BIG wins Cityscape Dubai Architectural Award

The Astana National Library received the Future Community category award at Cityscape Dubai on 6 October 2009 and the 33, 000 sq m library broke ground later that week in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Selected out of over 300 submitted projects, the new national library was honoured at the annual Cityscape Dubai Conference, the world’s largest international real estate investment and development event for the emergent markets with over 70,000 participants in 2008. The award programme rewards excellence in architecture and design from the emerging regions and seeks to recognize architects that have shown outstanding designs, performance, vision and achievement in eight different categories.

To decide which projects were worthy of winning the Awards and seals of distinction of the Cityscape Architectural Awards, a judging panel consisting of high profile international judges reviewed each submission. The international judging panel consisted of Suha Ozkan, former chairman of the Aga Khan Award, Gaetan Siew, Past President of the Union Internationale des Architectes (UIA), George Katodrytis, Associate Professor in Architecture at University of Sharjah, Habiba Al Marashi, Co-founder and Chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group and Peter Sabatino, AIA, Dean, School of Architecture and Design, American University of Sharjah.

“This distinction means that the Cityscape Dubai Architectural Award is not only for projects in the UAE but aspires to be the predominate awards program for all emergent regions including Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. We are most thrilled by the fact that although we have won the distinction within a “future category” that we actually have begun its construction and within a few years will see it standing in the capital city of Astana, Kazakhstan.” Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Director for International Business Development quoted while accepting the award.

The new National Library, named after the first President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, encompasses an estimated 33,000 sq m. The National Library will be one of the cornerstones of Kazakh nation building, and a leading institution representing the Kazakh national identity. The new National Library in Astana shall not only accumulate history but also project new futures for the nation and its new capital. It will be an intellectual, multifunctional and cultural center, with a primary goal of reflecting processes of establishment and development of sovereign Kazakhstan, its political history, popularization of life, and the Head of the State’s activities and role in the development of the country.

Groundbreaking for the Astana National Library which sits 500 meters from the Presidential Palace has already occurred and pilings and foundations are being poured in the coming months. If all goes along to schedule then the library will be completed at the start of 2012.

BIG are recruiting a Project Manager for developing the new Presidential Library in Astana, Kazakhstan - applications are accepted until the 25 October. Link to Job information

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