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Chairman's Award

The Chairman's Award was established to honour special achievements.

Lifetime Achievements of Rifat Chadirji
Rafidain Bank, Baghdad, Iraq; etching of main façade.The second Chairman's Award was given in 1986 to Rifat Chadirji, Iraqi architect, critic and teacher, for a lifetime dedicated to the search for an appropriate contemporary architectural expression that synthesises elements of the rich Islamic cultural heritage with key principles of the international architecture of the 20th century. Chadirji believes that architecture's future lies in lessons learned from its past. His designs are transformations of regional forms that seek to express, by means of abstraction, the construction technologies in almost universal use today, while affirming the aesthetic values the latter engender.

Central Mosque, London, England; etching.The last assignment he took before leaving Iraq for the United States was to serve as Advisor to the Municipality of Baghdad, then engaged in planning the most extensive urban reconstruction in the history of that city. Although the war between Iraq and Iran halted this project, his vision of Baghdad's future townscape, in conjunction with the rest of his life's work, still serves to raise critical questions about the meanings of architecture in Islamic society and offers important examples for study. His built work, projects, teaching and writings have helped form a conscience and set goals for Arab and Muslim architects everywhere.