Geneva, Switzerland, 12 March 2018 – The Aga Khan Award for Architecture today announced the members of the Steering Committee for the Fourteenth Award Cycle (2017 – 2019).
Established in 1977, the Award is given every three years to projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation and landscape architecture.
The Steering Committee is chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan. The other members of the Steering Committee are: Sir David Adjaye, Principal Adjaye Associates, London, Mohammad al-Asad, Founding Director, Center for the Study of the Built Environment, Amman, Emre Arolat, Founder, EAA- Emre Arolat Architecture, New York-London-Istanbul, Francesco Bandarin, Special Advisor, UNESCO, Paris, Hanif Kara, Design Director - AKT II, London, and Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Azim Nanji, Special Advisor, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Brigitte Shim, Partner, Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, Toronto, and Marina Tabassum, Principal, Marina Tabassum Architects, Dhaka. Farrokh Derakhshani is the Director of the Award.
The Steering Committee is the governing body of the Award. It is responsible for establishing the eligibility criteria for project nominations, providing thematic direction to the Award, and developing plans for its cyclical and long-term future. For each Award cycle, the Steering Committee appoints an independent Master Jury to select the award recipients from the nominated projects.
The Award seeks projects that represent the broadest possible range of architectural interventions, with particular attention given to building schemes that use local resources and appropriate technology in innovative ways, and those that are likely to inspire similar efforts elsewhere. Projects can be anywhere in the world, but must successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies in which Muslims have a significant presence.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture has a prize fund of US$ 1 million. The rigor of its nomination and selection process has made it, in the eyes of many observers, one of the world’s most influential architectural prizes. Projects that received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2016 include the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka and the Friendship Centre in Gaibandha, Bangladesh; the Hutong Children’s Library & Art Centre in Beijing, China; the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International
Affairs in Beirut, Lebanon; the Superkilen in Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge in
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The Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) is part of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which has a wide range of activities aimed at the preservation and promotion of the heritage of Muslim societies. As the cultural agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the Trust leverages cultural heritage as a means of supporting and stimulating development. Its programmes include the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme (AKHCP), which works to revitalise historic cities in the Muslim world, both culturally and socioeconomically. Over the last decade, it has been engaged in the rehabilitation of historic areas in Cairo, Kabul, Herat, Aleppo, Delhi, Zanzibar, Mostar, northern Pakistan, Timbuktu and Mopti. The Aga Khan Music Initiative also supports the efforts of traditional musicians and communities to sustain, further develop and transmit musical traditions. The Aga Khan Museum, in Toronto, is dedicated to presenting an overview of the artistic, intellectual and scientific contributions that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage. The Trust also supports the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as www.ArchNet.org, a major online resource on Islamic architecture.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), which is a group of private development agencies working to empower communities and individuals, often in disadvantaged circumstances, to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in Central and South Asia, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. AKDN agencies work for the common good of all citizens, regardless of their gender, origin or religion. Its underlying impulse is the ethic of compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its annual budget for social and cultural development activities was US$ 925 million in 2017. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), an AKDN development agency that makes long-term investments in fragile economies on a commercial basis, generated revenues of over US$ 4.1 billion in 2017. All surpluses were reinvested in further development projects.