Posted on April 27, 2019

The Msheireb Museums, in Doha, has been shortlisted for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The announcement was made by Farrokh Derakhshani, director of the Award, at a ceremony in Kazan, Russia, on Thursday.

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is one of the oldest major awards in the field of architecture. It selects projects – from slum upgrading to high-rise ‘green’ buildings – that not only exhibit architectural excellence but also improve the overall quality of life. The Award rewards architects, but also identifies municipalities, builders, clients, master artisans and engineers who have played important roles in the realisation of a project. “The Msheireb Museums together comprise a central cultural element of the development of downtown Doha,” said Derakhshani.

Four historic courtyard houses dating from the early 20th century were brought together to become the Msheireb Museums. Each museum has been remodelled and extended to relate directly to the occupations or visions of those who originally lived in them, making them authentic mouthpieces for Qatari history and culture. The domestic architecture was reinstated using traditional construction techniques and materials. New services and technologies were integrated into floor areas and hidden recesses. Skylights were introduced for interior lighting. Careful attention was given to the arrangement, paving, water elements and landscaping of the open courtyards. The most significant new architectural intervention was the creation of a new subterranean gallery below one of the houses.

The sites will now undergo a rigorous inspection by experts who visit and evaluate each project on-site. Their reports are the basis for the Master Jury’s selection of the eventual laureates. It should be noted that projects commissioned by the Aga Khan or any of the institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) are ineligible for the award. To be eligible for consideration in the 2019 Award cycle, projects had to be completed between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2017, and should have been in use for at least one year.

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established by 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, 116 projects have received the award and more than 9,000 building projects have been documented. Master Jury to decide share of $1 million prize.

source: Qatar Tribune