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Award Ceremony and Transcripts of the 2005 Vincent Scully Prize 2005-01-25

Date: 
Tuesday, 2005, January 25
Location: 
Hazar Imam receiving the 2005 Vincent Scully Award from Caroly Brody  2005-01-25

Award Ceremony
January 25, 2005

Participants:
David M. Schwarz - Founding Chairman, The Vincent Scully Prize
Carolyn Schwenker Brody - Chair, National Building Museum
Charles Correa - Architect, Bombay, India
James D. Wolfensohn - President, The World Bank
His Highness The Aga Khan
DAVID SCHWARZ: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is David Schwarz. I am
the Chairman of the Vincent Scully Prize Jury and it is my pleasure and my honor to welcome
you here this evening and to thank you for coming to support both the National Building
Museum and to pay tribute to this year’s extraordinary recipient, His Highness The Aga Kahn.
I cannot tell you how much it means to me to see all of you here tonight both in support of His
Highness, the National Building Museum and the Vincent Scully Prize. I’m not here to speak
about His Highness; others will speak of his profound contributions to the world in which we
live later on this evening. Rather, I want to talk to you about the prize itself, and the Museum’s
role in furthering our understanding of the built environment across diverse geographies and
cultures. The Vincent Scully Prize was created in 1999 to recognize and encourage those who
have committed their lives to interpreting, improving and helping us to understand the built
environment. In doing so, they help us understand the world in which we live and help us to
improve the built environment we leave behind as our legacy. The prize is named after Professor
Vincent J. Scully who is with us this evening. A brilliant teacher, author and scholar, he has
spirited the debate about the future of cities and the towns in the United States for over 50 years.
He has guided and inspired generations of architects, planners, as well as thousands of students
who have taken his courses at Yale University and the University of Miami. His students have
found their lives and viewpoints forever changed by their experiences with him. No other single
person in the field has had a greater impact on the way Americans feel about the places we build.
He is also the first recipient of this award. Vince, would you please stand. Who does the built
environment impact? The answer is simple — everyone.
Humankind lives and works and most often plays in the built environment. It is one of the very
few common denominators among all people around the world. We experience the built environment
each and every day. It provides a frame for almost all human interaction. It is visible from
mopeds, rickshaws, trains, planes and automobiles, as well as the sidewalks and mud tracks of the
world. We may not be conscious of it, but it has a deep and profound impact on how we live our
lives. The most recent disaster of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean reminds us of just how fragile
this built environment can be and how disruptive lives become when that environment is taken for
granted and taken away from us. These reminders are important and should not be ignored. The
Vincent Scully Prize recipients have never ignored the importance of the built environment. Jane
Jacobs’ book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities taught us the dangers of massive highway
construction, clearance of slums and high rise construction in cities, and taught us that such things
more often rob cities of their vitalities and unique character rather than contribute to them. Andres
Duany and Liz Plater-Zyberk whose writings have taught us that livable cities can be created by the
restoration of traditional neighborhood values and that structure is probably the only viable escape
from suburban sprawl. Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (Robert who is with us this evening)
who, in their early books, Complexity and Contradiction in Modern Architecture and Learning from
Las Vegas gave us a new way of looking at the world, and whose writings have had a profound
impact on those who both study and practice architecture.

Bob, would you please stand. The world has changed profoundly since 1999 and the inception
of the Vincent Scully Prize. In September 2001 it became painfully clear that we in the United
States had not understood how many others in the world view us. It became clear that we had
to reach out and attempt to understand their views of the world and how their culture can affect
and enrich our own. It became clear that our educational and cultural institutions had failed to
help us understand how much of the rest of the world’s population perceive us, our values and
our culture, and had not taught us to appreciate and understand their values and culture. We,
as the members of the Vincent Scully Prize Jury and the leadership of the National Building
Museum decided it was time to address some of these issues with our selection of this year’s
recipient, His Highness The Aga Khan.

