New Delhi, India, 24 November 2004 – His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th hereditary spiritual leader (Imam) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, arrived at New Delhi this evening. He was met at the airport by Mr. Ahmed, Minister of State for External Affairs. The Aga Khan began a five day visit.
On 27 November 2004, in the presence of the Honourable Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, His Highness the Aga Khan will announce the seven recipients of the 2004 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
2004 marks the completion of the ninth cycle of the programme, which has a triennial prize fund of US$ 500,000, the world’s largest architectural award.
Seven Indian projects have won the Award in previous cycles. These are:
• Mughal Sheraton Hotel, Agra, India (1980)
• Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, India (1992)
• Aranya Community Housing, Indore, India (1995)
• Slum Networking of Indore City, Indore, India (1998)
• Lepers Hospital, Chopda Taluka, India (1998)
• Vidhan Bhavan; Bhopal, India (1998)
• Barefoot Architects, Tilonia, India (2001)
The ceremony will be held in the gardens of Humayun’s Tomb. Previous ceremonies to announce the winning projects and mark the close of each triennial cycle have been held in settings selected for their historical importance: Shalimar Gardens in Lahore (1980), Topkapi Palace in Istanbul (1983), Badi’ Palace in Marrakech (1986), the Citadel of Saladin in Cairo (1989), Registan Square in Samarkand (1992), Karaton Surakarta in Solo (1995), the Alhambra in Granada (1998) and the Citadel of Aleppo (2001).
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established by the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of Islamic societies. The Award recognizes examples of architectural excellence throughout the Islamic world in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community improvement and development, restoration, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment.
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The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies whose mandates range from the fields of health and education to architecture, rural development and the promotion of private-sector enterprise. They collaborate in working towards a common goal – building institutions and programmes that can respond to the challenges of social, economic and cultural change on an ongoing basis. Active in over 20 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, the Network’s underlying impulse is the ethic of compassion for the vulnerable in society and its agencies and institutions work for the common good of all citizens, regardless of origin, gender or religion. The Network’s agencies have been present in Central Asia since the early 1990s and undertake a wide range of activities in several countries in the region.