The Award has been a lighthouse to those who feel we can design and build differently; to those who believe we have a responsibility to build appropriately — Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Muscat, Oman, October 31, 2022
Compiled by MALIK MERCHANT
“A Feast of Culture” is how the official website of the Ismaili Community, The.Ismaili, introduced events and the presentations of the Aga Khan Music Awards and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Muscat, Oman, from October 29 to 31, 2022. The Press in Oman proudly mentioned that the two award ceremonies were taking place together for the first time in one location.
The ceremonies were attended on behalf of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, by Prince Amyn, Princess Zahra, Prince Hussain and his wife Princess Fareen while a number of members of the Oman Royalty representing various Ministries and Institutions in the Sultanate patronized or presided over the Aga Khan Music Awards and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture presentation ceremonies. Both the award ceremonies took place in the House of Musical Arts at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM).
Preceding the presentation of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture on October 31, was the Winners Seminar that was held on Sunday, October 30, under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Dr. Fahd Al Julanda Al Said, Vice Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). Stamps were issued by the Sultanate of Oman for the Aga Khan Music Awards as well as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture that depicted the artistic and architectural glory of ROHM.
The conclusion of the “feast” of cultural events was the Aga Khan Award for Architecture presentation ceremony on Monday, October 31, 2022.
Farrokh Darekshani, Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture said:
“Since the first Award ceremony in 1980, we have celebrated the winners of each triennial cycle in all over the world, in places where Muslims are present and where they have enriched cultural heritage. These include the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, the Alhambra in Granada, Registan Square in Samarkand as well as important sites in Pakistan, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, Portugal, United Arab Emirates, and Russia, and now in Oman.
“It is a great honour that today we gather here in Oman, a country steeped in history, rich in culture and where tradition is the foundation for the future.
“We bring to the world’s attention six exemplary projects that showcase the power of architecture to bring people together, to inspire communities, to make physical the aspirations of societies, and to improve the quality of life.”
In his speech, His Excellency Sayyid Saeed bin Sultan Al Busaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, said that The Sultanate of Oman’s hosting of the Aga Khan Awards for Architecture and Music and the accompanying events were in support of the Sultanate’s goals of promoting cultural communication and building the global cultural scene. He added that the Sultanate of Oman had enjoyed a distinguished hosting, for the first time, of the Aga Khan Awards for architecture and music in one country. The 2022 Awards, he noted, coincided with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s 45th anniversary since its founding in 1977.
The Award has been a lighthouse to those who feel we can design and build differently; to those who believe we have a responsibility to build appropriately — Princess Zahra Aga Khan, October 31, 2022
In her statement, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, representing her father, His Highness the Aga Khan, said:
“Oman is a country that is proud of its rich, traditional methods of building and living, while also embracing new technologies and techniques. Celebrating the Award here in Oman reflects a deep and shared conviction that buildings can do more than simply house people and programmes, they can also reflect our deepest values.
“Architecture has immense potential to improve the quality of life when done sensitively and well. It is this rigorous pursuit of hope for a better future that has characterised the Aga Khan Award for Architecture from its inception. Created in 1977, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture is not simply a prize – it is an intellectual search, an inclusive process, one of deep reflection and meaningful action.
“Over the years, the Award has been a lighthouse to those who feel we can design and build differently; to those who believe we have a responsibility to build appropriately — with thought, with consideration, and with the knowledge that architecture at its best is an inherently pluralistic enterprise.”
In a thoughtful and remarkable reference to the future direction of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Princess Zahra hoped that the Award would take into consideration architecture that seeks to build without depleting natural resources, construction that does not harm critical ecosystems and habitats, urban planning that offers access to green and blue spaces as well as projects that increase and improve access to renewable energy resources. She further emphasized that projects that recognize the needs of diverse societies, respect the natural world, and enhance the quality of life, are models for the whole world.
The 6 winning projects are:
- “Kamanar Secondary School” from Senegal (Read MORE);
- “Community Spaces in Rohingya Refugee Response” from Bangladesh (Read MORE);
- “Renovation of Niemeyer Guest House” from Lebanon (Read MORE);
- “Urban River Spaces” from Bangladesh (Read MORE);
- “Argo Contemporary Art Museum and Cultural Centre” from Iran; and
- “Banuyawangi International Airport” from Indonesia (Read MORE).
The presentation ceremony included a musical interlude performed by the Aga Khan Master Musicians. Films were also screened to highlight the winner projects of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in its current cycle.
The evening concluded with Princess Zahra and His Highness Sayyid Theyazin giving away the prizes.
Date posted: November 1, 2022.
Last updated: November 1, 2022 (10:24 AM EDT)
For more coverage of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and related events please click on the following links:
- Oman Daily Observer: Architecture has Immense Potential to Improve Quality of Life
- Oman News Agency: HH Sayyid Theyazin Patronizes Over Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony. See also Times of Oman for same story.
- AKDN: The six winning projects of the 2022 Aga Khan Award for Architecture embody an inclusive, pluralistic outlook
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