Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2010.
The nineteenth and early twentieth-century architectural heritage of North African cities embodies an important cultural exchange between the southern and northern Mediterranean. This heritage commonly lies adjacent to the old medinas, and has often been neglected in the drive to revitalise the historic centres of cities in this region. The Ville Nouvelle of Tunis was built when Tunisia was a French Protectorate and reflects a move from the urban patterns of the old medina to a grid plan that changed the character of the city. Planned around the strategic Avenue de la Marine (now Avenue Bourguiba), it contains outstanding historic landmarks such as the cathedral and the governor’s residence, in addition to theatres and the central market. The urban revitalisation plan, devised and spearheaded by the Association de Sauvegarde de la Médina de Tunis (ASM), has restructured the public spaces of the area and made them chiefly pedestrian. It has also listed and restored key monuments, which are once again in use. The ASM continues to actively guide institutions and individuals in the public and private sectors who wish to undertake preservation projects, in order to ensure overall quality and meet the objectives of the many stakeholders.
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Design 1994-2002, construction 1999-2007, occupancy 2007
Akrout-Yaiche, Semia. 2004. New Life for the Medina of Tunis. In Iran: Architecture for Changing Societies. Philip Jodidio (ed). Torino: Umberto Allemandi & C.
This publication is a result of an International Seminar held in Tehran and Yazd, Iran, between 11-17 October 2002, sponsored by the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. "The Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture had been considering for some time the organisation of a meeting in Iran that would provide the opportunity of engaging in meaningful dialogue between national architects, teachers, and students in the fields of historic preservation and contemporary design, and their counterparts from other countries." (Luis Monreal, from the preface)
"The meetings in Iran marked the first time that an Award seminar has been split into two different but complementary subjects: historic preservation and contemporary architecture and planning. This dual structure closely reflects the realities that most Muslim societies face today. On one hand, there is an urgent need to protect and revitalise historic urban heritage and the contexts in which it is located; on the other, there is a massive need for new construction, including housing, industrial and corporate structures, public facilities, and planning and infrastructure initiatives." (Luis Monreal, from the preface)