Aga Khan Award for Architecture announces 2022 shortlist

20 projects in 16 countries, from Indonesia to Cape Verde

In early June, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA)  announced 20 shortlisted projects for the 2022 Award cycle.  The projects will compete for a share of the US$ 1 million prize, one of the largest in architecture.

The 20 shortlisted projects were selected by an independent Master Jury from a pool of 463 projects nominated for the 15th Award Cycle (2020-2022).

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established by Hagais Highness the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of communities in which Muslims have a significant presence.  Since it was launched 45 years ago, 121 projects have received the award and nearly 10,000 building projects have been documented.  The AKAA’s selection process emphasizes architecture that not only provides for people’s physical, social and economic needs, but that also stimulates and responds to their cultural aspirations.

Photographic representations of the 20 shortlisted entries will go on display in an exhibition in King’s Cross, London from 2 June to 30 June, as part of the King’s Cross Outdoor Art Project, coinciding with the London Architecture Festival.



The new addition differentiates itself from the historic building in order to clearly highlight the original building. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Maxime Delvaux (photographer)

Rehabilitation of Manama Post Office, Manama, Bahrain, by Studio Anne Holtrop: Built in 1937, the Post Office was rehabilitated to its original form and role as a functioning post office, and added a new wing to the existing building.



Aerial view of the Shantikhana Women Friendly Space in Camp 4ext. The construction started before the design was finalised, allowing the local Rohingya workers to express their artisanal skills and artistic freedom. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Asif Salman (photographer)

Community Spaces in Rohingya Refugee ResponseTeknaf, Bangladesh, by Rizvi Hassan, Khwaja Fatmi, Saad Ben Mostafa: Sustainably built structures in the world’s largest refugee camps, which occurred collaboratively in the field without drawings or models.


Aerial view of the large public ghat along the Nabaganga river in the city of Jhenaidah. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Asif Salman (photographer)

Urban River Spaces, Jhenaidah, Bangladesh, by Co.Creation.Architects / Khondaker Hasibul Kabir, Suhailey Farzana: A community-driven project providing public spaces in a riverine city with 250,000 residents, offering walkways, gardens and cultural facilities, as well as environmental efforts to increase biodiversity along the river.


Cape Verde

Overview of the different intervention areas.
Nuno Flores

Outros Bairros Rehabilitation ProgrammeMindelo, Cape Verde, by OUTROS BAIRROS / Nuno Flores: An urban rehabilitation and redesign of a public space allowed residents to execute works in their own neighbourhoods and enhance their sense of belonging.



View of the louvred façade.
Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Dinesh Mehta (photographer)

Lilavati Lalbhai Library at CEPT University, in Ahmedabad, India, by RMA architects / Rahul Mehrotra: The library, a living case study of passive climate mitigation strategies, integrates seamlessly into the existing campus while forging its own distinct identity.



General view of the domestic airport that serves more than 1,100 passengers per day.
Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Mario Wibowo (photographer)

Blimbingsari AirportBanyuwangi, Indonesia, by andramatin: Serving more than 1,100 domestic passengers per day, the airport’s roofs indicate a clear division between departure and arrival halls.


The expandable house combines a conventional steel-reinforced concrete frame with an aerated concrete block cladding and an innovative composite bamboo cladding. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Mario Wibowo (photographer)

Expandable HouseBatam, Indonesia, by ETH Zurich / Stephen Cairns with Miya Irawati, Azwan Aziz, Dioguna Putra and Sumiadi Rahman: This new sustainable dwelling prototype is designed to be flexibly configured around its residents’ (often) precarious resources over time.



Aerial view of the house showing the dome of the great Shah Mosque in the background. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Deed Studio (photographer)

Aban House, Isfahan, Iran, by USE Studio / Mohammad Arab, Mina Moeineddini: On a narrow rectangular site in Isfahan’s historic centre, the three-storey house is arranged around three open courtyards.


The new floating concrete roofs in contrast with the old masonry walls. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Deed Studio (photographer)

Argo Contemporary Art Museum & Cultural CentreTehran, Iran, by ASA North / Ahmadreza Schricker: Distinct materials differentiate new additions from the brick-built historic fabric in this contemporary art museum housed in an abandoned 100-year-old brewery.


Owing to its curvilenar forms, the school was built without columns. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Deed Studio (photographer)

Jadgal Elementary School, Seyyed Bar, Iran, by DAAZ Office / Arash Aliabadi: An elementary school, managed by villagers and teachers and funded by tourism and needlework from local women, is a sustainable development centre for surrounding areas.



Central courtyard with the glazed partitions. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden (photographer)

Renovation of Niemeyer Guest House, Tripoli, Lebanon, by East Architecture Studio: Designed by Oscar Niemeyer but abandoned when civil war erupted in 1975, the guest house has been transformed into a design platform and production facility for the local wood industry.



The tower rises from a plinth that contains public areas, including a pool and a gym. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden (photographer)

Wafra Wind TowerKuwait City, Kuwait, by AGi Architects: The 13-storey building conceived as a wind tower features a central, vertical courtyard that provides natural ventilation to each apartment unit.



