Geometry and Patterns – The shape of the building is directly inspired by the traditional geometry and textures present in Imam Hussein shrine in Karbala. The use of patterns is a form used by Islamic art to represent nature and objects in their spiritual qualities. The repeated geometric patterns often make use of plant motifs. The geometry is also influenced by the Islamic crescent and the circles represent the developing moon. Hanging Gardens – in a clear reference to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the project incorporates an ascending series of gardens containing a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and vines. The name “Babylon” means “Gate of the Gods” in a perfect methaphor for this new gate to the sky. Courtyards – Courtyards are a traditional Islamic characteristic, as a protection from the harsh environment of many Islamic geographies. Concentration on the interior rather than the outside of a building provides a space that is both outside, and yet within the building. A Stair to Heaven – the rooftop is like a gentle stair, developing in an ascending dynamic that increases from the entrance through the building in the direction of the sky, like in a traditional Zigurat. Holistic Palm Tree Oasis – “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. An oasis is only an oasis by the sum of its trees. The roof that defines the building is composed by individual structures inspired by trees. Each pillar is a symbolic trunk that sustains the protective top. The Arch – The pointed arch cross-section of the connected palm trees is translated on to the facades as a series of arches, inspired by the traditional Iraqi and Islamic architecture.