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The Revitalisation of Muharraq ... visionary effort to maintain the spirit of this historic city.

The Revitalisation of Muharraq ... visionary effort to maintain the spirit of this historic city.

Bahrain, UAE projects win Aga Khan award

October 2019

Two projects in the Gulf – Bahrain’s ‘Revitalisation of Muharraq’ project and Wasit Wetland Centre in Sharjah – are among the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, announced recently.

 A total of six projects were selected for the award. The winners will share the $1 million award money between them.

The Revitalisation of Muharraq project highlights the World Heritage site’s pearling history. It was first initiated as a series of restoration and reuse projects. The project evolved into a comprehensive programme that aimed to re-balance the city’s demographic make-up by creating public spaces, providing community and cultural venues, and improving the overall environment.

 Wasit Wetland Centre in Sharjah transformed a wasteland into a wetland and functioned as a catalyst for biodiversity and environmental education. While its indigenous ecosystem has been restored, it has also proven to be a popular place for visitors to appreciate and learn about their natural environment.

 The other winners are: Arcadia Education Project in South Kanarchor, Bangladesh;  Palestinian Museum, in Birzeit, Palestine; Public Spaces Development Programme in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia; and Alioune Diop University Teaching and Research Unit, in Bambey, Senegal.

 The Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s mandate is different from that of many other architecture prizes: it not only rewards architects, but also identifies municipalities, builders, clients, master artisans and engineers who have played important roles in the realisation of a project.

 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. In 2019, the ceremony was held last month in Kazan, Russia, which contains, in its Kremlin, a World Heritage Site.  

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