His vision and commitment to preserving and improving the built environment has had a
profound impact on much of the world. The Aga Kahn Award for Architecture has brought an
awareness of architects and architecture to the western world that might otherwise have been
ignored. The Aga Kahn Trust for Culture has long acknowledged that architecture, urban
planning and preservation, social and political issues are forever intertwined, and that by doing
so has worked to preserve and improve the built environment. Through its work, it had become
one of the world’s most important institutional advocates for architecture. I had the honor of
participating in a roundtable discussion with His Highness this afternoon, and had the opportunity
to see firsthand how special His Highness really is. Many people in the world have passion,
many people in the world have vision; very view have both. Rarely are the two combined into
a single individual, thus enabling him or her to cause real change in our world. His Highness is
one of those very few, special people endowed with both. We are very fortunate to have him
care about the world in which we live. All of the Vincent Scully Prize recipients exemplify this
unique combination. Fortunately for us, they help us think about the places we live and, more
importantly, to care about them. And in so doing so they help each and every one of us to build
a future that may be, in fact, worthy of our past. Thank you very much for coming this evening.
Thank you for celebrating this Museum. Thank you for celebrating the Vincent Scully Prize.
And, please, enjoy your dinners.

CAROLYN BRODY: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I’m Carolyn Brody, Chair of the
National Building Museum. And it is with a great pleasure that I welcome you tonight to
celebrate the achievements of His Highness The Aga Kahn, on whom the Museum is bestowing
its highest honor, the Vincent Scully Prize. But first a word about the Museum—as David
so eloquently phrased and in his welcome, the built environment is often a legacy to future
generations. This magnificent building in which we sit tonight is a testament to that premise.
Completed in 1887 it was designed to house the Pension Bureau by Montgomery Meigs, an
engineer and architect, as well as a general in the U.S. Army. While this was his last architectural
work, it was also the one which he was the most proud of—and with good reason. When it
was completed—and still today—it is considered a marvel of engineering and also one of
Washington’s most spectacular structures with an ingenious system of windows, vents and open
archways which allow the Great Hall to function as a reservoir of light and air. And, of course,
there are the eight colossal Corinthian columns which are, as you can see, among the tallest
interior columns in the world. I wonder if Meigs could ever imagine that this building would
become the most visited museum of its kind in the world as well as America’s premier cultural
institution dedicated to architecture, construction, urban planning and engineering, or if he could
have envisioned this building on a school day when the Museum resonates with the sounds of
elementary and middle school students here to discover the ways in which they, too, can have
a positive impact on the built environment by actually building a small house, constructing a
geodesic dome or learning how different kinds of bridges function. Created as a private institution
by an act of Congress in 1980, the National Building Museum welcomes more than 350,000
visitors a year to its extensive exhibition and education programs. It regularly features lectures by
leading architects from around the world. And it has become a vital forum for exchanging ideas
and information about such issues as the revitalization of urban centers, the quality design of
affordable housing and environmentally sensitive design and construction. Through such awards
as the Vincent Scully Prize, the Museum also recognizes individuals who contribute to the
understanding and improvement of the built environment. But enough about us for tonight.
It is now my pleasure to introduce Charles Correa, an internationally respected architect who
has come from India to pay tribute to His Highness. Since he began his architecture practice
in 1958 in Bombay, Mr. Correa has earned worldwide recognition through his commissions,
numerous awards and extensive publications. He has received many of the world’s most
prestigious architecture awards, including the Royal Institute of British Architects Royal Gold
Medal, the Praemium Imperiale for Architecture and The Aga Kahn Award for Architecture.
Please join me in welcoming Charles Correa.

