Every three years architects from across the world compete for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The winners of the 2016 are splitting the award of $1 million, making it one of the most lucrative prizes in the world of architecture.
Set up by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1977 to acknowledge and encourage projects that address the needs of Muslims the world over, The Aga Khan Award for Architecture this year went to six projects in Bangladesh, Denmark, China, Iran and Lebanon.
The winning projects were selected by a committee which included architects Emre Arolat, David Adjaye and Dominique Perrault, and His Highness the Aga Khan from a shortlist of 19 candidates out of a total of 348 projects that were nominated. This year they are: Superkilen, a 30,000 m2 park in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh; the Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge in Tehran, Iran; the Micro Yuan’er children’s library and art centre in Beijing, China; the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and a rural training centre built for an NGO, Friendship, in Gaibandha, Bangladesh.
Previous winners of the award have included the Azem Palace in Damascus, the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
“We see architecture as a collaboration between the architect, the client, the builders and the end users,” commented Farrokh Derakhshani, the director of the award. “Each makes a contribution to the project’s achievement and it’s the combination of these contributions that make each of the projects an exemplar.”