SkyHill Towers & Shopping Center

SkyHill Towers & Shopping Center


Kirkuk Road, Arbil, Iraq

36.14643055466049 | 44.018448293209076

Project area

13000 m2

With the site being located on a busy major road in Erbil city, Skyhill merges both residential and commercial uses in its program which takes place on a 13000 sq. meter land, with a 2 story shopping center resting on the ground, and 2 similar-but-not-identical apartment towers rising on top of it, each having it’s own access while prohibiting no interference between them except at the level of pedestrian.

The towers contain 166 apartments that are divided into 5 types of different areas and bedroom numbers, ranging from small studio apartments to large apartments of 4 bedrooms, with the types being divided on each tower based on household number and lifestyle similarity. The smaller tower holding the 3 types of small and medium sized apartments, while the more dominant tower holds the the 2 large types of apartments.

The concept adopts a stacking of “units” in which the units are arranged in a systematic random way. The units are considered as the “backyards” of the apartments, each limiting direct sunlight penetration into the apartments interior, while maintaining the view and providing privacy. The towers’ roofs, given as much importance as any other part, are manipulated as recreational areas, with a hill-like garden taking its concept from a popular element in Kurdistan’s nature.

Inside each tower, openings in the middle of each floor create a vertical atrium -or shaft- that extends from the bottom to the top of the tower, this core results in continuous vertical movement of air through each tower due to the difference in pressure at each side. Day light enters from the skylight on the roof and disperses down the tower to provide the floors with natural lighting.

Most of the roof of the shopping center is manipulated for the use of solar panels, the placement is based on the orientation and the radiation analysis of the building. Even for the balconies, solar panels are used as railings (or fences) for the facades that are exposed to a lot of sun radiation.