IDOM, winner of the 2019 Aga Khan Award of Architecture
The extension of the University of Bambey among the 6 winners
On August 29th last, the Aga Khan foundation announced the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Architecture Awards. Amongst the 20 finalists shortlisted a few months ago, the jury decided to give 6 awards, one of which was for the extension of the University of Bambey, directed by our colleagues Federico Pardos and Javier Pérez Uribarri.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established by the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of communities in which Muslims have a significant presence. The Aga Khan Award is one of the oldest and most important on the international scene. It selects all sorts of projects that not only exhibit architectural excellence but also improve overall quality of life. The Aga Khan not only rewards architects, but also acknowledges municipalities, builders, clients, master artisans and engineers who have played important roles in the realization of a project. To date, a total of 122 awards have been given to projects all over the world.
The Awards Ceremony
The ceremonies in which the winning projects are announced and that mark the closure of each three-year cycle are held in locations chosen for their architectural and cultural relevance to the Muslim world. In 2019, the ceremony took place last Saturday, September 14th, in Kazan, Russia, its Kremlin being a World Heritage Site. Other locations previously selected to host the awards ceremony were the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore (1980), the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul (1983), the Alhambra in Granada (1998) or the Tomb of Emperor Humayun, in Delhi (2004).
The nine members of the 2019 jury are: Anthony Kwamé Appiah, an Anglo-Ghanaian American philosopher; Meisa Batayneh, founder and head architect of Maisam architects & engineers; Sir David Chipperfield; Elizabeth Diller, a founding partner of a design studio whose practice covers the fields of architecture and digital media; Edhem Eldem, a Professor of History at Boğaziçi University (Istanbul) and the Collège de France; Mona Fawaz, a Professor in Urban Studies and Planning at the Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy at the American University of Beirut; Kareem Ibrahim, an Egyptian architect and urban researcher who has worked extensively in Historic Cairo; Ali M. Malkawi, a professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a founding director of the Harvard Centre for Green Buildings and Cities, and Nondita Correa Mehrotra, an architect working in India and the United States and Director of the Charles Correa Foundation.
Referring to the project, the following aspects were highlighted: “As building have a direct impact on climate change and the environment, the Alioune Diop University Lecture Building represents a commendable example of how fundamental principles of sustainability and energy efficiency are translated into a well-integrated and elegant design that also has a low impact on its surroundings. These principles, which were utilized early in the concept`s development, were guided by information about specific climate data needed to optimize the skin of the building. They also included energy use, material depletion and water pollution. Layering, water management and the use of construction technology and materials were also incorporated in the design. The organization of the building is structured around a generous shaded space on the north side of the building, allowing for social interaction and a well-organized linear circulation. Building elements have multiple functions. For example, the breezeblocks allow ventilation and reflect direct sunlight. Comfort, energy use and the building`s overall environmental legacy are well represented in this project. The building demonstrated how good design that integrates environmental principles can result in quality spaces that allow a building to be bound by local environmental and site-specific conditions. The construction technology also allowed for repetition and possible use in other buildings. The sustainability principles and processes utilized have the potential to serve as model for implementing environmentally conscious design”.
This award is one more in a long list of recognitions, amongst which are, on a national level, the 2019 COAVN Award (The Official Basque-Navarre Architects’ Association) for Extraterritorial Architecture and the 2018 BEAU Award (The Spanish Biennale of Architecture and Town Planning); and internationally, the 2018 WAN Award in the Sustainable Building category and the 2018 LEAF Award in the Best Regenerative Impact category. Plus, the project was a finalist in the 2019 FAD Awards and the 2018 WAF Awards in the Higher Education and Research – Completed Buildings category.