CHARLES CORREA: It’s really a pleasure and an honor to salute His Highness The Aga
Kahn, for the incredible range of his concerns and commitments. From the Award for
Architecture to the Historic Cities Program to the cultural and educational programs, his is
an extraordinary achievement, one which is relevant to all of us around the world. And it was
accomplished by one person in the course of less than three decades. It all started with the Award
for Architecture which began in a meeting in 1977, which isn’t so long ago, to discuss with His
Highness his concern for the confused state of architecture which was happening in the Gulf and
all over the Islamic world and his intention of creating a prize, an annual award for the best
piece of architecture which would act as an exemplar for other architects and clients.
From our discussions it became clear that just one example would not suffice for an entity as
enormous, as diverse, as pluralistic as Muslim societies around the world. It’s not a monolith
world; it’s a very, very diverse world all the way from the deserts of North Africa to the lush
tropical forests of Malaysia.
So that one prize became a group of prizes to be selected and awarded over a three year cycle.
And this architectural award, as you know, spawned other activities as small projects that
gradually blossomed into full-fledged programs on their own, like the Historic Cities Program
and the Education Program at Harvard and MIT. So it was a wonderful experience for all of
us who were lucky enough to be part of that. It was like going forward into the darkness. His
Highness was extremely courageous and he encouraged that whole process, and yet he was
very tough about making us think about where we were trying to go.
Let me give you an example. For instance, in the case of The Aga Kahn Award for Architecture, to me
it is different from, let’s say, the RIBA Gold Medal or the AIA Gold Medal or any of the other major
prizes, architectural awards in that it is not about a an individual’s lifetime work; it’s about buildings.
That was something which surprised some of us because it’s a much tougher thing to look at
buildings than to generally say, “Oh, yes, that’s a very good architect. He should get the Gold
Medal.” When you look at buildings, you have to look at why you are giving them this prize.
That means you have to look at what they’re about, very specifically what issues do they address,
what are the values they put forward, etc. And although to single out a single building is a very
complicated logistical problem—it’s a nightmare, you’ve got to send technical teams there to
appraise it, photograph it, etc. But it also necessitates examining those key issues. In the search
for issues and questions, which is absolutely endemic to The Aga Kahn Award, it is this that
has made the award so different from the other awards and why it continues to grow in stature.
Because it’s always concerned with issues and with the questions raised by these projects.
I think here in this country we all know that the questions that Louis Sullivan initiated in the
1880s in Chicago launched essentially a whole sanctuary of architectural creativity. That’s how
important questions are. For when we stop asking these fundamental questions, I think we are
in danger of slipping into styling or even worse, fashion. Well, one last point which I must add.
I think His Highness has a special quality, one which, indeed, is extremely rare. It is the ability
to understand that the integrity of a process and the product are one, you cannot separate the
process from the product. That’s what the prize is about. This is best exemplified at the end
of each three year cycle when the Master Jury, which is a separate group from the Steering
Committee, presents to the Steering Committee the winners they have selected. As you might
well imagine, there’s a vast range of reactions in the room from spontaneous clapping to muffled
sobs. Really, it is! Only one person sits through it absolutely calm, the Chairman of the Steering
Committee, for he knows that the process is autonomous and sovereign. That’s a truly marvelousquality and one which prompted a friend of mine who has been closely connected with the
award to say, “One thing for sure. Never play poker with him.” Your Highness. Thank you.
AGA KHAN VIDEO: The Aga Kahn Awards for Architecture was founded in 1977 to focus
attention on the architectural achievements of Islamic societies. The award seeks out excellence
and heightens awareness of the rich and varied Islamic architectural tradition. It celebrates a
broad range of achievements from social housing and community improvement to reuse,
conservation and contemporary design.

The award is part of The Aga Khan Trust for Culture but focuses on the physical, social, cultural
and economic revitalization of communities in the Muslim world. To qualify, projects must be
designed for or used by Muslim communities. They must also have been completed within the
past 12 years and have been in use for a minimum of one year prior to entry.
Up to $500,00, the world’s largest architectural prize, is awarded to projects selected by an
independent Master Jury appointed for each tri-annual cycle. The nine member jury is chosen
by the Awards Steering Committee, chaired by The Aga Kahn. The Steering Committee also
set the criteria and thematic direction of each award cycle.
Because of the broad range of issues and locations involved, professionals from all backgrounds
and religions are appointed to the jury. It chooses a short list from several hundred submissions.
On-site reviewers then visit these projects, returning to present their findings at a final meeting.
This is when the winning projects are selected. The first cycle of the awards in 1980 established themes
of social responsibility and sustainability. Controversy followed when an award was made to a self-help
community planning program, the Kampung Improvement Program in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Prior to this, spontaneous building was largely considered to be outside of the realm of architecture.
But with the first award the architectural community was encouraged to reappraise its definition
of architecture. As well as social schemes, excellence in private housing has also been recognized.
The Salinger residence in Malaysia is hand-built using traditional skills, yet has a strikingly
modern presence. The awards have a long-standing tradition of rewarding conservation. Many
cities have a wonderful heritage that has disintegrated. With the right approach and skills, entire
towns can be brought back to life.

