Aga Khan, Aga Khan Awards for Architecture, Architectural League of New York, Architecture, Architecture awards, Muslim architecture, Muslim communities

The Architectural League of New York awards the Aga Khan

The Architectural League of New York, an independent forum for architecture and its allied disciplines, recently announced the Aga Khan as the recipient of its 2017 President’s Medal – the league’s highest honour.

The Aga Khan – the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims – is revered for his work promoting issues of sustainability, quality of life, local craft and building traditions. He was awarded the medal on the 40th anniversary of the Aga Khan Award in Architecture, which celebrates and encourages building concepts that address the needs of Muslim communities around the world.

Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, winner of the 2016 Aga Khan Award in Architecture

In a statement, the Architectural League noted, “A commitment to pluralism suffuses the work of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, along with other programmes of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Aga Khan Development Network, of which it is a part. ‘Pluralism,’ the Aga Khan has said, ‘results when people decide to value and understand human differences through mutual respect and civic inclusion.’

“He has written that, ‘In the troubled time in which we live, it is important to remember, and honour, a vision of a pluralistic society. Tolerance, openness and understanding towards other peoples’ cultures, social structures, values and faiths are now essential to the very survival of an interdependent world. Pluralism is no longer simply an asset or a prerequisite for progress and development, it is vital to our existence.’”

Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, winner of the 2016 Aga Khan Award in Architecture

The President’s Medal is awarded annually to those with an extraordinary body of work in architecture, urbanism, art or design. And the ceremony, which was held on the 18th of May, was attended by architects Diébédo Francis Kéré and Billie Tsien, as well as humanities scholar Homi K. Bhabha.

The 2016 recipients of the Aga Khan Architecture Award were announced at the Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain. designMENA spoke to Mohammad Al Asad, Member of the Steering Committee who said one of the main goals of the awards programme is to improve lives. 

“Something that is very important about the award is that it gives the community connected to each project a sense of belonging and pride, and the feeling that something special was created for them, he said.”

You can read our full interview here. You can also read more about all the six winners of the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture here.