Today, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) announced a shortlist of 20 projects from 16 countries. Founded in 1977 by His Highness the Aga Khan IV, the $1 million dollar prize—one of the world’s largest architectural awards—recognizes “building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies across the world in which Muslims have a significant presence,” according to a statement by the foundation.
In its 45-year history, AKAA has documented nearly 10,000 building projects throughout the world, and recognized 121 with the award, among them Zaha Hadid Architects' Issam Fares Institute, Heneghan Peng Architects' Palestinian Museum, EAST Architecture's renovation of an Oscar Niemeyer pavillion, and ASA's Argo Factory. Aside from the prize’s sizable sum, the honor distinguishes itself from other prestigious architectural awards by evaluating projects’ contexts and community impacts, as well as their designs, and recognizing clients in addition to architects.
Selected by an independent jury composed of architectural professionals and scholars, among them recent Pritzker winner and previous AKAA honoree Francis Kéré, the shortlisted projects include a post office rehabilitation project by Studio Anne Holtrop in Manama, Bahrain, a university library by RMA Architects in Ahmedabad, India, and a wind tower by AGi Architects in Kuwait City.
The award is conducted in three year cycles–to be eligible for the 2022 iteration, projects must have been completed between 2017 and 2021, and in use for at least one year. This summer, the jury will reconvene to examine independently-conducted, on-site reviews of the shortlisted projects in order to determine final awardees. A photographic exhibit of the projects are display through the end of June at the King’s Cross Outdoor Art Project in London, coinciding with the London Architecture Festival. See the full list of shortlisted projects here.