building and all related supportive facilities, including Sports Hall, Main Auditorium, Central Library, Entertainment Center in addition to Student and Staff Housing.

The main idea of campus masterplan is to arrange it as ancient town – in middle is located the main square surrounded with most representative buildings (Presidency, Library, Auditorium, Mosque). The ellipse road defines main academic zone and serves as great infrastructure element for campus. The inner academic zone of ellipse is arranged in multiple levels. The idea about city of multiple levels, for example, was already present in Leonardo da Vinci sketches and as well in nowadays architect’s works, like Smithson’s projects. We considered it as most suitable way to develop infrastructure and connections of campus and the upper levels allow continuous paths shaded below.

In terms of architectural design, project reflects to local architectural objects, for example Ishtar gates of Babil (colors and glazed tiles).  As the bricks have been used here since ancient Babylon time and the site is located on old brick factory, than for us it was obvious to use bricks as main facade material. The use of architectural concrete, colored brown with specific pigments makes reference to modernism university campus of Baghdad University, designed by Gropius.

Project also proposes to keep existing terrain as it is, by projecting in lowest existing quarry parts outdoor arena, to remain palm trees and to develop the brown fields, in that way proposing site suitable for academic, agricultural and animal farming requirements.

Our vision of the green university campus is oriented towards the creation of a highly contemporary sustainable campus that confirms to international standards by setting performance goals in five environmental categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, lower energy consumption and reduced CO2emission, material and resources, indoor environmental quality.

Some Milestones are: use of renewable energies, use in the campus of electric vehicles, introduction of a system of ready-to-use rental bikes, study of solar orientation for building design.

Al Qasim Green University will be the first campus within the wider program to be designed as per LEED criteria and the Presidency Building will be the first LEED Gold Certificated building in Iraq.

Project Leader: Paolo Lettieri.

DesignTeam: Paolo Lettieri,  Aswan Zubaidi, Chiara Mangiarotti, Mustafa Al Baldawi, Elina Ceijere, Vibhor Mukul Sing, Monica Verzoletto, Alessandro Cappelletti, Giulia Bovolenta, Irina Tibaeva, Valeria Crespi, Natasha Mukul Sing, Andrea Gravellu, Andrea Fantoni, Elisa Zichi, Andriani Charambolous.

3D visualization: Monica Verzoletto, Pixject Digital Technology China

Client: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research - Iraq

Design Company in Charge: Urbanism Planning Architecture

Concept, Architectural Design and Coordination: Urbanism Planning Architecture Italia

Structural Design: Structure

MEP design: Ian Banham

Landscape and Civil Infrastructure: SUSCA - Sustainable Creative Architecture

Size: 181.000 sqm built up area, 1.000.000 sqm plot area

Cost estimate of the project: 250.000.000 $

Date: Competition in November 2011, Start of the project July 2012, Completion of the project (detail design stage) June 2014.

academic campus entrance

presidency entrance hall

al qasim main gate house

academic area bird's eye view

academic area gate house


college green roof

al qasim biotech lab

presidency building

presidency building

presidency building

environment college

food production college

agricolture college

veterinary college

mani gate house

academic area gate house

students housing

students housing


students facilities

students facilities

students facilities

sports hall

staff housing

staff housing

veterinary hospital

masterplan studies

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© 2021 Urbanism Planning Architecture Italia srl | P.IVA: 06797780969 -  REA: MI-1915915

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Principal Architect Paolo Lettieri

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