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Anfal Memorial in Kurdistan by Zeller & Moye

Designed by Mexico-based architecture studio Zeller & Moye, the Anfal Memorial is a silent but solid landmark amidst the mountainous desert of Kurdistan to commemorate the victims of the Kurdish genocide under Saddam Hussein known as Anfal.

The memorial is designed around an art piece of one thousand five hundred photographs portraying local survivors arranged along a one hundred and eighty meter diameter circular wall that defines the shape and size of the building. The absence inside the central void symbolises the devastating incident but likewise allows nature to grow a green oasis for visitors to use as a park. A variety of spaces for exhibitions, media archives and events are attached to the circular gallery. A perimeter wall made of local stones embraces all functions resulting in a softly curved silhouette that mimics the mountains of the horizon. Visitors can climb up to the roof to sight the mass grave cemetery in the distance and across the desert landscape.

Anfal memorial center in a mountain desert in Kurdistan image © Zeller & Moye

one thousand five hundred images of Kurdish Anfal genocide hanged on the memorial wall image © Zeller & Moye

Anfal Memorial in Kurdistan by Zeller & Moyeimage © Zeller & Moye

Google map image of the memorial site in kurdistan near Erbil image © Zeller & Moye

Floor Plan drawing for Anfal memorial Floor Plan 

Roof Plan Roof Plan 

Section drawing Section A

Section drawing Section B

South Elevation South Elevation 

East Elevation East Elevation 


Project name: Anfal Memorial 

Architecture firm: Zeller & Moye

Directors: Christoph Zeller, Ingrid Moye

Project team: Omar Muñoz, Marielle Rivero

Location: Rizgari, Kurdistan, Iraq

Size: 10000 m² / 107000 ft²  (building: 3000 m² /32000 ft²; park: 7000 m² / 75000 ft²)

Curator: Dr. Michael Fehr

Supporters: Haukari e.V. (NGO); German Federal Foreign Office; ifa Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations e.V.

Program: Memorial, exhibition galleries, multi-use space, café, offices, services

Client: Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq

Status: Under construction

Cost: USD$ 3 M

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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