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  • Madinat al Zahra Museum in Cordoba, Spain was a 2010 Awards cycle recipient.
    Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s12th cycle launched; Award now open for submissions

Geneva, Switzerland, 12 May 2011 -- The twelfth triennial cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, which runs from 2011 until autumn 2013, is now open for nominations. General criteria for nomination are straightforward: “projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation and landscape architecture”.

Projects are required to have been completed between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2011 and been in use for at least one full year. They can be anywhere in the world but must successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies in which Muslims have a significant presence.

“For the twelfth cycle (2011-2013), the Award is encouraging the submission of projects in rural landscapes, at the peripheries of urban areas and those that deal with public space at all scales,” says Farrokh Derakhshani, Director of the Award. “As in previous cycles, particular attention is given to building schemes that use local resources and appropriate technology in innovative ways, and to projects likely to inspire similar efforts elsewhere. The central criterion, however, has always been excellence – whether in a humble home or in a skyscraper.”

The nominations period runs from 15 March 2011 to 15 September 2012. Projects can be submitted by anyone, including the project architects, by completing and filing a short submission form with the Award office. Forms are available for download on the Award website . The dates for the announcement of the shortlist (Spring 2013) and the Awards ceremony (Autumn 2013) will be confirmed at a later date.

Winners have included the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; a village school in Xiashi, Fujian province, China; Egypt’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina; ; the Ipekyol Textile Factory in Edirne, Turkey; and the Madinat al-Zahra Museum in Cordoba, Spain. . Famous architects including Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel and César Pelli have won the award, but so have unknown young architects early in their careers. Recipients have included master planners, clients, municipalities and master masons – as well as architects – and have encompassed practitioners of all ages, religions, races and origins.

Once projects are nominated, they are presented to a master jury, which is reconstituted during each new cycle. The master jury reviews the nominations and selects a short list of 20-25 projects. In a rigorous process unmatched by other architectural prizes, technical reviewers – usually architects or structural engineers – are then sent to each site to review the projects on the short list. The master jury then reviews the reports of the technical reviewers and makes a final selection of award recipients from that shortlist.

The Award is governed by a steering committee chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan. A new committee is constituted each cycle to establish the eligibility criteria for project submissions, provide thematic direction in response to emerging priorities and issues, and to develop plans for the future of the Award. The steering committee is responsible for the selection and appointment of the master jury for each Award cycle, and for the Award’s programme of international seminars, lectures, exhibitions and publications.

For more information, please see: or contact:

Nuha Ansari
Aga Khan Award for Architecture
PO Box 2049, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Telephone: (41.22) 909.72.00