Aga Khan Award for Architecture shortlists 20 projects from 16 countries - GulfToday

Aga Khan Award for Architecture shortlists 20 projects from 16 countries

aga khan 1

Rehabilitation of the Manama Post Office.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) has announced 20 shortlisted projects for the 2022 Award cycle. The projects will compete for a share of the US$ 1 million prize, one of the largest in architecture.

The 20 shortlisted projects were selected by an independent Master Jury from a pool of 463 projects nominated for the 15th Award Cycle (2020-2022).

The projects are Rehabilitation of Manama Post Office, Manama, Bahrain, by Studio Anne Holtrop. Built in 1937, the Post Office was rehabilitated to its original form and role as a functioning post office, with the addition of a new wing to the existing building.

Community Spaces in Rohingya Refugee Response, Teknaf, Bangladesh, by Rizvi Hassan, Khwaja Fatmi, Saad Ben Mostafa. Sustainably built structures in the world’s largest refugee camps, which occurred collaboratively in the field without drawings or models.


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Urban River Spaces, Jhenaidah, Bangladesh, by Co.Creation.Architects/Khondaker Hasibul Kabir. A community-driven project providing public spaces in a riverine city with 250,000 residents, offering walkways, gardens and cultural facilities, as well as environmental efforts to increase biodiversity along the river.

Outros Bairros Rehabilitation Programme, Mindelo, Cape Verde, by OUTROS BAIRROS/Nuno Flores. An urban rehabilitation and redesign of a public space allowed residents to execute works in their own neighbourhoods and enhance their sense of belonging.

aga khan 2 Flying Saucer building in Sharjah.

Lilavati Lalbhai Library at CEPT University, in Ahmedabad, India, by RMA architects/Rahul Mehrotra. The library, a living case study of passive climate mitigation strategies, integrates seamlessly into the existing campus while forging its own distinct identity.

Blimbingsari Airport, Banyuwangi, Indonesia, by andramatin. Serving more than 1,100 domestic passengers per day, the airport’s roofs indicate a clear division between departure and arrival halls.

Expandable House, Batam, Indonesia, by ETH Zurich/Stephen Cairns with Miya Irawati, Azwan Aziz, Dioguna Putra and Sumiadi Rahman. This new sustainable dwelling prototype is designed to be flexibly configured around its residents’ (often) precarious resources over time.

aga khan 3 Lilavati Lalbhai Library at CEPT University, Gujarat, India.

Aban House, Isfahan, Iran, by USE Studio/Mohammad Arab, Mina Moeineddini. On a narrow rectangular site in Isfahan’s historic centre, the three-storey house is arranged around three open courtyards.

Argo Contemporary Art Museum & Cultural Centre, Tehran, Iran, by ASA North/Ahmadreza Schricker. Distinct materials differentiate new additions from the brick-built historic fabric in this contemporary art museum housed in an abandoned 100-year-old brewery.

Jadgal Elementary School, Seyyed Bar, Iran, by DAAZ Office/Arash Aliabadi. An elementary school, managed by villagers and teachers and funded by tourism and needlework from local women, is a sustainable development centre for surrounding areas.

Renovation of Niemeyer Guest House, Tripoli, Lebanon, by East Architecture Studio/Nicolas Fayad, Charles Kettaneh. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer but abandoned when civil war erupted in 1975, the guest house has been transformed into a design platform and production facility for the local wood industry.

aga khan 4 Community Spaces in Rohingya Refugee Response, Teknaf, Bangladesh.

Wafra Wind Tower, Kuwait City, Kuwait, by AGi Architects/Joaquín Perez-Goicoechea, Nasser B. Abulhasan. The 13-storey building conceived as a wind tower features a central, vertical courtyard that provides natural ventilation to each apartment unit.

Issy Valley Improvement, Ait Mansour, Morocco, by Salima Naji. While improving the palm orchards and water reservoirs, trails and facilities for tourists were also upgraded in the first phase of a larger project for the valley.

Niamey 2000, Niamey, Niger, by united4design/Mariam Kamara, Yasaman Esmaili, Elizabeth Golden, Philip Straeter. As a response to a housing shortage amid rapid urban expansion, this prototype housing of six family units seeks to increase density while remaining culturally appropriate.

Tulkarm Courthouse, Tulkarm, Palestine, by AAU Anastas. Featuring two buildings, one for administration and the other containing 10 courtrooms, the Courthouse is anchored to its urban context by a public space.

CEM Kamanar Secondary School, Thionck Essyl, Senegal, by Dawoffice. For this secondary school, volunteers, using local techniques, produced vault modules from clay which (with lattices) act as evaporating coolers.

Lanka Learning Centre, Parangiyamadu, Sri Lanka, by feat.collective/Noemi Thiele, Felix Lupatsch, Valentin Ott and Felix Yaparsidi. A multifunctional cultural centre and adult school where locals learn craftsmanship creates a multi-ethnic meeting point.

Le Jardin d’Afrique, Zarzis, Tunisia, by Rachid Koraichi. An ecumenical cemetery provides a sanctuary and dignified place of final repose for the hundreds of unburied bodies that had been washing ashore.

Rehabilitation of Tarsus Old Ginnery, Tarsus, Turkey, by Sayka Construction Architecture Engineering Consultancy. Adaptive re-use of an abandoned 19th century ginnery allows the operation of a contemporary centre for archaeological research and public engagement.

Flying Saucer Rehabilitation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, by SpaceContinuum Design Studio/Mona El Mousfy. The Flying Saucer, a 1978 Brutalist-style building that was fully restored as a community art space, contributes to Sharjah’s collective cultural memory.

Photographic representations of the 20 shortlisted entries have gone on display in an exhibition in King’s Cross, London (June 2 - 30), as part of the King’s Cross Outdoor Art Project, coinciding with the London Architecture Festival.

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture 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.

Since it was launched 45 years ago, 122 projects have received the award and nearly 10,000 building projects have been documented. The AKAA’s 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.

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