Awards were made in 1995 for the conservation of Old Sana’a, Yemen, and for the conservation
of Mostar Old Town in Bosnia-Herzegovnia in 1986. Juries have recognized the social and
cultural importance of historic monuments and awarded projects that restored such buildings.
The restoration of the 14th Century Tomb of Shah Rukn-i-Alam in Pakistan is one of many projects
that have seen the rediscovery of long-lost crafts and skills. Contemporary pressures on the built
environment mean many old structures can no longer be used for their original purpose
The awards have, therefore, encouraged imaginative, adaptive reuse of buildings. This building
in Katau was once a ruined palace but is now a national museum. The question of how to
regenerate urban areas has been an important consideration for the awards. Solutions include the
Great Mosque of Riyadh, an old city center redevelopment in Saudi Arabia that won an award
in 1995 for reinterpreting styles of the past to create a meaningful dialogue with the present.
Other approaches include innovative landscaping schemes like Bagh-e-Ferdowski Park on the
outskirts of Tehran. The Aga Khan Awards have promoted examples of architecture where the
construction technology has seemed wholly appropriate. The Haij Terminal in Riyadh was
designed to house the million or more pilgrims who make their way to Mecca every year.
This prompted the design of the largest roof in the world. The 1983 Jury called the design
“brilliant and imaginative.” Throughout its 25 year history the award has celebrated outstanding
excellence in contemporary architecture. Examples include Vidan Bhavan, the striking state
assembly building in Bhopal, India, designed by architect Charles Correa and awarded in 1998,
and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, designed by Louis Kahn.
Awarded in 1989 the building is now widely regarded as a masterpiece. Despite these many
areas of recognition, the award is still searching for exemplary solutions to certain building types.
These include affordable mass housing, hospitals, work environments and industrial spaces.
As the search for excellence continues, the jury of the ninth cycle of The Aga Kahn Award for
Architecture has selected a diverse range of building types from different parts of the world. In the
24 year tradition of the awards, the jury has chosen seven agenda-setting projects that provide yet
more inspiring and thought-provoking solutions to the compelling questions in architecture today.

BRODY: (Wolfensohn to the stage.) Jim Wolfensohn has served with enormous distinction as
president of the World Bank since 1995, making the bank’s overarching mission the reduction of
poverty in the most sustainable of ways. Untiring in his commitment to better understand the
challenges facing bank member countries, he’s traveled to over 120 countries meeting with the
bank’s government clients and representatives from every walk of life. The result of this extraordinary
commitment has placed the bank at the forefront of addressing global challenges including
primary education, basic health, HIV AIDS programs, the environment and biodiversity.
A true Renaissance man, Jim served as chairman of Carnegie Hall in New York during the
1980s, leading a successful restoration of that landmark building. And then, as if he did not
have enough to do, he became chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,
serving in that capacity for six years until his appointment as president of the World Bank.
And last, but not least, he is an accomplished cello player. Please welcome Jim Wolfensohn.

JAMES WOLFENSOHN: Your Highness, ladies and gentlemen. I’m here because I’m the leader of the groupies of the Aga Khan, not so much for his work in the built environment
(although I must say to you that I am deeply impressed by all that he’s done) but by his work in
the human environment.

And it is in that context that I’m given a few minutes to pay tribute to him and to tell you
something about him. In my 10 years at the bank I’ve had the opportunity of meeting many
people in the so-called development business. People that are concerned with the issues of
poverty, people that in various ways display their interest in humanity, their concern for history,
their concern for hope and for the future.

And in that 10 years I can tell you that there is one person who stands out in my mind as an
icon of not only thought and philosophy but of action. And I have to say this in front of His
Highness, that I don’t say this about everybody in the development business. He has truly done
the most amazing job not only for the Ismaili community throughout the world, but really for
all the communities that he serves.

He started The Aga Khan Development Network in 1967. It was his idea. And he has grown
it in the most remarkable way, starting with the needs of education, dealing with all levels of
education from preschool education to particularly the education of women. He has looked
through high schools, ordinary schools to universities.

And I think many of you will know of the preeminence of The Aga Kahn University in Pakistan
and the remarkable work that it has done in nursing, healthcare, management, and in everything
that it touches. Now he has expanded that into Tanzania and into other parts of Africa where
he’s also set up recently The Aga Khan Hospital—I learned this only tonight—the first teaching
hospital in east African which is giving Aga Khan University degrees. But even beyond that
when we were talking a couple of years ago about the work that we have done in information
technology, His Highness said to me, “Well, we’re going to set up a university in the mountains
in Tajikistan to serve Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan because these are high mountainous areas.
And we are going to teach through internet and through using information technology because
people can’t move around. And so we’ll set up a university on top of a mountain.” And already
he is providing courses in those areas, working with governments and with officials to strengthen
capacity in terms of management.

