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Old March 9th, 2006, 06:01 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Architecture in the Muslim World

Architecture in the Muslim world:
Building design may be the most developed form of expression in the Islamic world, says the head of the prestigious Aga Khan award for architecture.
He tells Maria Cook that architecture offers a freedom not always found in the Muslim world to discuss cultural and social issues.

The Ottawa Citizen
8 March 2006

When reading about the Muslim world in the news, words such as conflict and destruction come to mind. Not architecture.

Yet, architecture is perhaps the most developed form of expression in the historic Islamic world, says Suha Ozkan, secretary general of the Aga Khan award for architecture.

"Architecture allows us to talk about the cultural and societal issues," he says. "Because architecture doesn't stand on its own. It gives a wider focus and richer discourse on societal issues.

"Anything which is fundamentalist or fanatic will not leave any grounds for discussion because the facts are derived from certain dogmas," says Mr. Ozkan, who is based in Geneva. "This award nurtures a space for freedom and open debate on issues of architecture that identify solutions for current problems."

Mr. Ozkan will speak about the awards program tonight at 6 p.m. at the National Gallery of Canada. The talk, which is part of the Carleton University School of Architecture's forum lecture series, is open to the public and admission is free.

The Aga Khan award for architecture is the biggest architecture prize in the world -- $500,000 U.S. every three years. It is sponsored by the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community, which has about 12 million members, including 75,000 in Canada.

"The Aga Khan is an amazing phenomenon, especially in the world of architecture," says Marco Frascari, director of the Carleton University school of architecture.

"We only have images of war," he says. "People will be fascinated to discover these images of alive buildings and expression of that life."

The Aga Khan established the awards in 1977. By recognizing the best contemporary buildings, the awards aim to encourage thinking and exploration about the needs of Muslims living and working in the modern world.

The focus is on the project itself and the potential it represents. In this way, both client and architect are recognized, Muslim and non-Muslim. All that is required is that the project be created within a society that is at least partially Islamic.

For example, in the last awards, handed out in 2004, multimillion dollar skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were cited, as was a small community school built by villagers in Burkina Faso in Africa.

"It is audacious because it locates social concerns, issues of planning and the built environment right in the heart of the architectural profession," says Taj Masud, a lecturer at Carleton's school of architecture.

He gives the example of Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world, which got two awards in 1989: One for the monumental Dhaka Parliament complex, and another for a bank housing program, which offers micro-loans along with prefabricated building materials to homeless clients.

"The award program insists on the architectural profession seeing both projects as intrinsic to architecture," says Mr. Masud.

Mr. Ozkan has headed the awards program since 1991. Previously he was on the faculty and administration of the Middle East Technical University in Turkey.

The Aga Khan is also active in Ottawa. Construction is expected to start this spring on a landmark building on Sussex Drive to house the activities of the Aga Khan development network, which spends $230 million U.S. a year on international development.

The building has been designed by internationally renowned architect Fumihiko Maki and is inspired by natural rock-crystal.

In addition, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture is planning to locate a "global centre for pluralism" in Ottawa. Its mission will be to promote pluralist values and practices in culturally diverse societies worldwide.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 06:13 AM   #2
Manila-X
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I always think of Dubai's skyscrapers when it comes to this. They best represent it's region.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 07:30 AM   #3
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It's not just skyscrapers. The mosque is already an architectural expression of religion, just as cathedrals are in Christian countries.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #4
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Muslim architecture is also very prominent in South East Asia region.

Indonesia, Malaysia especially.
Some modern buildings have Islamic elements.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 08:01 AM   #5
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To be honest I'm not that familiar with mosques though I find the ones in Iran very interesting.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 06:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redstone
Muslim architecture is also very prominent in South East Asia region.

Indonesia, Malaysia especially.
Some modern buildings have Islamic elements.
Petronas Towers
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Old March 9th, 2006, 06:08 PM   #7
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Not only that, but even Menara KL and many old colonial buildings carry Islamic inspired elements.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 07:49 AM   #8
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Putrajaya ( federal government administrative center ), Malaysia.
part of Metro Kuala Lumpur.

masterplan




progress..











[IMG]http://www.**********/thumbs/3/{06DFE7F6-FD49-4438-861F-D87E676F6148}/A8BG42.jpg[/IMG]





































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Old March 10th, 2006, 10:38 AM   #9
malec
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I love this bridge:




Dubai has some interesting towers containing Islamic references such as the emirates towers or "the tower". Even burj dubai slightly. Sometimes they overdo it though

Last edited by malec; March 11th, 2006 at 10:39 AM.
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Old March 11th, 2006, 03:19 AM   #10
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wonderful architecture, a excelent form of expression!!
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Old March 11th, 2006, 08:40 AM   #11
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Putrajaya looks great
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Old March 11th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #12
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Here are some past winners of the Award

(because the pics are large press on the provided link to access the pictures)

The Ninth Award Cycle, 2002-2004

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt

http://www.akdn.org/agency/akaa/nint...page_01txt.htm

Primary School, Gando, Burkina Faso

http://www.akdn.org/agency/akaa/nint...page_04txt.htm

Sandbag Shelter Prototypes, various locations

http://www.akdn.org/agency/akaa/nint...page_03txt.htm

Restoration of Al-Abbas Mosque, Near Asnaf, Yemen

http://www.akdn.org/agency/akaa/nint...page_02txt.htm

Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization Programme (OCJRP), Old City, Jerusalem

http://www.akdn.org/agency/akaa/nint...page_05txt.htm

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

http://www.akdn.org/agency/akaa/nint...page_07txt.htm

Past Awards:

http://www.akdn.org/agency/akaacycles.html
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Old March 11th, 2006, 10:30 AM   #13
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Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




Banganun KTM Berhad


It's the head office of the national railway.
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Old March 11th, 2006, 06:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redstone
Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

That building is an example of the Moorish style - a branch of Islamic architecture. It was popular in Spain and North Africa as well.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #15
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Moorish style was used alot in Bosnia by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

most famous is the City Hall Sarajevo which is going through a reconstruction.



But there are other examples through out Bosnia other then Sarajevo, Mostar has a really recognizable Moorish Style building.

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Old March 12th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #16
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Old March 12th, 2006, 03:35 PM   #17
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The Prohpet's Mosque, Madinah



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Old March 12th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #18
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Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 06:16 AM   #19
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Putrajaya is so beautiful and futuristic too, it reminds me of Naboo Planet in Star Wars.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Petronas Towers
i disagree Petronas towers isnt muslim since its architect (César Pelli) is latinamerican, Argentinian.
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