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The Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) is an architectural prize established by Aga Khan IV in 1977. It aims to identify and reward architectural concept that successfully address the needs and aspirations of Islamic societies in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community development and improvement, restoration, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment. It is presented in three-year cycles to multiple projects and has a monetary award, with prizes totalling US$ 1 million. Uniquely among architectural awards, it recognizes projects, teams, and stakeholders in addition to buildings and people.
The award is aimed at societies in which Muslims have a significant presence. It is organised on the basis of a three-year cycle and is governed by a steering committee chaired by the Aga Khan IV.
A new committee is constituted each cycle to establish the eligibility criteria for project, provide thematic direction with reference to current concerns, and to develop plans for the long-term future of the award. The Steering Committee is responsible for the selection of the Master Jury appointed for each award cycle, and for activities such as seminars and field visits, the award ceremony, publications and exhibitions.
The Chairman's Award is given in honour of accomplishments that fall outside the mandate of the Master Jury. It recognises the lifetime achievement. It has been presented four times: In 1980 to Egyptian architect and urban planner Hassan Fathy, in 1986 to Iraqi architect and educator Rifat Chadirji, in 2001 to Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa., and in 2010 to historian of Islamic art and architecture Oleg Grabar.
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