It has been announced that the Aga Khan Award for Architecture has doubled its 2013 prize fund to $1million which will be distributed between multiple winners. The highly prestigious award was previously worth $500,000 and is presented to numerous exquisite architecture projects that ‘successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies in which Muslims have a significant presence’.
Founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1977, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture is one of the most prized gongs in the profession and has been presented to the likes of Norman Foster and Cesar Pelli. The Award runs in three-year cycles and winners in the 2008-2010 cycle included Li Xiaodong’s Bridge School in Xiashi, China and the Wadi Hanifa Wetlands in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by Moriyama & Teshima Planners Limited / Buro Happold in joint venture.
His Highness the Aga Khan has explained the increase in prize money thus: “One of the important aspects of the Award is that winners should be able to reposition their future with the support they get from the Award, both professionally and institutionally.”
It is not the intention of the master jury to select the work of a so-called ‘starchitect’ or more established practice over that of a more modest, emerging firm. This Award is presented to schemes that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation and landscape architecture, irrespective of the architect or planner’s professional history.
Nominations are currently open for the 2013 Award and will run until 15 September 2012. After this point, a master jury including His Highness the Aga Khan, Farshid Moussavi, Norman Foster, Rahul Mehrotra, and Glenn Lowry, will select the most outstanding submissions to share the prize.