[FIRST LOOK] The five projects have been handed prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture Awards
The winning projects were chosen from a shortlist of 19 schemes, the finalists having been named back in May from more than 400 submissions.
Established in 1977and now into its 33rd year, the award is run every three years and aims to encourage architecture which ‘respects the traditions of Muslim societies’.
The five victorious projects, which were selected by the independent Award Master Jury to receive the 2010 Awards, were:
Bridge School, Xiashi, Fujian, China by Li Xiaodong (Atelier)
A special Chairman’s Award will be presented to Professor Oleg Grabar, in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the field of Islamic art and architecture.
The 2010 Award Master Jury:
Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Professor, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, USA)
Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj (Architect; Chief Executive Officer, Syria Trust for Development, Syria)
Salah M. Hassan (Art historian and curator; Director, Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University, USA)
Faryar Javaherian (Architect and curator; co-founder of Gamma Consultants, Iran)
Anish Kapoor (Artist, UK)
Kongjian Yu (Landscape architect and urbanist; founder and dean of Graduate School of Landscape Architecture, Peking University, China)
Jean Nouvel (Architect; founding partner, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, France)
Alice Rawsthorn (Design critic, International Herald Tribune, UK)
Basem Al Shihabi (Architect; Managing Partner, Omrania & Associates, Saudi Arabia).
Peter Davey, writing about the Aga Khan Awards in 2007
The Aga Khan’s architecture awards are surely the most impressive in the world. Set up in 1977 to celebrate buildings and planning schemes that can help improve life in countries ‘in which Muslims have a significant presence’, the triennial awards have been given to work mostly in Asia and Africa as different as housing for the very poorest, office towers, urban parks and squares, villas for the wealthy, rehabilitation of slums, conservation of palaces, fortresses and ancient walled cities.
Out of hundreds of projects submitted, the couple of dozen selected as finalists are visited and examined carefully in use by an architect or professionally qualified assessor. Their resulting reports form the basis for the Master Jury’s decisions about what to award and how to split up the half million-dollar prize money. As far as I know, the Aga’s awards are the only ones which involve performance in use, and which are given not only to architects, but also to clients, builders, and craftsmen. The prize money is divided in each case according to the assessors’ recommendations, and at the awards ceremonies, black carpenters from central Africa, magnificently turbanned in traditional dress, are lined up with sharp-suited western planners, white-robed Arabs and elegant Chinese from Malaysia and Singapore.