Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1980.
Qatar's old Amiri palace was reconstructed to form the nucleus of the museum. The palace complex consists of three courtyard houses, two reception halls and various service quarters, all within a walled enclosure. A two-storey arcaded structure at the centre of the compound, built in 1918, dominates the site. Added is a new three-level Museum of State that joins the north wall of the complex and completes the courtyard. The new building is partially below grade to reduce its scale. The arcaded façade is proportioned to echo the older buildings. Landscaping and a network of paths have transformed the compound into a lush garden, welcome in the inhospitable climate. The jury noted that "in a period of rapid social and economic change, when the widespread and indiscriminate destruction of the architectural heritage has broken all continuity with the past, the preservation, enhancement and adaptation to a new public use of this important group is a noteworthy achievement."
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".