Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1980.
These three pavilions and their gardens are among the great Safavid monuments of Isfahan. The Ali Qapu is the main entrance to the palace complex of the city. Its upper walls and vaults, of lacquered stucco and wood, have been carefully restored. Hasht Behesht was structurally strengthened with concrete links and supports and its ceilings and wall decorations restored. As part of the extensive conservation and repair work on the Chehel Sutun, most of the great wooden columns of the large porch were removed from their bases, sawn in half and their central core hollowed out to receive and hide steel reinforcing rods. The jury commended this restoration "for the contribution it has made to the knowledge of Islamic planning, architecture and construction. Of particular significance is the training of Iranian craftsmen and technicians and the setting up by NOCHMI of its own work force in specialist skills. The programme as a whole constitutes a model for other countries with similar conditions."
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".