The program for the development of public spaces of the Republic of Tatarstan won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The international award ceremony was held at the Kazan’s Musa Jalil State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre on September 13, 2019.
380 projects from 39 countries took part in the competition, and 20 projects from 16 countries appeared in the short list. The program for the development of public spaces in Tatarstan was the only Russian project that became the finalist for the whole 42 years’ history of the award. This year, six finalists will share $1 million prize.
All the finalists were gathered in Kazan to participate in the award ceremony. They received the awards from Mintimer Shaimiev, State Counsellor of the Republic of Tatarstan, and His Highness the Aga Khan, hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims. The Aga Khan Cultural Foundation has published a book “Heritage and Dialogue” dedicated to the activities of Tatarstan in preserving cultural and historical heritage specifically for the award ceremony.
“We are honored to receive the Aga Khan Award for Architecture along with five projects from Bangladesh, Palestine, the UAE, Senegal and Bahrain. We also heartily congratulate them on this great victory. Your highness, this award, we regard as a high assessment of the multifaceted activities carried out in the Republic in the interests of people”, - Mintimer Shaimiev thanked the prince.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture (hereditary title of head of the Ismaili-Nizari religious community) was established in 1977. It is awarded every three years for the best architectural solutions in countries with a significant Muslim population. The award covers all areas of urban planning and development from renovation of abandoned areas and the construction of social housing to the creation of museums. Not only architects, but also city leaderships, developers and investors can become laureates of the prize. The Aga Khan Award is often called the second most important in the architectural world after the Pritzker Architecture Prize.