His work in health is legendary as is his work in education. And he also does it in a remarkable
way in that The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (which is another invention of his)
deals with getting the private sector involved in income-producing projects that allow for the
creation of work and for the profitable use of investment in the countries that he serves.
I have never met anybody who not only has the vision but who has the personal management
capacity to be able to take these visions and realize them. And I have to say that as someone
who is in the professional field, he has a wonderful way of doing it, which perhaps gives him
an advantage over most of the rest of us, in that he draws on remarkable experts, but he makes the decisions. I have dreamed of that at the World Bank.

And so when I look at him, I not only admire him but I envy him terribly in the way in which
he can operate and, indeed, bring to an effective end the work that he’s doing. And through it
all, having seen him in many, many parts of the world, and having talked to him at length on
many subjects, there is one thing which distinguishes him, which is not in the buildings and not
in the organization. It is the extraordinary sense of humanity that he has. The great depth of
real feeling for real people wherever they find themselves in society. He is a holy man. He is the
leader of his faith. He’s a man who represents the very best in Islam. Something that all too often
we tend to forget these days. That Islam carries with it values and a culture from which we can
all learn. And so it is especially wonderful tonight that he’s being honored with this prize for the
built environment at a time that we’re also thinking of the work that he’s done at the human
level and, indeed, the level of faith and morality which he does so remarkably well.
The last thing I’d like to say to you is that because of my interest in music, Yo Yo Ma approached
me. He’s another cellist that you may have heard of. I’ve helped him a lot in his musical career.
But Yo Yo came to me and said that he had this project for the Silk Road to go back and look at
the traditions of the Silk Road in terms of music and performance and creativity in the arts. And
he said did I know anybody that might be supportive. And one name jumped into my head immediately,
which is, of course, His Highness. And he was a little skeptical at the beginning, I must
say. But there was a love fest, I think, between him and Yo Yo built around the strength of both
of their convictions and both of their beliefs in culture and, in this case, music and performance.
And without The Aga Kahn Cultural Trust there would be no Silk Road project as we know it today.
And so tonight we have the pleasure of hearing some music from two remarkable players, two
great artists who have joined us. Homayun Sakhi who is considered by many the finest rubab,
that’s lute, player of his generation. He studied with Ustad Omar and he performs in a style
of music which reflects the classical raga tradition of north India and where he infuses
instrumentation and rhythms and ornamentation from his Kabuli heritage. And he will be
accompanied by Mohammad Essa who is performing on the tabla. They will give you a musical
tribute to add to the tributes that Mr. Correa and I, I hope, have conveyed to you. We salute
you, Your Highness. You’re a fantastic guy.
(Musical tribute)
BRODY: Thank you, Homayun and Mohammad for sharing with us your magical artistry
in the music of Afghanistan. And now it is my honor and privilege to present the National
Building Museum’s most important prize to His Highness The Aga Kahn. You have heard from
Charles Correa and Jim Wolfensohn about the length of breadth of The Aga Kahn’s contributions
to the world, a world which, at the moment, is experiencing some rather unusual times
new to some of us and of ancient origin to others. We present the Vincent Scully Prize to His
Highness for his contributions to improving the built environment. At the same time we pay
tribute to the immense positive impact The Aga Kahn and his Aga Kahn Development Network
have made in culture making for the world in general by providing a beautiful and inspiring
window into the Muslim world. His Highness shared with me tonight a piece of news that I find especially inspiring. In addition to the physical aspect of the prize, which is sitting here
beside me, there is also a cash prize of $25,000. And The Aga Kahn is matching this amount for
a total of $50,000, which he is contributing to architectural students from the third world who
study at Harvard, MIT and Yale to help underwrite the cost of their studies. And as many of
you know, there is an Aga Kahn program through Islamic architecture at both Harvard and MIT.
And he’s including Yale in his general gesture as a tribute to Vincent Scully. Your Highness,
please join me on stage.

THE AGA KHAN: Thank you very much. Thank you.

BRODY: On behalf of the Vincent Scully Prize Jury and the National Building Museum,
I present you the 2005 Vincent Scully Prize.