The project is resolutely focused on preserving the landscape, ecosystem, culture and architecture of the valley. Heritage is not perceived as a solidified mythical past but rather as a context-specific resource to answer contemporary challenges. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Amine Houari (photographer)

Issy Valley Improvement, Ait Mansour, Morocco, by Salima Naji: While improving the palm orchards and water reservoirs, trails and facilities for tourists were also upgraded in the first phase of a larger project for the valley.



Aerial view of the six single-family units corresponding to the first phase of the project. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Aboubacar Magagi (photographer)

Niamey 2000Niamey, Niger, by united4design / Yasaman Esmaili, Elizabeth Golden, Mariam Kamara, Philip Straeter: As a response to a housing shortage amid rapid urban expansion, this prototype housing of six family units seeks to increase density while remaining culturally appropriate.



Main entrance to the courthouse with broad stone stairs that give onto an open urban plaza. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden (photographer)

Tulkarm Courthouse, Tulkarm, Palestine, by AAU Anastas: Featuring two buildings, one for administration and the other containing 10 courtrooms, the Courthouse is anchored to its urban context by a public space.



The clay vault modules were produced using local techniques. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Amir Anoushfar (photographer)

CEM Kamanar Secondary School, Thionck Essyl, Senegal, by Dawoffice / David Garcia, Aina Tugores: For this secondary school, volunteers, using local techniques, produced vault modules from clay which (with lattices) act as evaporating coolers.


Sri Lanka

Aerial view of the Lanka Learning Centre showing its pentangular plan and integration into the landscape. The architects kept all the existing trees, which now provide shade to the complex. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Nipun Prabhakar (photographer)

Lanka Learning CentreParangiyamadu, Sri Lanka, by feat.collective / Noemi Thiele, Felix Lupatsch, Valentin Ott and Felix Yaparsidi: A multifunctional cultural centre and adult school where locals learn craftsmanship creates a multi-ethnic meeting point.



The project contains a small residence for a caretaker, a morgue and a doctor’s office, public sanitary facilities, and an ecumenical prayer room. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden (photographer)

Le Jardin d’Afrique, Zarzis, Tunisia, by Rachid Koraïchi: An ecumenical cemetery provides a sanctuary and dignified place of final repose for the hundreds of unburied bodies that had been washing ashore.



The open space in between the building complex is rearranged as a multipurpose inner courtyard with the integration of surrounding spaces through a creative design approach. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden (photographer)

Rehabilitation of Tarsus Old GinneryTarsus, Turkey, by Sayka Construction Architecture Engineering Consultancy: Adaptive reuse of an abandoned 19th century ginnery allows the operation of a contemporary centre for archaeological research and public engagement.


United Arab Emirates

The Sharjah Art Foundation acquired and commissioned the complete rehabilitation of the iconic Flying Saucer restaurant, originally built in the 1970s. | Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Danko Stjepanovic (photographer)

Flying Saucer RehabilitationSharjah, United Arab Emirates, by SpaceContinuum Design Studio / Mona El Mousfy: The Flying Saucer, a 1978 Brutalist-style building that was fully restored as a community art space, contributes to Sharjah’s collective cultural memory.


The shortlisted projects have undergone rigorous reviews, at the site of each project, by independent experts, including architects, conservation specialists, planners and structural engineers. The Master Jury meets again this summer to examine the on-site reviews and determine the final recipients of the Award.

The nine members of the independent Master Jury who selected the 20 shortlisted projects are: Nada Al Hassan, an architect specializing in the conservation of architectural and urban heritage; Amale Andraos, Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Kader Attia, an artist who explores the wide-ranging effects of western cultural hegemony and colonialism; Kazi Khaleed Ashraf, director-general of Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements, in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Sibel Bozdoğan, a Visiting Professor of Modern Architecture and Urbanism at the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, Boston University; Lina Ghotmeh, a French-Lebanese architect who leads a practice where every project learns from a vernacular past to build a new “déjà-là”; Francis Kéré, an AKAA laureate and internationally renowned Burkinabè architect who received the Award in 2004 for his first project, an elementary school in Gando, Burkina Faso; Anne Lacaton, founder of Lacaton & Vassal in Bordeaux in 1989, who focuses on the generosity of space and economy of means; Nader Tehrani, founding principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to design innovation, collaboration and a dialogue with the construction industry. See the biographies of the Master Jury.

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is governed by a Steering Committee chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan. The other members of the Steering Committee are Sheikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President, Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Manama; Emre Arolat, Founder, EAA – Emre Arolat Architecture, Istanbul; Meisa Batayneh, Principal Architect, Founder, maisam architects and engineers, Amman; Sir David Chipperfield, Principal, David Chipperfield Architects, London; Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Director, Institute of African Studies, Columbia University, New York; Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Marina Tabassum, Principal, Marina Tabassum Architects, Dhaka; and Sarah M. Whiting, Dean, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge. Farrokh Derakhshani is the Director of the Award.