Nine projects were chosen to share the 1992 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Mawlana Hazar Imam and His Excellency Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, presented the awards at a ceremony in Samarkand on September 19th, 1992. The independent Master Jury chose the winning projects from 259 nominees.

In its report, the Jury described the winners as "exemplary projects whose essence, directness and modesty have lessons for the world at large. It sees these projects as "economically sustainable, humanistic solutions relevant for the developed countries as well as the developing world."

The projects are:

Kairouan Conservation Programme Kairouan, Tunisia

Founded in the seventh century by Uqba bin Nafi, Nairouan was the first Arab city in the Maghreb. The Association de Sauvegarde de la Medina de Kairouan (ASM) was established in 1977 to restore, rehabilitate and operate the Medina's monuments and pubic spaces. The Award Master Jury has premiated the ASM's work not only for its successful restorations, funded by entrance fees, but also for the way in which new functions have been introduced into rehabilitated structures - including a school for deaf children, social services and crafts centres. Expertise acquired during the first part of the project is now available to private owners who want to renovate their homes. "The programme," states the Jury citation, "sets an excellent example for adapting an existing urban fabric to contemporary requirements."

Palace parks Programme Istanbul. Turkey

In 1984, six Ottoman palace complexes were re-opened to the Istanbul public by the national Palaces Trust. Three of them have become palace museums, while the others have assumed an important function in Istanbul's congested urban environment. Commending the National Palaces Trust for "ensuring the continuing growth of local expertise" through its efforts in education, restoration and maintenance, the jury also emphasised this programme's success in furthering the "active appropriation of an urban heritage by the residents of Istanbul" and cited it as a "powerful model for the efficient re-use of otherwise under-valued spaces and resources" in Islamic cities.

Cultural Park for Children Cairo, Egypt

Resulting from dialogue between architect Abdelhalim I. Abdelhalim and the park's neighbours, links with the community have been built into the structure of the park, whose northern boundary includes cultural facilities that open onto Abu el-Dahab street in Sayyida Zeinab neighbourhood. Its library, art studios, computer workshops and other spaces serve a poor community whose participation in design development and pride in the results have stimulated broad processes of community renewal. Patterns in the park are generated from the monuments that surround it and from geometric principles, leading the jury to describe this project as "an environment which engages curiosity, fantasy and play" as well as learning processes and cultural identification.

Stone Building System Dar'a Province, Syria

With locally-available black basalt stone and computer technology, the Muhanna brothers (two architects and an engineer) have created a low-cost, climatically responsive alternate to cement block construction in rural Syria. Using arch and vault forms traditional to the region, their stone building system was chosen by the Prime Minister for a school construction programme. Referring to the first four completed school, in southern Syria, the Master Jury stated that "in a region where current schools reproduce anonymous, dull and alienating buildings, the use of vaulted spaces has created a challenging and original alternatives."

Demir Holiday Village Bodrum, Turkey

By acting as both architect and developer, Turgut Cansever has been able to protect the environment and amenity of the site, located on a bay surrounded by national forest lands. Consistent use of timber and stone has created a common language for the project, which nevertheless offers custom-designed houses and achieves significant architectural variation. In an area scarred by uncontrolled tourist development, the jury cited the project as "setting a high standard for architectural design, craftsmanship and commercial land development. "This is the third time that Turgut Cansever's work has been premiated by the Aga Khan Award for Architecture: Ertegun House and the Turkish Historical Society won Awards in 1980.

East Wahdat upgrading Programme Amman, Jordan

When this programme began in 1980, the 500 refugee families in. Amman's East Wahdat were living in temporary corrugated iron shelters. They had no sanitation services, schools or health facilities. Collaboration between an ad hoc agency created by the Government of Jordan - The Urban Development Department - and the population of East Wahdat has transformed this settlement into a nexus of serviced homes, public facilities and landscaped public areas. The jury cited the Urban Development Department for its exceptional ability to address a wide range of economic and social development issues during the upgrading process, while maintaining a high degree of cost recovery.

Kampung Kali Cho-de Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Located on a river-bank refuse heap in Yogyakarta, this squatter settlement was slated for demolition by the government in 1985. Collaboration between the local officials, a social worker, student volunteers and the inhabitants to save the settlement through environmental improvement has preserved and transformed the site. The renewal process began with the building of a community centre. Then, with the terrain consolidated through retaining walls, makeshift carton and plastic shelters gave way to two-story "A" frame houses, an innovated variation of traditional rural architecture, decorated by their inhabitants with stylized motifs. Citing the transformation of the site through self-help, the jury also applauded the transformation of the inhabitants from a group of outcasts into a community making a better life for its children.

Panafrican Institute for Development Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Realised entirely in stabilised earth brick, the Panafrican Institute for Development was designed and built by the Association pour El Development naturel d'une Architecture et d'un Urbanisme Africains (ADAUA), a non-governmental organisation that shares the Institute's conviction that Africa needs to create its own development models. The layout of the campus is inspired by Volta village organisation, and dominated by vaulted and domed roofs built by masons trained on the site, with bricks also made there. The project uses local resources and traditional building techniques with technical virtuosity, and has achieved "one of the most impressive contemporary realisations in stabilised mud brick in Africa."

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India

The Entrepreneurship Development institute was designed by Bimal Patel to reflect the deep structures he perceives governing Indo-Islamic architecture, evident here in the organising framework of courtyards and loggias. The low-cost, low-maintenance buildings achieve the climatic control that was one of the major design concerns. Within this complex of academic facilities and dormitories, the interplay of internal courts, landscaped outdoor spaces and brick and concrete buildings creates an "inviting environment for work, interaction and repose," according to the jury citation.

(Source: Ismaili Canada 920919b)

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