Arts & Culture

Khan winners at Gund Hall

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Exhibition celebrates built projects in Muslim societies

An exhibition featuring the winning projects of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture will run through May 21 in the gallery at Gund Hall, Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). The Aga Khan Program at the GSD and the Humanities Center at Harvard University organized the exhibition, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, now in its 10th cycle (2005-07). The exhibit was curated by GSD Professor Hashim Sarkis.

Throughout its 33-year history, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture has identified and celebrated built projects in Muslim societies that demonstrate design’s important role in social and economic development. Given the breadth of this pursuit and the geographic and cultural heterogeneity of the Muslim world, it has become customary in every cycle to expect a wide range of projects that share sensitivity to their contexts and understanding of the developmental impact of design.

This cycle’s nine awards do not fail the test of diversity. They range in location from Central Africa to Malaysia, and in scale from an entire town to a small public square. They all demonstrate that socioeconomic development is linked to innovations in the process of construction.

The exhibition brings the awarded projects to the United States for the first time. The nine projects are Restoration of the Amiriya Complex (Rada, Yemen); Royal Netherlands Embassy (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia); Central Market (Koudougou, Burkina Faso); Moulmein Rise Residential Tower (Singapore); Rehabilitation of the Walled City (Nicosia, Cyprus); School in Rudrapur (Dinajpur, Bangladesh); “Rehabilitation of the City of Shibam” (Wadi Hadhramaut, Yemen); Samir Kassir Square (Beirut, Lebanon); and University of Technology Petronas (Bandar Seri Iskandar, Malaysia).

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