Ebtissam Moustapha, winner of Tamayouz's Rising Star Award for Women in Architecture and Construction
Ebtissam Moustapha, winner of Tamayouz's Rising Star Award for Women in Architecture and Construction

Tamayouz Excellence Award announces the winners of its 2018 cycle

International architecture awards programme, Tamayouz Excellence Award, which seeks to recognise projects, concepts and individuals who create positive impacts on society  in the Middle East through architecture, has recently announced the winners of its 2018 cycle.

The initiative, which was founded in 2012, consists of a number of prizes including Iraqi Graduation Projects Award, International Graduation Projects Award, Architectural Personality of the Year Prize, the Rifat Chadirji Prize, Women in Architecture and Construction Award and, its most recent addition, the Dewan Prize for Architecture.

The jury members for Tamayouz Excellence Award 2018, who convened at Coventry University in October to select the winners for this year's cycle

In early October, the various jury panels for the Tamayouz awards met at Coventry University in the UK to review the shortlisted submissions and determine the winners. Each prize’s jury consisted of five to 10 members of different backgrounds in the field of architecture, from academia to practicing professionals. 

While last year’s Rifat Chadirji Prize – named after the prolific Iraqi architect – challenged architects to design a solution for Mosul’s housing shortage, this year, the award looked at transforming the unused site of Baghdad’s old governorate building into the Baghdad Design Centre. The main criteria was to incorporate the original façade of the building into the redesign. Receiving an overwhelming participation of 310 firms from 54 countries, the prize’s first place went to Brooks Murray Architects, while second place went to Ali Habibianfar and Parisa Davoudi, and third place went to Mustafa Kamil.

First place for the Rifat Chadirji Prize 2018 went to Brooks Murray Architects from the UK

“We have seen three main directions taken during this year’s competition,” said Akram Ogaily, senior vice president at Hill International, who judged on the Rifat Chadirji Prize. “One integrates the wall into the building, the other has the wall lead to an open space, and the third tries to introduce some sort of combination of traditional and contemporary treatment.”

“The competition this year is particularly interesting because we’ve moved right into the centre of Baghdad,” added fellow judge Dr Wendy Pullan, senior lecturer of the history and philosophy of architecture at the University of Cambridge. “This year’s theme focused on an area that many Iraqis and foreigners really have their eye on because it’s culturally important and right on the river. The competitors addressed something that’s absolutely centre-stage for the country.”

Tamayouz Excellence Award also brought back its Women in Architecture and Construction Award after a two-year break. Originally launched in 2013, this prize was once only open to Iraqi women architects, but it has now been extended to women from or working across the Near East and North Africa.

Palestinian architect Suad Amiry won Tamayouz's Woman of Outstanding Achievement

Split into two categories, Rising Stars and Women of Outstanding Achievement, this year’s cycle recognised Ebtissam Moustapha, associate professor of architecture and design at Alexandria University and co-founder of Encode Studio as its Rising Star, and Suad Amiry, founder of RIWAQ: Centre for Architectural Preservation in Palestine as its Woman of Outstanding Achievement.

Deyala Al-Tarawneh, assistant professor at the University of Jordan was highly commended for Rising Stars, and Nadia Habash, co-owner and director at Habash Consulting Engineers and adjunct professor at Birzeit University was highly commended for Women of Outstanding Achievement.

“The breadth and depth of experience that all of the candidates presented the judges with created an immense challenge to choose a winner,” the jury of the Women in Architecture and Construction Award announced. “It is really inspiring to see women from across the Middle East and North Africa overcoming political, social and gender-related challenges and locally perceived biases. Seeing them rise to their positions, whether they are leaders of their own companies, establishments or academic achievements, is a great display of strength, perseverance and ambition. We truly praise all of the finalists for working against odds and promoting the profession within their communities.”

First place for the Dewan Award for Architecture went to Neda Karimzadeh, Marjan Zaredehnavi, Ehsan Kazerooni and Amirreza Fathollahi

A new award this year, the Dewan Award for Architecture, held in partnership with Dubai-based company Dewan Architects + Engineers, tackled local challenges in Iraq. The theme of its inaugural cycle was, “School in the Iraqi Marshes”, and asked participants to design a six-class primary school in the long-forgotten area of Iraq’s marshlands, taking into account the limitations of the area and the ecological impact of construction on the natural environment and its fauna. 

First place for the Dewan Award for Architecture went to Neda Karimzadeh, Marjan Zaredehnavi, Ehsan Kazerooni and Amirreza Fathollahi, while second place went to Sameh Zayed, Nader Moro and Mostafa Ahmed, and third place went to Noor Marji.

“I believe the shortlist was quite interesting, and offered different solutions that were feasible and understandable,” said jury member of the Dewan Award, Felipe Samarán Saló, architect and dean of Universidad Francisco de Vitoria. “I’m very happy with the result. I believe it sends a good message to students around the world, and provides quality input for the Iraqi government.”

“I think the first edition of this award has been very promising for upcoming cycles,” added Tamayouz coordinator of the Dewan Award, and founder and CEO of Ossaid Aleitan for Construction Management and Design Consultancy in Jordan, Ossaid Aleitan. “It’s inspirational, and it encourages innovation. By putting a spotlight on the needs of Iraq’s areas like the marshlands, the award raises awareness and emphasises the idea that positive change can be done.”