Report of the 2016 Award Master Jury

For the 13th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Master Jury embraced the notion of plurality, exploring not just projects in diverse contexts but the boundaries of the discipline itself, recognising that new knowledge sometimes emerges in the lines between categories. For established practitioners, this posed a particular dilemma: how to identify merit in projects whose very terms force us to question the limits of our understanding. The traditional categories of our discipline – corporate, cutting-edge, infrastructure, socially responsive, environmentally sound – are not as fixed or concrete as they once seemed.

The six Award recipients, arrived at after long and sometimes heated discussion, accurately reflect the wide range of entries: a pedestrian bridge that privileges use over form; a sacred space that plays inventively with tradition; a project that is at once landscape and building; a bold, contemporary insertion into a traditional setting; a diminutive library operating at a much larger micro-urban scale, and an urban park that provides new forms of public space. In such a context, a universal language of architecture no longer seems appropriate: what remains are creative and often modest site-specific responses that generate new vocabularies of their own.

  • Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Friendship Centre, Gaibandha, Bangladesh
  • Micro Yuan'er Children’s Library and Art Centre, Beijing, China
  • Superkilen, Copenhagen, Denmark 
  • Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge, Tehran, Iran 
  • Issam Fares Institute, Beirut, Lebanon


"Report of the 2016 Master Jury.” In Architecture and Pluralism, edited by Mohsen Mostafavi. Zurich: Lars Muller Publishers, 2016.

Associated Sites
Aga Khan Award for Architecture