Geneva, Switzerland, 18 October 2023 – The Aga Khan Award for Architecture has announced the members of the Steering Committee for the 2023-2025 cycle. Projects are now being accepted for submission.
The Steering Committee governs the Award and is chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan. The other members of the Steering Committee are:
- Meisa Batayneh, Principal Architect, Founder, maisam architects and engineers, Amman, Jordan
- Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor in the departments of French and Philosophy, Columbia University, New York, USA
- Lesley Lokko, Founder & Director, African Futures Institute, Accra, Ghana
- Gülru Necipoğlu, Director and Professor of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
- Hashim Sarkis, Dean, School of Architecture and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
- Sarah M. Whiting, Dean, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
Farrokh Derakhshani is the Director of the Award. For more information about the Steering Committee, including biographies, please see the 2025 Steering Committee page.
A new committee is constituted each cycle to establish the eligibility criteria for project submissions, provide thematic direction in response to emerging priorities and issues, and develop plans for the future of the Award. One of its most important tasks is to select an independent Master Jury which, in turn, selects award recipients from projects nominated.
“The Award has been most effective when at the forefront of identifying key issues facing the built environment and selecting relevant projects to address these concerns,” said Princess Zahra Aga Khan, at the Steering Committee’s inaugural meeting. “The challenges of climate change and environmental degradation are today intertwined with geopolitical shifts, migration, natural disasters and rapid urbanisation. I would therefore urge members of the Steering Committee to emphasise in this cycle, infrastructure, climate change as well as the important role of civil society actors in shaping how we live, work and play.”
Established in 1977, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture is given every three years to projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation and landscape architecture. The Award seeks projects that represent the broadest possible range of architectural interventions, with attention given to building schemes that use local resources and appropriate technology in innovative ways, and those that are likely to inspire similar efforts elsewhere. Projects can be anywhere in the world but must successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies in which Muslims have a significant presence.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture has completed 15 cycles of activity since 1977 and has documented over 9,000 building projects throughout the world. It has a prize fund of $1 million. The winners who shared this prize during the last cycle in 2022 were: Urban River Spaces and Community Spaces in Rohingya Refugee Response (Bangladesh); Banyuwangi International Airport (Indonesia); Argo Contemporary Art Museum (Iran); the renovation of Niemeyer Guest house (Lebanon); and Kamanar Secondary School (Senegal).
The rigour of its nomination and selection process has made it, in the eyes of many observers, one of the world’s most important architectural prizes.
The announcement of the Steering Committee coincides with that of the identification of projects for the 16th Award Cycle. Farrokh Derakhshani noted that, to be eligible for consideration in the 2025 Award cycle, projects must be completed between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2023 and should have been in use for at least one full year.
Read more about the project submission process.
Ceremonies to announce the winning projects and mark the close of each triennial cycle are always held in settings selected for their architectural and cultural importance to the Muslim world. Previous venues for Award ceremonies encompass many of the most illustrious architectural achievements, including Shalimar Gardens in Lahore (1980), Topkapi Palace in Istanbul (1983), Alhambra in Granada (1998), Emperor Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi (2004), and most recently the Royal Opera House in Muscat (2022).
For more information please contact:
Aga Khan Award for Architecture
PO Box 2049
1211 Geneva 2
Telephone: +41 (22) 909 72 00
Facsimile: +41 (22) 909 72 92
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The Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) is a programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which has a wide range of activities aimed at the preservation and promotion of the material and spiritual heritage of Muslim societies. AKTC is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private development agencies working to empower communities and individuals, often in disadvantaged circumstances, to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in South and Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.