The Aga Khan Award for Architecture has revealed the six winners of 2019. Announced by Irada Ayupova, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan and Farrokh Derakhshani, Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, at a press conference in Kazan, Republic of Tartarstan, the list showcases projects from around the world.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, established in 1977, by HH the Aga Khan aims to identify projects that have successfully addressed the needs and aspirations of Islamic communities. The awards celebrate the projects that respond particularly to their context and the cultural needs of the inhabitants. The winners of the yearly honour will share US$ 1 million between them, which recognises all parties involved in the conception, design, and realisation of a built project. Moreover, “the Award 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”.
Following comments were noted on the projects by the jury panel:
Bahrain: Revitalization of Muharraq
The Project, 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 rebalance the city’s demographic makeup by creating public spaces, providing community and cultural venues, and improving the overall environment.”
Bangladesh: Arcadia Education Project, in South Kanarchor
“The Project in South Kanarchor is a modular structure 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.”
Palestine: Palestinian Museum, in Birzeit
“The Project in Birzeit, which crowns a terraced hill overlooking the Mediterranean, 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.”
Russian Federation: Public Spaces Development Programme, in Kazan, the Republic of Tatarstan
“A programme in the Republic of Tatarstan 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.”
Senegal: Alioune Diop University Teaching and Research Unit, in Bambey
“The Project in Bambey, where a scarcity of resources led to the use of bioclimatic strategies, includes a large double roof canopy and latticework that avoids solar radiation but allows air to flow through it. By employing familiar construction techniques and following sustainability principles, it 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
“Wasit Wetland Centre, in Sharjah, is 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.”