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Iran Bazaar, Sudan Clinic Win $1 Million Aga Khan Award

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Agha Khan Award for Architecture
The Islamic cemetery designed by Bernardo Bader and commissioned by the town of Altach. Photographer: Adolf Bereuter/AKAA via Bloomberg

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- A heart clinic in Sudan, a bazaar in Iran, and an Islamic cemetery in Austria were three of the five winners of the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, worth a total of $1 million and announced in Lisbon today.

The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Khartoum is a modern 63-bed hospital with three operating theaters, where staff members are housed in repurposed transport containers. The project was designed by Studio Tamassociati (based in Venice, Italy).

The jury praised “a responsible, efficient and inspiring model of health services in a society marred by war, internal conflict, and lack of basic needs like water and sanitation.”

The Award for Architecture, started in 1977 by the Aga Khan, is handed out every three years. It rewards projects of all sizes that are well designed and help boost quality of life. Winners aren’t always architects: They can be city authorities, clients, builders, engineers and master craftsmen.

Another winner was the restoration of the Bazaar in Tabriz, Iran. Dating back to the 10th century and added in 2010 to the World Heritage List, the Bazaar had started crumbling in recent years. The restoration has been funded both by the government and by the merchants working in the Bazaar.

The jury also recognized the Islamic Cemetery in Altach, Austria -- designed by Bernardo Bader -- for allowing the local Muslim community to bury their dead nearby rather than having to send them back to their country of origin.

The nine-member jury included architects David Adjaye and Wang Shu (founder of the Amateur Architecture Studio in Hangzhou, China).

The restoration of the historic center of Birzeit in the West Bank was another winner. That project was led by the Ramallah-based Riwaq architectural conservation center. Also recognized was the Rabat-Sale Urban Infrastructure Project in Morocco, led by Marc Mimram Architectes.

Muse highlights include New York and London weekend guides; Lewis Lapham on history; Jeremy Gerard on U.S. theater; and Greg Evans and Craig Seligman on movies.

To contact the writer of this story: Farah Nayeri in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this column: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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