Rifat Chadirji is an architect who has imbued his work with a deep understanding of the roots of authentic regional expression, as well as a true appreciation of modernism and its principles. Chadirji has shown a unique capacity for the synthesis of form and function that translates traditional architectural idioms into contemporary expressions.
Chadirji's contributions transcend a mere body of work, important as that may be, for he also is a major figure in one of the most important and influential architectural schools in the Arab world. The Baghdad School of Architecture, where Chadirji taught for many years, has keenly felt Chadirji's influence. Rejecting the use of the forms of the past, Chadirji devised a synthesis of form that could translate into a new and contemporary urban aesthetic -- one that would guide the articulations of a genuinely modern Iraqi town-scape in the latter part of the 20th century.
"I set out to learn from traditional architecture and to achieve a synthesis between traditional forms and inevitable advent of modern technology. My aim was to create an architecture which at once acknowledges the place in which it is built, yet which sacrifices nothing to modern technical capability. At the same time I was concerned to understand analytically the reasoning behind traditional devices of environmental control such as courtyards, screen walls, natural ventilation, and reflected light."
In 2015, Chadirji was awarded the Tamayouz Architectural Lifetime Achievement Award, an award that celebrates the pioneers of Iraqi architecture and is "presented annually to an individual who has had a significant contribution towards the advancement of architecture in Iraq." In November of the same year (2015), Rifat Chadirji was presented with an honorary doctorate from Coventry University inn the UK.
Bazarov, Konstantin. "Rifat Chadirji." Contemporary Architects, 163. Chicago: St. James Press, 1987.
Medina Interviews Architect Refaat Chadirji. In Medina Issue Six: Architecture, Interiors & Fine Arts. British Virgin Islands: Medina Magazine. (February - March 1999): 61 - 65.
Medina Magazine is a unique and ambitious project in the Middle East by a group of architects, designers and artists to collaborate to present both architecture conceived and created in Egypt, and examples from other contexts that contain elements relevant to architectural designers, students and educators working in Egypt.
This magazine that has been published in Arabic and English since 1998 is divided into three sections to aid the reader in critiquing their built environment; to see that each component negotiates with the other to form our visual world. Structure, decorative details and interpretations of spaces and how society reacts to them anchor Medina's founders' conception as apparent in the selection of articles presented on ArchNet.
Medina goes even further than presenting architectural, design and art projects; as part of their design revolution in Egypt, Medina also organizes annual design competitions for students and professionals, as well as supporting symposiums and art projects.