Aga Khan bestows Architecture Awards in Dubai highlighting the achievements of women architects | Architectural Record

Left to right - Leila Arghian, Zaha Hadid & Marina Tabassum, 3 Women Architects who won the AKAA 2016 Prize (Image credit: MVSLIM.com)
Left to right – Leila Arghian, Zaha Hadid & Marina Tabassum, 3 Women Architects who won the AKAA 2016 Prize (Image credit: MVSLIM.com)

“The spirit of pluralism has been central to the best of Islamic culture.

 

… I am happy to underline that three of the awardees this year are women architects.”

 

–  His Highness the Aga Khan

 

Leila Araghian (center) received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Emir of Dubai (left of her), and the Aga Khan (right of her). Marina Tabussum (at the far right), designed the Bait Ur Rouf mosque. Photo © AKDN/Gary Otte
Leila Araghian (center) received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Emir of Dubai (left of her), and the Aga Khan (right of her). Marina Tabussum (at the far right), designed the Bait Ur Rouf mosque.
Photo © AKDN/Gary Otte

 

Aga Khan Bestows Architecture Awards in Dubai
By Cathleen McGuigan November 21, 2016

The 40-year-old award, given every three years, has always stood quietly apart from such venerable prizes as the Pritzker and the Praemium Imperiale— honoring projects, not a singular architect, and acknowledging clients as well as designers. As it has matured, the awards have astutely reflected emerging trends in architectural culture.

Architect Marina Tabassum on her Aga Khan Award-winning design for the Bait Ur Rouf mosque in Dhaka | The National
Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, Dhaka, Bangladesh

This year’s winners, for example, exemplified a strong interest in materials, in micro-urbanism, and in establishing new forms of public space, as jury member Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, put it. While the award has long looked favorably on restoration and adaptive reuse, it has increasingly recognized work with a social impact on underserved communities.

Tabiat - Pedestrian Bridge - Tehran, Iran
Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge, Tehran, Iran

The small Bait Ur Rouf mosque, also in Bangladesh, was designed by Marina Tabussum on the edge of Dhaka. Beautifully built, in locally made bricks (and radically lacking a dome or minaret), it seemed serene, in its timeless yet modern form.

On a dramatically larger scale, the Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge in Tehran links two urban parks that were separated by a highway—but it has become an inviting public space in itself, where people gather and linger. Designed by the two young partners of Diba Tensile Architecture, Leila Araghian and Alireza Behzadi, the bridge had 4 million visitors its first year.

Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, Beirut, Lebanon
Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, Beirut, Lebanon.

While the awards typically shine a light on little-known designers, this year, two famous architects took home a prize ($1 million, divided among all the winners). Bjarke Ingels of BIG led the team that designed Superkilen, a public space in a diverse immigrant community in Copenhagen. The late Zaha Hadid designed the Issam Fares Institute at American University in Beirut and was represented in Dubai by the firm’s principal, Patrik Schumacher.

“Each project crosses many boundaries and tells many stories,” said architect Brigitte Shim, a jury member, at the symposium.

The next day, the Aga Khan echoed that idea at the formal ceremony to bestow the awards, held at a 19th-century fort in the city of Al Ain, once an oasis in the desert. “The spirit of pluralism has been central to the best of Islamic culture,” he said, and added: “I am happy to underline that three of the awardees this year are women architects.”

Read the complete story at the source: Architectural Record | Aga Khan Bestows Architecture Awards in Dubai

About the author – Cathleen McGuigan

Mcguigan

Cathleen McGuigan is editor in chief of Architectural Record. She is responsible for leading the award-winning editorial team to deliver thorough coverage of news, projects, and practice issues to architects, design professionals, and building product manufacturers. Her broad experience as an editor, journalist, and critic provides strong leadership for this integrated print and digital portfolio, as well as strikingly relevant professional and cultural content for readers across the globe. Cathleen joined RECORD in 2011. Previously an architecture critic and arts editor at Newsweek, she has more than three decades of cultural journalism experience. Cathleen’s work has also been published in The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Harper’s Bazaar, and Rolling Stone. A Michigan native, she serves on several design juries and is a former adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

 


Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali


 

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