1983 Cycle Awards Recipients - Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Development Network

1983 Cycle Awards Recipients

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The Award Presentation Ceremony was held in Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

Azem PalaceAzem Palace
Location: Damascus, Syria (West Asia)
Architect: Michel Echochard & Shafiq al-Imam
Completed: 1965
Site size: 6'400 m²
Azem Palace Project Brief
One of the masterpieces of 18th century Islamic architecture, this palace was extensively damaged in 1925 when French troops shelled the old quarter of the city during a Syrian uprising. At the time of the award the restoration of the complex (which in 1954 became a folk museum) had been ongoing for 34 years. The work called for extensive research, resourcefulness and imagination. The conservators relied on plans made by the French in the 1920s and on descriptions by members of the Azem family. They had the foresight to purchase for re-use in the reconstructions stones and ornament from other buildings of the same period being demolished to make way for the modern roads being constructed in Damascus. The jury commended the project for being an important one in re-establishing cultural identity and cultural continuity and in developing expertise and artisanal skills. The reconstitution of the Azem Palace has been an important event in the Islamic world, its significance being more than that of a case of restoration. (Find out more)

Darb Qirmiz QuarterDarb Qirmiz Quarter
Location: Cairo, Egypt (North Africa)
Architect: Egyptian Antiquities Organization and German Archaeological Institute / Michael Meinecke, Philip Speiser, and Muhammad Fahmi Awad
Completed: 1980
Site size: 26'600 m²
Darb Qirmiz Quarter Project Brief
The Darb Qirmiz is a residential neighbourhood in the 10th-century Fatimid quarter of Cairo. The major monuments of the district, the oldest dating from the 14th century, follow a narrow meandering street that bisects the neighbourhood. They include three madrasas, a palace, mausoleum, fountain and bazaar. The restoration of all seven monuments has been planned as the first step in the rehabilitation of the larger area. The award honours the completion of Phase I which includes the restoration of the Madrasa of al-Anuki, a Mamluk building dating from A.D. 1368, and the Mausoleum of Sheikh Sinan, dating from A.D. 1585. The conservation work included the replacement of corroded stone and loose plaster surfaces, and the repair or replacement of all damaged decorative work, carpentry and original painted surfaces in the original techniques and materials. The project has employed the finest masons, plasterers and carpenters left in Cairo. (Find out more)

Great Mosque of NionoGreat Mosque of Niono
Location: Niono, Mali (West Africa)
Architect: Lassina Minta
Completed: 1973
Site size: 1'980 m²
Great Mosque of Niono Project Brief
This mud brick mosque, a great monument in the vernacular tradition, is the work of a local master mason who conceived and constructed it almost exclusively with local materials, using only workmen from Niono. The construction techniques and materials, load bearing mud brick walls and arches supporting floors and roofs of wood, matting, and earth have been used in the region for centuries. The structural module is determined by the length of wood available. Each mud brick pier supports the springing of arches in four directions. The arches in turn support the flat span of the roof. The jury commented: The continuing existence of traditional forms -- both sophisticated and primitive -- is one of our strongest allies in retaining architectural character and cultural identity as large-scale modern industry and world-wide building models assert their presence. Hence the will and the conscious intention to continue the tradition should be commended and encouraged. (Find out more)

Hafsia Quarter IHafsia Quarter I
Location: Tunis, Tunisia (North Africa)
Architect: Association de Sauvegarde de la MĂ©dina de Tunis
Completed: 1977
Site size: 23'199 m²
Hafsia Quarter I Project Brief
The reconstruction of this residential and commercial sector in the former Jewish quarter of Tunis called for the insertion of new low-income dwellings, combined with offices, shops and a suq, into a surrounding area bordered to the north and east by traditional courtyard houses on narrow winding streets, and to the west and south by modern constructions including three four-storey apartment buildings, a market, and two schools with playing fields. The planners have succeeded in maintaining a harmonious relationship with the scale and construction of the old neighbourhood as well as the nearby modern structures. (Find out more)

Hajj TerminalHajj Terminal
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Arabian Peninsula)
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill / Fazlur Rahman Khan
Completed: 1981
Site size: 450'000 m²
Hajj Terminal Project Brief
The Hajj Terminal houses, for a short time, the one million or more pilgrims who make their way to Mecca each year. The capacity of the terminal at any one time is estimated at 50'000 for a period of up to 18 hours during arrival and 80,000 for periods of up to 36 hours during departure. Roofed by a fabric tension structure that covers more area (40.5 hectares) than any roof in the world, the terminal provides toilets, shops, benches and banking facilities for the pilgrims. Twenty-one tent units, each 45 metres square, form a single module. The terminal is comprised of 10 such modules: two identical five-module sections separated by a landscaped mall. Thus, the two large terminal units each comprise a total of 105 tents. The tents are hooked to steel rings hung from suspension cables which are draped from single pylons in the interior of the module, from ladder-like double pylons at the module edges and from four-pylon towers at the corners. The enclosed and air conditioned arrival buildings are located under the tents along the outside edge of the terminal units parallel to the aircraft aprons. In the jury's words: "The brilliant and imaginative design of the roofing system met the awesome challenge of covering this vast space with incomparable elegance and beauty. (Find out more)

Nail Çakirhan ResidenceNail Çakirhan Residence
Location: Akyaka, Turkey (Asia)
Architect: Nail Çakirhan
Completed: 1971
Nail Çakirhan Residence Project Brief
Never trained as an architect, Nail Çakirhan's first career was that of a journalist and poet. He had reached his forties before he first became interested in construction while accompanying his archaeologist wife Halet on her field missions. After spending over a decade as a supervisor of construction projects, he restored his mother's old vernacular house with the aid of two traditionally skilled local carpenters. Having thereby learned the necessary arts and crafts, he set out to build an indigenous house of his own. The ideas and forms of the house were merely sketched and then plotted on the ground as traditional master builders used to work. (Find out more)

