Dhaka – Two Bangladeshi architectural projects have won the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, a handout from the charity said on Monday.
The Friendship Centre community center in northern Bangladeshi district of Gaibandha and the Bait Ur Rouf mosque in the capital, Dhaka, are among the six winners of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
A children’s center in China, a bridge in Iran and a park in Denmark are also among the six .
The winners were announced Monday in the historic Al-Jahili fort in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. The awards are handed out once every three years and are meant to celebrate architecture that serves and embraces Muslim culture.
The network is headed by Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of millions of Ismaili Muslims who belong to an offshoot of the Shiite sect.
This year’s winners included the Hutong Children’s Library and Art Centre, which is located near a large mosque and Tiananmen Square in the Chinese capital, Beijing.
Judges also selected the Superkilen park in Copenhagen, Denmark, hailing it as a “public space promoting integration” among various religious and ethnic groups.
Praising the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka, developed by Marina Tabassum Architects, the award jury panel says: “In a transitional area caught between urban hyper-density and rural proximity, the terracotta mosque is an exquisitely proportioned building that is both elegant and eternal.
Funded primarily by community donors, the mosque design challenges the status quo and understands that a space for prayer should elevate the spirit. The mosque does so through the creation of an interior space that is rich with light and shadow, but at the same time possesses a robust simplicity that allows for deep reflection and contemplation in prayer.”
The jury panels describes the NGO Friendship’s training facility and community centre in Gaibandha, developed by Kashef Chowdhury and Urbana, as: “The integrative design approach is registered in every aspect of the project, and at every scale. The imbrication of outdoor and indoor spaces, together with the treatment of the roofscape, make this an unusual and innovative building.
With its spaces sunk into the ground and the vegetation growing on its roofs, the compound blends beautifully into the natural surroundings. Its relationship to the landscape and to history and archeology is remarkable in every way.”
Selected from a shortlist of 19 candidates, the winning projects will receive a $1m prize as they join an acclaimed list of previous winners, which includes buildings from Norman Foster, Charles Correa, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Hassan Fathy.