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  • His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani the Emir of Qatar presents a certificate to Professor Oleg Grabar who was awarded the Chairman’s Award in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the field of Islamic art and architecture, as Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser and His Highness the Aga Khan look on. Photo: AKDN / Gary Otte
Five projects receive 2010 Aga Khan Award for Architecture; Oleg Grabar receives Chairman's Award

Doha, Qatar, 24 November 2010 - The five projects selected for the 2010 Aga Khan Award for Architecture were announced at a ceremony held at the Museum of Islamic Art today. His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani the Emir of Qatar and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser joined His Highness the Aga Khan in presiding over the ceremony.

The five projects selected by the 2010 Master Jury are:

Wadi Hanifa Wetlands, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Revitalisation of the Hypercentre of Tunis, Tunisia
Madinat Al-Zahra Museum, Cordoba, Spain
Ipekyol Textile Factory, Edirne, Turkey
Bridge School, Xiashi, Fujian, China

At the Award ceremony, His Highness the Aga Khan presented the Chairman’s Award to Professor Oleg Grabar in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the field of Islamic art and architecture. The Chairman’s Award was established to honour achievements that fall outside the scope of the Master Jury’s mandate and is made in recognition of the lifetime achievements of distinguished architects and academics. It has been presented on only three previous occasions. The winning projects were selected by an independent Master Jury from a shortlist of 19 projects announced in May 2010. A total of 401 projects were presented for consideration for the 2010 Award.

In their statement, the Master Jury noted that a central concern in making their selection had been the issues of identity and plurality and their intersection in an increasingly globalised world. They emphasised the generous and pluralistic visions reflected through the winning projects, and the transformative roles they have played in the improvement of the quality of the built environment both in places with a majority of Muslims and in societies where Muslims are in a minority.

The 2010 Award Master Jury

The Awards are selected by an independent Master Jury appointed by the Steering Committee for each three-year Award cycle. The nine members of the 2010 Master Jury are:

Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Professor, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, USA)
Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj (Architect; Chief Executive Officer, Syria Trust for Development, Syria)
Salah M. Hassan (Art historian and curator; director of Africana Studies and Research Center,
Cornell University, USA)
Faryar Javaherian (Architect and curator; co-founder of Gamma Consultants, Iran)
Anish Kapoor (Artist, UK)
Kongjian Yu (Landscape architect and urbanist; founder and dean of Graduate School of
Landscape Architecture, Peking University, China)
Jean Nouvel (Architect; founding partner, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, France
Alice Rawsthorn (Design critic, International Herald Tribune, UK)
Basem Al Shihabi (Architect; Managing Partner, Omrania & Associates, Saudi Arabia)

About the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage excellence in architecture and other forms of intervention in the built environment of societies where Muslims have a significant presence. The Award is given every three years and recognises all types of building projects that affect today’s built environment, from modest, small-scale projects to sizable complexes. All form of planning practices on the urban and regional scales are encouraged, such as infrastructure and transportation undertakings; development in rural landscapes; housing initiatives; industrial facilities and workplaces; educational and health campuses; new towns, urban conservation and the re-use of brown field sites.

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture not only rewards architects, but also identifies municipalities, builders, clients, master craftsmen and engineers who have played important roles in the realisation of a project. The Award’s mandate is different from that of many other architecture prizes: it selects projects—from innovative mud and bamboo schools to state of the art “green” buildings—that not only exhibit architectural excellence but also improve the overall quality of life. Since the Award was launched 33 years ago, 105 projects have received the award and more than 7,500 building projects have been documented.

Projects that have received the Award range from a primary school in Burkina Faso designed by local architect Diébédo Francis Kéré to the Grameen Bank Housing Programme in Bangladesh and from Paris’ Institut du Monde Arabe, designed by Jean Nouvel, to Ken Yeang's groundbreaking bioclimatic office building in Malaysia and Han Tümertekin’s B2 House in Turkey. Other past Award recipients have included Lord Norman Foster, Cesar Pelli and Ricardo Legorreta. The Award is governed by a Steering Committee chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan. The current members of the Steering Committee are:

His Highness the Aga Khan (Chairman)
Mohammad al-Asad (Founder & chairman, Center for the Study of the Built Environment, Jordan)
Homi K. Bhabha (Director of the Humanities Center, Harvard University, USA)
Norman Foster (Founder and chairman, Foster + Partners, UK)
Glenn Lowry (Director, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA)
Rahul Mehrotra (Principal, RMA Architects, India)
Mohsen Mostafavi (Dean of the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, USA)
Farshid Moussavi (Partner, Foreign Office Architects, UK)
Han Tümertekin (Principal, Mimarlar Tasarim Danismanlik Ltd, Turkey)
Farrokh Derakhshani is the director of the Award.

Book: Implicate and Explicate
A monograph featuring the projects of the 2010 Aga Khan Award, with essays by Mohammad Al-Asad, Farshid Moussavi, Mohsen Mostafavi, Hanif Kara and Oleg Grabar as well as members of the Award Master Jury was published by Lars Müller Publishers (November 2010).

BBC World Series “Architects on the Frontline”

On November 20, BBC World Television began broadcasting a three-part documentary series entitled "Architects on the Frontline” that features the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The series will be aired at the following times:

Programme 1: Nov. 20 at 7.30 and 20.30, Nov. 21 at 13.30 and 17.30
Programme 2: Nov. 27 at 7.30 and 20.30 and Nov. 28 at 13.30 and 17.30
Programme 3, which will feature the 2010 Award ceremony: Dec. 4 at 07.30 and 20.30 and Dec. 5 at 13.30 and 17.30.

All above-mentioned times are GMT and are subject to change. To find out your scheduled local time zone of broadcast, you can consult:

Award Website in Arabic

The Aga Khan Award of Architecture officially launched its website in Arabic at:

The website provides detailed information in Arabic about the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Pages include general information about the Award, its objectives, a brief on both submission and selection criteria, evaluation procedures, juries and members of the steering committee. The site also contains information about the 19 projects nominated to receive the Award for the current cycle, and information about the award-winning projects during the 10 previous cycles, which date back to the beginning of the Award in 1977. 

The English version is available here:

Please also see the Shortlisted Projects.

Press Contacts
For more information in Arabic please contact:
Adham Al-Sayed
For more information in English please contact:
Sam Pickens


Nuha Ansari
Aga Khan Award for Architecture
PO Box 2049, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Telephone: (41.22) 909.72.30