The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat located on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, Canada, is a formal and symbolic representational building for the Aga Khan and the non-denominational, philanthropic and developmental agencies, which constitute the Aga Khan Development Network.
The building rests on a podium of black granite. The Neoparies cladding, made of crystalized glass, has a softly translucent surface. A dramatic rock crystal inspired dome vaults over the interior courtyard. The dome is composed of multi-faceted angular planes. Within the dome is a layer of glass-fibre fabric that appears to float over the atrium. A floor of Canadian maple gives warmth, made up of a pattern of 49 squares, a reference to His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.
The space is filled with light and the play of shadows from the glazed roof. Surrounding the atrium is a patterned screen of cast aluminum. It evokes the screens of carved marble and wood that filter light and view in historic Islamic architecture.
The Delegation was awarded the 2012 Governor General's Medal in Architecture. The jury for the Governor General's Medal cited: "This is a significant addition to Ottawa’s repertoire of diplomatic buildings and puts Canadian architecture firmly on the world stage. Impressively monumental in scale, the project combines a powerful civic presence with a remarkable level of sophistication. Its integration of traditional Islamic motifs such as specially crafted screens and a lush courtyard garden is choreographed with assurance and sensitivity, bringing the building wonderfully to life as a delicate and sensual piece of architecture, while the quality of materials and detailing is outstanding."