THE AGA KHAN: Honored Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, first I would like to thank Charles
Correa and Jim Wolfensohn for their kind words. Charles, through your work you have made an
immense contribution to the built environment. Your buildings have brought timeless elegance
to societies in the East and the West. Your inspirational use of their many languages of design
will speak powerfully to many generations hence. I would also like to sincerely thank you for
your contribution over many years to The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, as a member of five
different Steering Committees, a Master Jury and as an Award winner yourself in 1998.
Jim Wolfensohn, you have changed the very nature of the World Bank, creating an ethic that
recognizes that the development of individuals and communities are as important as return on
equity. Hundreds of millions of people around the world, faceless and desperate in their poverty,
may not know, but should know, that you have seen their plight and have heard and understood
their needs. You have been successful in harmonizing the activities of the World Bank and
the International Monetary Fund which has made both more effective in achieving their
respective goals. And you have been an ecumenical leader in building bridges between and
among faith-based organizations and recognizing their importance in international development.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your presence here this evening.
And thank you to the National Building Museum for honoring me with this recognition. I am
humbled to receive an award carrying the distinguished name of Vincent Scully. His work as a
teacher and critic has reminded the world of the importance of a humane architecture that both
respects the past and embraces the future. I might add that my only regret, as a Harvard man,
was that Mr. Scully chose to do so much of his work at Yale.

Ladies and gentlemen, some 30 years ago I began to question why architecture in the modern
Islamic world seemed to have lost touch with the great achievements of its past. I began working with leading architects, philosophers, artists, teachers, historians and thinkers — from all
religious faiths—to establish an Award for Architecture. We sought to reshape and reposition
knowledge and taste in the public psyche and to change the behavior of the vast range of actors
who shape the built environment. Now some 28 years later, the extent to which we have been
successful is due to a multitude of individuals and organizations from all regions, faiths and
occupations. They have been cemented together by their mutual commitment of service to
people through the contribution of time, talent and knowledge. It is on behalf of this broad
spectrum of qualified men and women that I accept the Vincent Scully Award this evening.
These include members of the nine Award Steering Committees and Master Juries. From the
beginning, they pushed the notion of architecture far beyond the act of building and technical
perfection. They were concerned with quality of life, social justice, pluralism, cross-cultural
exchange, education, the proper use of resources and corporate responsibility. Thank you to
William Porter, former Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture, for a persistent advocacy of community
responsibility and to Oleg Grabar, from Harvard and Dogan Kuban, from Istanbul, who
brought depth to the Award’s understanding of the traditions of Islamic Architecture. Thank you
Nader Ardalan for pioneering climatically relevant and socially meaningful modern architecture.
Hasan Uddin Khan helped us communicate with the architectural community by establishing
the architectural magazine Mimar, a publication still much missed today. Robert Venturi helped
the Award address popular expressions in architecture. Frank Gehry has been an adamant
supporter of social responsibility. Peter Eisenman and Charles Jencks helped us involve younger
talent and fresh ideas as did Glenn Lowry from the Museum of Modern Art of New York.
Renata Holod of the USA and Canada, helped us build the foundation of Award procedures,
seminars and field visits. Saïd Zulficar, Secretary General of the Award from 1981 to 1990,
helped to further refine our procedures, and to deepen the Award’s interest and presence in
contemporary societies where Islam had historically been at the forefront of architecture and
learning. Suha Özkan now the longest serving Secretary General of the Award, has helped us
gain momentum for the future. Some who contributed are no longer with us. The late Professor
Charles Moore, brought a real understanding of plurality in contemporary architecture and
Hassan Fathy, made an enormous contribution with his advocacy of appropriate building
traditions. The late Sir Hugh Casson molded contemporary architectural expressions from
Islamic heritage. The many other architects, planners and thinkers who contributed are a
pluralist microcosm of the world itself. And here is just a partial list: Kenzo Tange, Fumihiko
Maki and Arata Isozaki of Japan, James Stirling of the United Kingdom and Zaha Hadid of
the UK and Iraq, Kenneth Frampton of the UK and USA, Balkrishna Doshi of India, Moshen
Mostafavi of Iran and the USA and Farshid Moussavi of Iran and the UK, Elias Torres Tur
of Spain, Glenn Murcutt of Australia, Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, Geoffrey Bawa of
Sri Lanka, Alvaro Siza of Portugal, Jacques Herzog of Switzerland and Billie Tsien of the US.
And there are many more. I know of no process where so many people of such different backgrounds
have come together to improve the living conditions of more than one billion people.

