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Apr 26 2019

Art Spaces Shortlisted For Aga Khan Architecture Award

by Ophelia Lai
Birzeit’s Palestinian Museum is one of the 20 global nominees for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Image via Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Birzeit’s Palestinian Museum is one of the 20 global nominees for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Image via Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
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The shortlist for the 2017–19 cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) was announced on April 25, at the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the triennial prize held at the Kazan Expo in Russia. The award recognizes “building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies [. . .] in which Muslims have a significant presence.” Among the 20 nominated global projects are the Palestinian Museum, West Bank; Msheireb Museums, Doha; Concrete at Alserkal Avenue, Dubai; and Al Mureijah Art Spaces, Sharjah.

The Palestinian Museum, designed by Dublin-based Heneganh Peng Architects and completed in 2016, has been praised for its sustainable construction and its striking limestone façade, which blends into the surrounding natural landscape of Birzeit. Doha’s Msheireb Museums, dedicated to Qatari history and culture, comprise four refurbished historic courtyard houses, including a new gallery in the basement of one of the buildings. Sharjah’s Al Mureijah Art Spaces similarly repurposed five derelict buildings to form an interlinked structure with indoor and outdoor exhibition areas. Operated by the Sharjah Arts Foundation, the Al Mureijah Art Spaces are among the venues for the Sharjah Biennial. Alserkal Avenue’s Concrete, the first Dubai-based project nominated for the AKAA, is a multipurpose arts space designed by Rotterdam’s OMA: Office for Metropolitan Architecture and inaugurated in 2017.

The projects were shortlisted by a multidisciplinary, independent jury of nine academics and practicing architects, including cultural theorist Kwame Anthony Akroma-Ampim Kusi Appiah; renowned British architect Sir David Chipperfield; Elizabeth Diller, founding partner of New York-based design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro; and Meisa Batayneh, founder and principal architect of Amman- and Abu Dhabi-based maisam architects & engineers.

The AKAA’s USD 1 million prize pool will be split between several winning projects, selected by the same panel. The recipients will be announced later in 2019, with an awards ceremony at the Kazan Kremlin slated for September.

Ophelia Lai is the reviews editor of ArtAsiaPacific.

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