Ramses Wissa Wassef Arts CentreRamses Wissa Wassef Arts Centre
Location: Giza, Egypt (North Africa)
Architect: Ramses Wissa Wassef
Completed: 1974
Ramses Wissa Wassef Arts Centre Project Brief
Near the pyramids at Giza, the centre was founded in the early 1950s by the late architect Ramses Wissa Wassef as a weaving school. It has since evolved to comprise workshops and showrooms, a pottery and sculpture museum, houses and farm buildings, constructed entirely of mud brick. For Wissa Wassef, vaulted and domed mud brick structures represented something quintessentially Egyptian as these forms had been adopted in turn by Paranoiac, Coptic and Islamic civilisations. The choice of this traditional technology also reflected his desire to transmit the values of handicraft to succeeding generations in a rapidly industrialising country. (Find out more)

Residence AndalousResidence Andalous
Location: Sousse, Tunisia (North Africa)
Architect: Serge Santelli, Cabinet Gerau
Completed: 1981
Site size: 33'000 m²
Residence Andalous Project Brief
Traditional Tunisian domestic architecture consists of one- or two-level houses arranged around courtyards or patios. To achieve a contemporary expression of these indigenous arrangements for this hotel, the architect created an ordered series of symmetrical interior courtyards connected along a main longitudinal axis, from which secondary axes open. The hotel courtyards are paved, and are entered by two or four porticoes. All are simply ornamented by delicate ceramic decoration in the form of banding and panels. The innermost courtyards, some of them planted with orange trees or jasmine, have the intimate quality of private gardens. Water is the most important element. As in all the great Arabo-Islamic landscapes, it fills pools, runs off through little channels and jets forth in fountains under pergolas. Covered walkways and galleries offer shade. The jury found particularly praiseworthy the restraint with which materials and forms have been used, and the subdued nature of the colour scheme which enable this group of buildings to achieve its imagery whilst avoiding pastiche. (Find out more)

SherefudinSherefudin's White Mosque
Location: Visoko, Bosnia-Herzegovina (Europe)
Architect: Zlatko Ugljen
Completed: 1980
Sherefudin's White Mosque Project Brief
The White Mosque serves as the religious and intellectual centre for the community. Its geometrically simple plan encloses a complex, slope-ceilinged, skylit volume, pure, abstract, sparsely ornamented and painted white. The archetypal Bosnian mosque has a simple square plan crowned by a cupola and entered by means of a small porch. The White Mosque's plan conforms to the archetype, but its roof is a freely deformed quarter of a cupola, pierced by five skylights, themselves composed of segments of quarter cupolas. The effect is one of confrontation between the elementary plan and the sophisticated hierarchy of roof cones. The principal symbolic elements, mihrab, minbar, minaret and fountains, have a fresh folk art character subtly enhanced by the avant-garde geometries of their setting. Commending the mosque for its boldness, creativity and brilliance," the jury found it "full of originality and innovation (though with an undeniable debt to Ronchamp), laden with the architect's thought and spirit, shared richly with the community, and connecting with the future and the past. (Find out more)

Tanjong Jara Beach HotelTanjong Jara Beach Hotel
Location: Terengganu, Malaysia (South-East Asia)
Architect: Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo, and Arkitek Bersikutu
Completed: 1980
Tanjong Jara Beach Hotel Project Brief
This project, consisting of a hotel and a nearby visitor centre located in an area that is among the world's few remaining hatcheries for giant leather-back and green turtles, was conceived and developed by the Malaysian government. The hotel, spread over a 31 hectare site around a crescent-shaped beach, is modelled after istanas, wooden palaces of great beauty and dignity built by the earlier sultans of east coast Malaysia. This indigenous building form is appropriate for a low-rise hotel and well adapted to the climate. Two-storey hardwood units are elevated 60 to 150 centimetres above ground for flood protection and air circulation. Other natural cooling and ventilating devices are open-sided rooms, lattice soffits, steep pitched roofs with gable grilles and bisque roof tiles left exposed on the inside, allowing the interior to breathe and warm air to escape through the roof. The visitor centre also consists of indigenous hardwood buildings on stilts. Conceived as a conservation area and a sea life museum, it incorporates a botanical garden, a crafts bazaar and eleven private cottage suites arranged in traditional Malaysian village style. The jury found that although architecturally the adaptation of traditional forms to new uses raises several technical and ideological problems, the consistency and seriousness with which this approach has been pursued at all levels of design and execution has generated an architecture which is in keeping with traditional values and aesthetics, and of an excellence which matches the best surviving traditional examples. (Find out more)

Tomb of Shah Rukn-i-Tomb of Shah Rukn-i-'Alam
Location: Multan, Pakistan (South Asia)
Architect: Awqaf Department / Muhammad Wali Ullah Khan
Completed: 1977
Site size: 6'303 m²
Tomb of Shah Rukn-i-'Alam Project Brief
This 14th-century Tughlug-period tomb is one of the outstanding architectural treasures of Pakistan. Conservation commenced in late 1971 and was completed in six years. Because of the monument's dilapidated condition the repair work required was extensive. The foundations and the lower sections of the brick walls were rebuilt, destroyed tiles were replaced, damaged woodwork repaired and the site landscaped. This project required the establishment of a training programme for Pakistani craftsmen in the traditional crafts of glazed Multan tile work, wood carving and terra cotta. Indigenous craftsmen who had inherited the knowledge of these crafts trained a total of 33 novices, now active in other conservation efforts as well as in new building. The jury commended this restoration for its contribution to reviving some of the great crafts of 600 years ago and promoting similar building activity throughout the country. (Find out more)

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