Thank you to the more than 1,000 nominators worldwide who have brought such a diversity of
projects to our attention. Thanks also to the dozens of highly-qualified reviewers who conducted with leading architects, philosophers, artists, teachers, historians and thinkers — from all
religious faiths—to establish an Award for Architecture. We sought to reshape and reposition
knowledge and taste in the public psyche and to change the behavior of the vast range of actors
who shape the built environment. Now some 28 years later, the extent to which we have been
successful is due to a multitude of individuals and organizations from all regions, faiths and
occupations. They have been cemented together by their mutual commitment of service to
people through the contribution of time, talent and knowledge. It is on behalf of this broad
spectrum of qualified men and women that I accept the Vincent Scully Award this evening.
These include members of the nine Award Steering Committees and Master Juries. From the
beginning, they pushed the notion of architecture far beyond the act of building and technical
perfection. They were concerned with quality of life, social justice, pluralism, cross-cultural
exchange, education, the proper use of resources and corporate responsibility. Thank you to
William Porter, former Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture, for a persistent advocacy of community
responsibility and to Oleg Grabar, from Harvard and Dogan Kuban, from Istanbul, who
brought depth to the Award’s understanding of the traditions of Islamic Architecture. Thank you
Nader Ardalan for pioneering climatically relevant and socially meaningful modern architecture.
Hasan Uddin Khan helped us communicate with the architectural community by establishing
the architectural magazine Mimar, a publication still much missed today. Robert Venturi helped
the Award address popular expressions in architecture. Frank Gehry has been an adamant
supporter of social responsibility. Peter Eisenman and Charles Jencks helped us involve younger
talent and fresh ideas as did Glenn Lowry from the Museum of Modern Art of New York.
Renata Holod of the USA and Canada, helped us build the foundation of Award procedures,
seminars and field visits. Saïd Zulficar, Secretary General of the Award from 1981 to 1990,
helped to further refine our procedures, and to deepen the Award’s interest and presence in
contemporary societies where Islam had historically been at the forefront of architecture and
learning. Suha Özkan now the longest serving Secretary General of the Award, has helped us
gain momentum for the future. Some who contributed are no longer with us. The late Professor
Charles Moore, brought a real understanding of plurality in contemporary architecture and
Hassan Fathy, made an enormous contribution with his advocacy of appropriate building
traditions. The late Sir Hugh Casson molded contemporary architectural expressions from
Islamic heritage. The many other architects, planners and thinkers who contributed are a
pluralist microcosm of the world itself. And here is just a partial list: Kenzo Tange, Fumihiko
Maki and Arata Isozaki of Japan, James Stirling of the United Kingdom and Zaha Hadid of
the UK and Iraq, Kenneth Frampton of the UK and USA, Balkrishna Doshi of India, Moshen
Mostafavi of Iran and the USA and Farshid Moussavi of Iran and the UK, Elias Torres Tur
of Spain, Glenn Murcutt of Australia, Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, Geoffrey Bawa of
Sri Lanka, Alvaro Siza of Portugal, Jacques Herzog of Switzerland and Billie Tsien of the US.
And there are many more. I know of no process where so many people of such different backgrounds
have come together to improve the living conditions of more than one billion people.

Thank you to the more than 1,000 nominators worldwide who have brought such a diversity of
projects to our attention. Thanks also to the dozens of highly-qualified reviewers who conducted the in-depth analysis of short-listed projects to enable the judges to assess them impartially.

Finally, my most heartfelt thanks go to the thousands of architects, builders, designers, financiers
and planners who had the inspiration, creativity, and most of all, the patience and determination,
to bring so many worthwhile projects to completion.
There were 2,261 such projects in 88 countries that made our short lists over the last 27 years.
They are the living proof that the built environment can truly be what we want it to be. Thank you.

BRODY: Thank you. And, once again, congratulations. We’ve now come to the end of our
evening together and the National Building Museum, once again, is eternally grateful to all
of you who came tonight for this spectacular evening, for the financial support that you’ve
provided, for the endowment of events and Vincent Scully Prize and, most importantly, for
your presence here tonight.

By so doing, you contribute to the world around you. And now on your way home tonight
please take a moment, as we’ve been saying all evening, to look out and observe the built
environment which matters so much to all of us. Good evening and thank you again.


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