Every three years, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture is given to building concepts that “address the needs and aspirations of societies across the world in which Muslims have a significant presence.” The award was established in 1977 by the Muslim spiritual leader Aga Khan, with the belief that modern architecture often failed to meet the needs of non-Western societies. Now in its 14th cycle, the six 2019 winners have been selected by a master jury of nine architects and scholars, including David Chipperfield, Elizabeth Diller, and Ali M. Malkawi, as well as David Adjaye, who served on the steering committee. The projects were selected from a shortlist of twenty buildings that represented sixteen countries and the finalists will share a $1 million prize with all of those involved in the realization of the project—architects, engineers, artisans, and builders. As follows, here are the six winning projects from Bahrain, Bangladesh, the West Bank, the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, Senegal, and the United Arab Emirates. The Revitalization of Muharraq In 2013, The Authority for Culture & Antiquities Conservation Department of Bahrain began a series of restoration and adaptive reuse projects to highlight the World Heritage Site’s history in the pearl trade. The project has since evolved into a program titled Pearling Path, Testimony of an Island Economy which has created new public spaces that aim to “re-balance the city’s demographic makeup.” Arcadia Education Project The Arcadia Education Project was designed by architect Saif Ul Haque Sthapati and was completed in 2016. Sthapati developed the modular, amphibious structure out of three types of bamboo—a solution that would avoid disrupting the existing ecosystem by allowing the building to rise with the water levels during monsoon season. The structure incorporates space for a preschool, a hostel, and a nursery. Palestinian Museum Selected through an international competition, Dublin-based architects Heneghan Peng completed the 430,000 square foot Palestinian Museum in 2016. The zigzagging forms of the museum sit atop a terraced hill overlooking the Mediterranean and the building is clad with locally quarried Palestinian limestone. The LEED Gold-certified museum is intended to “foster a culture of dialogue and tolerance.” Public Spaces Development Program In an ongoing program for The Republic of Tatarstan, over 300 public spaces have been improved since 2015, including public gardens, beaches, walkways, and parks. The participatory design process encourages engagement with local citizens in an effort to offer equal quality spaces for all members of the community while reflecting on each place’s unique culture and history. Alioune Diop University Teaching and Research Unit Te Alioune Diop University in Senegal has been functioning far beyond capacity since 2012. Spanish architects IDOM were asked to design a new addition with a 500-seat lecture hall, thirteen classrooms, and three labs, as well as offices and meeting rooms. Using local labor and materials, the building features a 660-foot-long lattice wall which provides passive cooling desirable for the tropical climate. Wasit Wetland Centre The Dubai-based X-Architects transformed a “wasteland into a wetland” as a part of an initiative by Sharjah’s Environment and Protected Areas Agency. The Wasit Wetland Centre has helped restore the area’s natural ecosystem while providing visitors with information on biodiversity and preservation efforts.
Posts tagged with "Bangladesh":
With so many starchitect-designed, headline-grabbing skyscrapers rising around the world, it’s easy to overlook the more modest projects in the shadows of those glass towers—the projects designed for those stuck on the other end of the economic spectrum. These homes, schools, community centers, and clinics—often designed by lesser-known architects—may not be as stunning as new high-rises, but they prove that design can do more than improve lives, it can save them too. And that is exactly what the non-profit ARCHIVE (Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments) hopes to prove with a new project in Savar, Bangladesh. The group’s newly-launched “High Five Project” is expected to save thousands of lives by simply swapping the dirt floors, common in so many homes in the area, with concrete. This straightforward design intervention would create significantly more hygienic homes. According to ARCHIVE, “a similar flooring project done in Mexico found that complete substitution of dirt floors by concrete floors results in a 78 percent reduction in parasitic infestation, 49 percent reduction in diarrhea, 81 percent reduction in anemia, and up to a 96 percent improvement in cognitive development.” The “High Five Project” was launched in coordination with the UN’s World Humanitarian Day on August 19th and will run for one year. In a statement, ARCHIVE said the initiative is “focused on families of five with children under the age of five, and help these children reach their fifth birthday.”
For five months a year Bangladesh endures a monsoon season, suffering from two floods yearly leaving millions of citizens living in river basins stranded without basic necessities. But a non-profit organization founded by an architect based in northern Bangladesh, Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, has decided to build flood resistant schools that come to the homes of students. Health care facilities and homes are also being built to float by the non-profit. Local Bangladeshi-architect Mohammed Rezwan founded Shidhulai in 2008. The organization's fleet has grown to 100 boats bringing education, medical necessities, practical farming information, and financial services to families along the river. Rezwan’s organization also offers bicycle-powered pumps, a flood alert system, and solar powered lighting. Solar power technology is also being developed by Shidhulai to help families farm during floods allowing them to feed themselves. This includes fishnets made form bamboo with solar powered duck coops providing fish food in the form of duck manure and beds of hyacinth that can grow vegetables. Every school boat is equipped with internet access, a laptop, and a small library, all specially protected from heavy rainfall and any possible water damage. [Via Fast.Co Design.]