Kazan, Russia, 29 August 2019 – The winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture were announced today. The winners, who will share US$ 1 million between them, are:
- Revitalisation of Muharraq, which highlights the World Heritage site’s pearling history, was first initiated as a series of restoration and reuse projects. The project evolved into a comprehensive programme that aimed to re-balance the city’s demographic makeup by creating public spaces, providing community and cultural venues, and improving the overall environment.
- Arcadia Education Project, in South Kanarchor, a modular structure – incorporating space for a preschool, a hostel, a nursery and a vocational training centre – that takes a novel approach to a riverine site that is often flooded for five months every year. Rather than disrupting the ecosystem to create a mound for building, the architect devised the solution of an amphibious structure that could sit on the ground or float on the water, depending on seasonal conditions.
- Palestinian Museum, in Birzeit, which crowns a terraced hill overlooking the Mediterranean and is the recipient of the LEED Gold certification because of its sustainable construction. The zigzagging forms of the Museum’s architecture and hillside gardens are inspired by the surrounding agricultural terraces, stressing the link with the land and Palestinian heritage.
- Public Spaces Development Programme, in the Republic of Tatarstan, a programme that, to date, has improved 328 public spaces all over Tatarstan. The ambitious programme sought to counter the trend toward private ownership by refocusing priorities on quality public spaces for the people of Tatarstan. It has now become a model throughout the Russian Federation.
- Alioune Diop University Teaching and Research Unit, in Bambey, where a scarcity of resources led to the use of bioclimatic strategies, including a large double roof canopy and latticework that avoids direct solar radiation but allows air to flow through it. By employing locally familiar construction techniques and following sustainability principles, the project succeeded in keeping costs and maintenance demands to a minimum, while still making a bold architectural statement.
United Arab Emirates
- Wasit Wetland Centre, in Sharjah, a design that transformed a wasteland into a wetland and functioned as a catalyst for biodiversity and environmental education. While its indigenous ecosystem has been restored, it has also proven to be a popular place for visitors to appreciate and learn about their natural environment.
For a full on-line press kit, which includes briefs on each of the winning projects, high resolution images, broadcast-quality video (for use by television stations and websites) and other information, please see https://www.akdn.org/2019AwardWinners.
About the Aga Khan Award for Architecture
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s mandate is different from that of many other architecture prizes: it not only rewards architects, but also identifies municipalities, builders, clients, master artisans and engineers who have played important roles in the realisation of a project. Prizes have been given to projects across the world, from France to China. Architects and planners from New York to Dhaka have received one of 122 awards. During the nomination process, more than 9,000 building projects have been documented. The Award was established by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully addressed the needs and aspirations of communities in which Muslims have a significant presence.
The Venue for the Award Ceremony
Ceremonies to announce the winning projects and mark the close of each triennial cycle are always held in settings selected for their architectural and cultural importance to the Muslim world. In 2019, the ceremony will be held in Kazan, Russia, which contains, in its Kremlin, a World Heritage Site.
Previous venues for Award ceremonies encompass many of the most illustrious architectural achievements in the Muslim world, including Shalimar Gardens in Lahore (1980), Topkapi Palace in Istanbul (1983), the Alhambra in Granada (1998) and Emperor Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi (2004).
The 2019 Award Master Jury
The nine members of the 2019 Master Jury are: Anthony Kwamé Appiah, an Anglo-Ghanaian American philosopher; Meisa Batayneh, founder and principal architect of maisam architects & engineers; Sir David Chipperfield, whose practice has built over 100 projects for both the private and public sectors; Elizabeth Diller, a founding partner of a design studio whose practice spans the fields of architecture, multi-media performance and digital media; Edhem Eldem, a Professor of History at Boğaziçi University (Istanbul) and the Collège de France; Mona Fawaz, a Professor in Urban Studies and Planning at the Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy at the American University of Beirut; Kareem Ibrahim, an Egyptian architect and urban researcher who has worked extensively in Historic Cairo; Ali M. Malkawi, a professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a founding director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities; and Nondita Correa Mehrotra, an architect working in India and the United States, and Director of the Charles Correa Foundation. For more information, please see the biographies of Master Jury members.
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. For more information, please see the biographies of the Steering Committee members.
The Award Book
A monograph, which includes essays on issues raised by the Master Jury’s selections of the shortlist and the winners for the 2019 Award, will be published by ArchiTangle Publishers in September of 2019. The book, Architecture in Dialogue, edited by Andres Lepik, includes descriptions and illustrations of the 20 shortlisted projects, including the six winning projects. For more information, please see: https://architangle.com/
About His Highness the Aga Khan
His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, became Imam at the age of 20. The Aga Khan provides spiritual guidance to a community of 15 million living in some 25 countries, mainly in West and Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as in North America and Western Europe. As Spiritual Leader of the Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan has emphasised the view of Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith, one that teaches compassion and tolerance and that upholds the dignity of man, Allah’s noblest creation. The Aga Khan is a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, the first Imam, and his wife Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) was established by the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of communities in which Muslims have a significant presence. The Award recognises examples of architectural excellence in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community improvement and development, historic preservation, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment. Since the Award was launched 42 years ago, 122 projects have received the award and more than 9,000 building projects have been documented.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). It currently operates 1,000 or so programmes and institutions in 30 countries − many of which date back over 60 years, and some over 100. It employs approximately 80,000 people, the majority of whom are based in developing countries. The AKDN’s annual budget for non-profit development activities is approximately US$ 950 million. Its economic development arm, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), generates annual revenues of US$ 4.3 billion, but all surpluses generated by its project companies are reinvested in further development activities, usually in fragile, remote or post-conflict regions.