Tributes to His Highness the Aga Khan for establishing the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

“The Aga Khan founded his Award for Architecture in 1977 to encourage a resurgence of true excellence in architectural design throughout the Islamic world…The extraordinary thing about this new “Nobel” prize for architecture is the amount of preparation, planning and research that has preceded the award ceremonies…These awards aim at nothing less than the rejuvenation of Islamic architecture….The Aga Khan Award is a serious beginning to a long search.”
Colin Amery, The Best of Islam
(published in Ilm, Vol. 6, No. 3)

“We would like to place on record our deep appreciation for the visionary initiative taken by His Highness the Aga Khan….The Award has started a new dynamic process towards a contemporary architecture that meets the evolving needs of Muslim societies.”
1980 Cycle Master Jury statement
AKDN

” …When I was initially informed about this seminar, two things intrigued me: the name of  the Award and its famous benefactor, and the title of the seminar. To many of us in Southeast Asia, the prominent name of His Highness the Aga Khan has been associated primarily with the man who is the most distinguished leader of the Ismaili community. Now, with great admiration and appreciation, we may also think of him as an industrious patron of world culture. The establishment of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture is a noble and righteous venture. It is part of a Foundation that aims to encourage the best possible designs in architecture and building, in the broadest sense. May Allah return such a noble gesture with His rahemat and hidayat to His Highness and his family.”
Dr. Purnomosidi Hadjisaro, Minister of Public Works, Republic of Indonesia
Opening remarks at the third international seminar of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held in Jakarta, March 26-29, 1979

(Published in Ilm, Vol. 6, No. 3)

“I wish to join Dr, Hadjisaroso in expressing my appreciation and admiration of His Highness the Aga Khan as the world’s most distinguished patron and benefactor of Islamic architecture…. The stimulus which His Highness has catalyzed with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture is of great significance in attracting the highest skills and the brightest minds to help solve this immense problem.”
Adam Malik, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia
Remarks at the third international seminar of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held in Jakarta, March 26-29, 1979
(Published in Ilm, Vol. 6, No. 3)

“May I once again express UNESCO’s deep appreciation to Your Highness for the timely inception of the Award. This noble endeavour to encourage imaginative projects related to the cultural and social environment will contribute greatly to the rehabilitation of the Islamic architectural heritage. For this, UNESCO is sincerely grateful, as I am sure, all those present today.”
Mr. Said Zulfikar of UNESCO
Opening remarks at the second international seminar of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held in Istanbul, Turkey, September 26-28, 1978.
(Published in Ilm, Vol. 6, No. 3)

“…The guidance which His Highness is giving to the aesthetic and practical aspects of Islamic architecture is in every way worthy of the widespread support and interest it is receiving, and the understanding it deserves…I have greatly followed the work of the Aga Khan Award, as it was relayed to me by my brother the Crown Prince. In this first year of the fifteenth century of the hijra I feel that the impact of this Award is of special significance….

With these opening remarks let me wish the seminar success. The able chairmanship of His Highness the Aga Khan and the very fact of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture truly embodies a respect for art, for tradition and for the task of preserving and creating beauty in our lives.”
His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan
Opening remarks at the fifth international seminar of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held in Amman, Jordan, May 4-7, 1980
(Published in Ilm, Vol. 6, No. 3)

About the Aga Khan Award for Architecture
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is given every three years to projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation and landscape architecture. Through its efforts, the Award seeks to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies across the world, in which Muslims have a significant presence.

The selection process emphasizes architecture that not only provides for people’s physical, social and economic needs, but that also stimulates and responds to their cultural expectations. Particular attention is given to building schemes that use local resources and appropriate technology in innovative ways, and to projects likely to inspire similar efforts elsewhere.
AKDN

Sources:
The National Review of Design and Practice, Canadian Architect (accessed August 2016)
Ilm, Vol. 6, No. 3

Compiled by Nimira Dewji

Author: ismailimail

Civil society media.   Find Ismailimail blog on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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