Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983.
Traditional Tunisian domestic architecture consists of one- or two-level houses arranged around courtyards or patios. To achieve a contemporary expression of these indigenous arrangements for this hotel, the architect created an ordered series of symmetrical interior courtyards connected along a main longitudinal axis, from which secondary axes open. The hotel courtyards are paved, and are entered by two or four porticoes. All are simply ornamented by delicate ceramic decoration in the form of banding and panels. The innermost courtyards, some of them planted with orange trees or jasmine, have the intimate quality of private gardens. Water is the most important element. As in all the great Arabo-Islamic landscapes, it fills pools, runs off through little channels and jets forth in fountains under pergolas. Covered walkways and galleries offer shade. The jury found particularly praiseworthy "the restraint with which materials and forms have been used, and the subdued nature of the colour scheme which enable this group of buildings to achieve its imagery whilst avoiding pastiche."
Cantacuzino, Sherban, editor. Architecture in Continuity. New York: Aperture, 1985.
Architecture in Continuity celebrates projects throughout the Islamic world that most successfully preserve indigenous forms while providing for the future, It honors the insight, imagination, and skill that brought these projects into physical reality. The Aga Khan Awards attention to the extraordinary effort required to develop an architecture both practical and spiritual is dramatically reflected in this volume, the second (1983) of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture series. The eleven projects found in nine countries from Mali to Pakistan, from Yugoslavia to Malaysia, range from hotels to mosques, from housing to an impressive air terminal for pilgrims to Mecca. The Award winners show a deep respect for tradition, displayed in the historic buildings restored for contemporary purposes. Everyone connected with each project - the architect, client, and builder, the local craftsmen, artisans, and consultants - is honored for contributing to an integrity of purpose, to a spirit that is of and for the people. This collection of color photographs by some of the world's finest photographers exquisitely depicts the Award-winning buildings. The introduction and three essays, by distinguished architects and architectural historians, explore the projects in terms of the pressures confronting emerging Muslim countries, the influence of the Western postindustrial world, and traditional Muslim forms and values.