Established by Aga Khan IV (the current Islamic leader responsible for the interpretation of Islam and the improvement of his followers’ lives), the Aga Khan Award for Architecture rewards architectural achievement that meets the “aspirations of Islamic societies.” Every three years, the honor is awarded to multiple projects and it recognizes projects, teams, and stakeholders, in addition to buildings and people. This year marks the 11th award cycle (which began in 2008) and the short list has just been announced. The projects are quite varied ranging from a mosque in Bangladesh, to a textile factory in Turkey, to a community center in Sri Lanka.
More about the award after the break.
As far as background on the award: the prizes within a cycle total to US$500,000, constituting the largest architectural award in the world; there have been 10 cycles of awards since the founding of the ARAA in 1977; documentation has been compiled on over 7500 building projects located throughout the world; and, so far, over 90 projects have received awards including the Institute du Monde Arabe (4th cycle) and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (9th cycle). Although the projects are situated around the world, the award is aimed at societies in which Muslims have a significant presence.
We will keep you posted on the finalists, but in the mean time, check out some of the projects that made the short list here.