Public Spaces Development Programme (Russian Federation), 2019 Award winner.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
The members of the Master Jury for the 2020-2022 Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture have been announced. The Jury, which independently selects the recipients of the US$ 1 million Award, will convene in January 2022 to select a shortlist from hundreds of nominated projects.
The nine members of the Master Jury for the fifteenth Award cycle are:
Nada Al Hassan, architect specialising in the conservation of architectural and urban heritage; Amale Andraos, Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She is committed to design research that has focused on climate change and its impact on architecture as well as on the question of representation in the age of global practice. Her publications include: We’ll Get There When We Cross That Bridge; The Arab City: Architecture and Representation co-edited with Nora Akawi; 49 Cities and Above the Pavement, the Farm! in collaboration with Dan Wood; Kader Attia, an artist who explores the wide-ranging effects of western cultural hegemony and colonialism. Central to his inquiry are the concepts of injury and repair, which he uses to connect diverse bodies of knowledge, including architecture, music, psychoanalysis, medical science, and traditional healing and spiritual beliefs.
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Kazi Khaleed Ashraf, director-general of Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Bengal Institute focuses on challenges of the contemporary city and the organisation of land, water and settlements, in the critical ecological dynamics of a terraqueous landscape; Sibel Bozdoğan, Visiting Professor of Modern Architecture and Urbanism, Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Boston University; Lina Ghotmeh, French-Lebanese architect who leads Lina Ghotmeh – Architecture, an international multidisciplinary practice established in Paris. Echoing Ghotmeh’s lived experience of Beirut — she was born there in 1980 — the office’s work is orchestrated as an “Archeology of the Future”, where every project develops from thorough historical and material research, learning from a vernacular past to build a new “déjà-là”.
Francis Kéré garnered critical praise at the beginning of his architectural practice when he was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the first building he created: a primary school in his native Gando, Burkina Faso, which he designed, fund-raised and built in collaboration with local residents; Anne Lacaton founded the office of Lacaton & Vassal in Bordeaux in 1989 with Jean Philippe Vassal. Their work focuses on generosity of space and economy of means and uses carefully the values of the already there, to do more with less. Many projects are hybrids between contemporary building concepts and more diverse techniques and Nader Tehrani, Founding Principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with the construction industry.
For the past seven years in a row, NADAAA has ranked in the top eleven design firms in Architect magazine’s “Top 50 Firms in the United States”, ranking “first” for three years in a row. Once the Master Jury selects a shortlist, the shortlisted projects are subjected to rigorous on-site reviews by independent experts - most of them architects, conservation specialists, planners or structural engineers. The Jury meets for a second time in summer 2022 to examine the on-site reviews and select the final recipients of the Award. The selection process emphasises architecture that not only provides for people’s physical, social and economic needs, but that also stimulates and responds to their cultural aspirations.
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 Aga Khan Award for Architecture is governed by a Steering Committee chaired by the Aga Khan. The other members of the Steering Committee are Sheikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President, Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Manama; Emre Arolat, Founder, EAA - Emre Arolat Architecture, Istanbul; Meisa Batayneh, Principal Architect, Founder, maisam architects and engineers, Amman; Sir David Chipperfield, Principal, David Chipperfield Architects, London; Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Director, Institute of African Studies, Columbia University, New York; Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Marina Tabassum, Principal, Marina Tabassum Architects, Dhaka and Sarah M Whiting, Dean, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge. Farrokh Derakhshani is the Director of the Award.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is an architectural prize established in 1977. It aims to identify and reward architectural concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of Muslim societies in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community development and improvement, restoration, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design, improvement of the environment that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation and landscape architecture. It recognises projects, teams and stakeholders, in addition to buildings and people. The need for a contemporary visual language for the Islamic built environment, as well as for architects trained in modern technologies and sensitive to the diversity, values and dignity of Muslim culture, informs the creation of the Award. It is associated with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and is given every three years. Through its efforts, the Award seeks to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies across the world, in which Muslims have a significant presence.
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