Architecture in Dialogue: The Aga Khan Award for Architecture

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established by His Highness 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 Award recognises examples of architectural excellence in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community improvement and development, historic preservation, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment. Since the Award was launched 42 years ago, 122 projects have received the award and more than 9,000 building projects have been documented.

This exhibition features six award-winning projects from the 2017–2019 cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

2017–2019 Cycle Projects

Six projects were awarded the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture:

Alioune Diop University Teaching and Research Unit
Bambey, Senegal

Arcadia Education Project
South Kanarchor, Bangladesh

Palestinian Museum
Birzeit, Palestine

Public Spaces Development Programme
Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation

Revitalisation of Muharraq
Muharraq, Bahrain

Wasit Wetland Centre
Sharjah,  United Arab Emirates

Master Jury

The nine members of the 2019 Master Jury are:

  • Anthony Kwamé Appiah — Anglo-Ghanaian American philosopher
  • Meisa Batayneh — founder and principal architect of maisam architects & engineers 
  • Sir David Chipperfield — whose practice has built over 100 projects for both the private and public sectors 
  • Elizabeth Diller — founding partner of a design studio whose practice spans the fields of architecture, multi-media performance and digital media 
  • Edhem Eldem — Professor of History at Boğaziçi University (Istanbul) and the Collège de France; 
  • Mona Fawaz — Professor in Urban Studies and Planning at the Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy at the American University of Beirut 
  • Kareem Ibrahim — Egyptian architect and urban researcher who has worked extensively in Historic Cairo 
  • Ali M. Malkawi — professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a founding director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities
  • Nondita Correa Mehrotra — architect working in India and the United States, and Director of the Charles Correa Foundation

Master Jury Statement

Discover the jury’s perspective, examination, and reasoning behind the selection process.

***Related Webinar***

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture: Thriving and Inclusive Commons
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Join us in celebration of the Aga Khan Award's 2017-2019 cycle, themed around Architecture in Dialogue for a panel discussing public space as a public good, the civic commons, and its role in improving quality of life.

Register here.

About His Highness the Aga Khan
His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, became Imam at the age of 20. The Aga Khan provides spiritual guidance to a community of 15 million living in some 25 countries, mainly in West and Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as in North America and Western Europe. As Spiritual Leader of the Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan has emphasised the view of Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith, one that teaches compassion and tolerance and that upholds the dignity of man, Allah’s noblest creation. The Aga Khan is a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, the first Imam, and his wife Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter.

About The Aga Khan Development Network
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). It currently operates 1,000 or so programmes and institutions in 30 countries − many of which date back over 60 years, and some over 100. It employs approximately 80,000 people, the majority of whom are based in developing countries. The AKDN’s annual budget for non-profit development activities is approximately US$ 950 million. Its economic development arm, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), generates annual revenues of US$ 4.3 billion, but all surpluses generated by its project companies are reinvested in further development activities, usually in fragile, remote or post-conflict regions.

About the Aga Khan Council for the United States of America
The Aga Khan Council for the United States of America is the social governance structure for Ismaili Muslims. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, The Aga Khan Council is supported by numerous volunteers throughout the country who provide their time and talent toward improving the quality of life of the community. His Highness the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam, or spiritual leader, of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community.

The Ismaili Muslims are a culturally diverse community living in over 25 countries around the world. They adhere to a 1,400-year tradition of Shi'a values that are expressed through a commitment to a search for knowledge for the betterment of self and society; embracing pluralism by building bridges of peace and understanding; and generously sharing of one's time, talents, and material resources to improve the quality of life of the community and those among whom they live.


Architecture in Dialogue: The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is exclusively online and organized by the Aga Khan Council for the United States of America in cooperation with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and AIA|DC.

Exhibitions are supported, in part, by our Sustaining Firm Affiliate Members
© AIA Washington DC 2021