Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1980.
A 290-room, five-star hotel, planned around garden courts and fountains, it has been designed to accommodate visitors to the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. The hotel has been placed on axis with the Taj Mahal. Red sandstone, the building block of Fatehpur Sikri, has been used extensively in the hotel gardens, and white marble, from the same quarries that served the Taj Mahal, is used in the public areas. All materials and fabrics are Indian. The jury found that this hotel "expresses the culture and rich architectural tradition of the region with an entirely contemporary vocabulary of forms derived from functional needs. Its design and construction make full use of the available regional materials and technology, the abundant labour force and traditional crafts, for a creativity which is free from so-called Muslim architectural symbols."
Holod, Renata and Darl Rastorfer, editors. Architecture and Community. New York: Aperture, 1983.
To many Westerners, the Taj Mahal in all its splendor typifies Islamic architecture. Yet, the overwhelming majority of Muslims live on the very margin of human existence, far from such grandeur. The merging of Islam's rich cultural heritage with modern technology to help solve problems of individual survival in the contemporary world forms the heart of Architecture and Community. The fifteen projects celebrated in this volume are the winners of the first (1980) Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Most of the projects reflect the present period of transition in Islamic architecture, marked by experimentation and the search for forms responsive to human needs. The hospitals, schools and libraries, homes and hotels, urban-renewal schemes and restorations honored help to redefine architectural excellence as they attempt to resolve the most basic and critical issues confronting the poor peoples of developing nations. The Islamic world is commencing a journey of discovery that helps point the way for future building throughout the world. Architecture and Community brings to life in photographs and drawings and in essays by architects, urban planners, sociologists, and philosophers a mandate for all countries to develop an architecture that is centered on the needs, both practical and spiritual, of man. Architecture and Community is the first in a series of books under the general title "Building in the Islamic World Today".