Venetian architects Tamassociati win the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2013

Italian design excellence and its ethical application rewarded

by Malcolm Clark
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One of the winners of the prestigious Aga Khan Award For Architecture 2013 is Italian firm TAMassociati. The awards, which saw the participation of more than 400 nominees, rewarded the design, construction and the ecological and social impacts of the Salam centre for cardiac surgery, commissioned by the NGO Emergency and built by the Italian architects in Khartoum (Sudan).

Tamassociati, given an Honourable Mention in the category “Architecture for Emergency” in the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture 2012, was born out of the principles of ethical, social and sustainable design.

The international jury of the Aga Khan Award chose Tamassociati architects for the particularities of the project and the construction methods of the Salam hospital in Khartoum (Sudan).

“The design and construction of the hospital - today a stable reference point for over 300 million inhabitants - are the result of an ongoing dialogue between objectives (initially 'utopian'), and local resources (energy, social, material), and gave shape to a 'place of right', a concrete sign of health and future in an area continually decimated by the harsh and extreme atmospheric conditions, and by deadly backlash inflicted by a cynical, disrespectful and violent 'development' that comes from far away. By conceiving on paper, modelling in time and building in space a public, free and attractive hospital, with the highest international health standards, equipped with facilities and highly advanced energy systems, modelled on the criteria of 'eco-simplicity', adopting elements of physiognomic empathy, enterprise, local labour and materials - transforming the site into a laboratory for restoration and recovery of a memory ravished by totally unrelated development models - it has been possible to create a bond between and an awareness of the right to healthcare, the right to and of the environment, of beauty and of respect”

The other prize winning projects are:

- The Islamic Cemetery (Altach, Austria ) by Bernardo Bader Architects

- The Urban Infrastructure Project Rabat- Salé (Rabat, Morocco ) by Marc Mimram

- The restructuring of the Bazaar of Tabriz (Iran) by ICHTO East Azerbaijan Office

- The revitalization of the historic centre of Birzeit (Palestine).

    Salam centre for cardiac surgery 13

    Salam centre for cardiac surgery

    Khartoum / Sudan / 2010

    Islamic Cemetery 52

    Islamic Cemetery

    Altach / Austria / 2012