The nine projects that won the 2007 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, announced yesterday, range from a sustainable residential tower in Singapore, to a village school hand-built by local craftspeople in Dinajpur, Bangladesh.
This year marks the 10th cycle of the triennial awards. His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, created the program to recognize how architecture and the built environment impact Muslim societies. The prize fund totals $500,000, the largest purse among architectural honors. A nine-person jury selected this year’s winners from a field of 343 entries, and a shortlist of 27 entries. Descriptions of the winning projects follow below.
In a statement accmpanying the announcement, jurors noted themes common among the entries: “Many of the projects occupied the problematic terrain between traditional homes and diasporic movements, recognizing that Muslim realities have come to be rooted in historical and social circumstances beyond their usual ‘national’ or traditional settings.” The jury added that this “problematic terrain” actually provided positive opportunities for cultural revision and intercultural communication. Other themes shared by many entries included preservation and the use of sustainable design principles.
The jurors for the 2004 – 2007 cycle were: professor Homi Bhabha of Harvard University; Okwui Enwezor, curator, dean of academic affairs, and senior vice president at the San Francisco Art Institute; Homa Farjadi, principal of Farjadi Architects; Sahel Al-Hiyari, principal of Sahel Al-Hiyari and Partners; artist Shirazeh Houshiary; professor Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University; Brigitte Shim, a partner at Shim Sutcliffe Architects; Han Tümertekin, a principal of Mimarlar Tasarim Danismanlik; and Kenneth Yeang, a principal of Llewelyn Davies Yeang, and Hamzah & Yeang.
Look for expanded coverage of the 2007 Aga Khan Award for Architecture in an upcoming print edition of RECORD.


Winners of the 2007 Aga Khan Award for Architecture:

University of Technology Petronas
Bandar Seri Iskandar, Malaysia
Foster + Partners, GDP Architects, and the Petronas Corporation

With its emblematic high-tech architecture, the University of Technology Petronas provides an inspiring structure for progressive education in this rapidly developing nation. (The Petronas Towers, also built by the Petronas Corporation, won an award in the 2004 cycle.)

Rehabilitation of the Walled City of Nicosia
Nicosia, Cyprus
Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Communities

In 1979, the representatives of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities held a historic meeting under United Nations auspices to create a master plan for the Rehabilitation of the Walled City of Nicosia. A collaborative and sustained effort, the project has been successful in reversing the city’s physical and economic decline, using architectural restoration and reuse as the catalyst for improvement to the quality of life on both sides of this divided city.

Samir Kassir Square
Beirut, Lebanon
Vladimir Djurovic

The Samir Kassir Square is a restrained and serene urban public space that skillfully handles the conditions and infrastructure of its location in a city that has undergone rapid redevelopment.

Rehabilitation of the City of Shibam
Shibam, Yemen
The government of Yemen, the German Technical Cooperation, and the community of Shibam

The Rehabilitation of the City of Shibam is part of a project that focuses on the preservation of this unique place as a living community, with architectural restoration integrated into the creation of new economic and social structures.

Central Market, Koudougou
Koudougou, Burkina Faso
Koudougou Municipality, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and principal architect Laurent Séchaud

Koudougou’s Central Market introduces simple improvements to a traditional material, stabilized earth, to create an important space for civic exchange and economic opportunity, helping enhance and strengthen a mid-sized town in Burkina Faso.

Restoration of the Amiriya Complex
Rada, Yemen
Selma Al-Radi and Yahya Al-Nasiri

With its reliance on local knowledge and experience, the Restoration of the Amiriya Complex in Yemen saw the revival of lost techniques of building and ornamentation. The project represents a milestone in the protection of cultural heritage in Yemen.

Moulmein Rise Residential Tower
Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell, partners of WOHA Architects

Within the constraints of a developer-driven brief, the Moulmein Rise Residential Tower uses innovative techniques and detailing that combine new principles for tropical design and improvements for high-rise living.

Royal Netherlands Embassy
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Dick van Gameren, Bjarne Mastenbroek, and ABBA Architects

The guiding principle in the construction of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa was a respect for place while addressing the functional requirements of a working embassy, resulting in a contemporary structure that fully engages its local environment.

School in Rudrapur
Dinajpur, Bangladesh
Anna Heringer, Eike Roswag, Dipshikha, and local craftsmen and volunteers

Hand-built in four months by the local community and volunteer architects from Germany and Austria, the School in Rudrapur, Bangladesh, makes use of easily available local materials to create a new model for school construction that is beautiful, simple, and humane.