Auckland, September 15, 2018
An exhibition of projects honoured by one of the world’s most prestigious and distinctive architecture awards opened on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 in Auckland.
Hosted by the University of Auckland, the event was supported by (plasterboard manufacturer) GIB, to commemorate the New Zealand Festival of Architecture 2018.
Auckland Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore with (from left) Professor Diane Brand, Karim Sumar, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Dr Hossein Rezai, Jasmine Lalani and Julia Gatley.
The George Fraser Gallery features shortlisted and winning projects from the most recent cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
From an urban park in Denmark to a floating school in Nigeria, from a futuristic transport hub in Morocco, a library integrating an archaeological site in Spain, an elevated, dual-level-curved pedestrian bridge in Iran to a rural training centre inspired by ruins from the 3rd Century BC in Bangladesh, nineteen projects depict excellence in innovative structures and landscapes that successfully address the needs and aspirations of contemporary societies.
Karim Sumar explains the exhibits to Bill Cashmore
Introducing the exhibition, Associate Professor Julia Gatley, Head of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University noted its consonance with “our own move towards increased diversity in the programmes we teach.”
She recalled the predominant focus on western architecture and its history that characterised her student days in the 1980s that “would be unimaginable and unacceptable in today’s multicultural and diverse society.”
Auckland’s Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, said that “223 languages are now spoken here” underlining the inspiration to be drawn from the Award.
“The world is interconnected, full of humanity and beauty, like we see on the walls tonight,” Mr Cashmore said.
A section of visitors at the Exhibition
Especially present for the occasion, Dr Hossein Rezai, a member of the Independent Master Jury for the Award’s most recent cycle, cited the Award’s “value for meaningful and intelligent design, social equity and community engagement” and explained its approach.
Challenges to humanity
“There are challenges we are all facing, problems we have created within our species, between us and the natural environment that we need to fix. This contest encourages solutions,” the Singapore-based structural engineer and educator said.
Alongside architects, designers, faculty, students and civic leaders present at the exhibition’s inauguration were National List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Young Engineer of the Year 2018 Jenny Chu and Karim Sumar, President of the Ismaili Council for Australia and New Zealand who situated the Award within the multidimensional endeavour of the Aga Khan Development Network.
Aga Khan Award for Architecture Exhibition will be open until Sunday, September 30, 2018 from 11 am to 4 pm, except on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Address: George Fraser Gallery, The University of Auckland, 25A Princes Street
The above article was written by the Media Relations Department, University of Auckland with input from a Volunteer and Coordinator of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Exhibition.
All Pictures supplied by the Media Relations Department, University of Auckland.