September 30, 2022

Aga Khan Award: $1 million prize recognizes world’s best new community architecture

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written by Oscar Holland, CNN

A quiet airport, a contemporary art museum and a series of refugee community centers are among the winners of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, a major prize awarded to new “communities with a significant Muslim presence”. Buildings are an honor.

The designers behind the six winning projects, which were unveiled Thursday, will share a $1 million prize pot that is among the largest in the profession.

The award, given every three years, often recognizes the socially minded. architecture In citing the plans for their decision, the jury said the award focused on “the difference architecture makes to the lives of people and local communities”.

Schools and education centers feature prominently in the 20-strong shortlist, with one — Senegal’s Kamnar Secondary School — among the winners. Elsewhere, a renovation project in Tripoli, Lebanon by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer was recognized for bringing an abandoned building back into use.

Large scale projects were also awarded. In East Java, Indonesia, the firm of renowned local architect Indra Mateen won success for a grass-roofed airport that blends into the surrounding rice fields. Meanwhile, in the Iranian capital Tehran, the Argo Contemporary Art Museum and Cultural Center has been praised for breathing new life into a former brewery that had been out of use since before the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Two of this year’s six winners are in Bangladesh. In one, a landscaping project in the western city of Jhunidah, a riverside dump site was redeveloped with brick paths and public piers. Another includes a series of six temporary community spaces for refugees in Cox’s Bazar, where millions of Rohingya Muslims have fled to follow Myanmar. Brutal military crackdown against them. Both the projects were appreciated by the judges for meeting the needs of women.
The prize was established in 1977 by Aga Khan IV, a senior imam of the Ismaili branch of Shiite Islam, whose inherited title claims to be a direct descendant of the Prophet. The 85-year-old continues to chair the program’s steering committee, which previously included Frank Gehry and other prominent architects. Zaha Hadid.

This year’s shortlist and winners were selected from over 460 projects from around the world.

Previous winners include mosques, community buildings and colleges, as well as landmark projects such as Bangladesh’s Parliament Building, Qatar’s National Museum and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the six winners of the 2022 Aga Khan Award.

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