The ensemble of buildings on Registan Square in Samarkand consists of the 15th century madrasa of Ulugh Beg, the 17th century madrasa-mosque of Tillya Kari, the 17th century madrasa of Shir Dor and the 18th Century market building called Chor-Su. Tashkent Street, which connects the Bibi Khanum complex to Registan Square. has been converted to a pedestrian mall aligned with new, low-rise, commercial buildings, the intention is to revitalise this ancient shopping street and to create a pedestrian zone between the two important monuments of Samarkand.
The present Tashkent Street is a widened version of the historical bazaar street of Samarkand which used to connect the Bibi Khanum complex just inside the Tashkent gate of the city with the Registan Square at its centre. Cutting through the traditional fabric as a major shopping street, it has always been a busy thoroughfare of Samarkand. Today, it has been converted into a pedestrian mall aligned with old and new buildings. The series of small shops and most of the old buildings that lined the street have disappeared A few buildings built by the Russians during the 19th Century are incorporated in the design. The project aims to visually enclose the empty areas on the street, as well as around the monuments of Registan Square and Bibi Khanum mosque. These areas were demolished during the 1950's, to clear around the monuments and make them more visible from a distance.
On Tashkent Street, pavements are restored according to existing examples with marble and square bricks, the historical monuments are being restored according to the same principles employed in the restoration of the Registan monuments. New buildings are usually executed in reinforced concrete. Infill is of yellow coloured brick, as a reminder of the traditional building material of the town. Simple, decorative brick courses, the occasional use of turquoise glazing and simple, muqarnas-type corner treatments are used consistently to give the street an homogeneous appearance and quality. Landscaping is deliberately simple and consists of surface pavement in stone and brick, flower boxes in concrete, bench seating and street lamps purpose-designed and executed from sheet metal.
New Tashkent Street On-site Review Report, edited by Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1992.
The On-site Review Report, formerly called the Technical Review, is a document prepared for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by commissioned independent reviewers who report to the Master Jury about a specific shortlisted project. The reviewers are architectural professionals specialised in various disciplines, including housing, urban planning, landscape design, and restoration. Their task is to examine, on-site, the shortlisted projects to verify project data seek. The reviewers must consider a detailed set of criteria in their written reports, and must also respond to the specific concerns and questions prepared by the Master Jury for each project. This process is intensive and exhaustive making the Aga Khan Award process entirely unique.