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Enclosed by panels of limestone trellis, the Grand Courtyard of the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre, Kinshasa is a delight for the senses.

The Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre, Kinshasa is a contemporary complex that blends timeless traditional design principles. It provides an environment for spiritual contemplation and reflection, and represents a new milestone in the long history of the Congolese Jamat, which continues to build on its pioneering spirit in a country of growing opportunity.

The restored dome of Humayun’s Tomb, in Delhi.

Delhi, 18 September 2013 – The restoration of the 16th century garden tomb of the Mughal emperor Humayun was inaugurated in Delhi today. Mawlana Hazar Imam, the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch, and Chairman Ratan Tata of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust presided over the ceremony together, a reflection of the public-private partnership that was pivotal to the project’s success.

Members of the first Aga Khan Award for Architecture steering committee deliberating in Boston, in 1979.

In 1970s, a group of intellectuals came together at Aiglemont, France, to bend their minds towards a pressing problem: how to arrest the decline of architectural traditions across the Muslim world and help these societies rediscover the confidence to shape their built environments in the image of their own values and identities? Journalist Ayesha Daya describes how the questions they raised, their deliberations and debates gave way to the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

The staggered block arrangement of the 66-storey Met Tower in Bangkok — shortlisted for the 2013 Award — provides plenty of light and cross-ventilation, so that apartments require no air conditioning.

In the 36 years since the Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established, it has recognised a broad array of projects, from office towers to affordable housing developments; the restoration of heritage to radical innovations in the built environment. But what the winning projects have in common is that each is an example of how architecture can make society a better place to live, says journalist Ayesha Daya.

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat was recognised with the 2012 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture.

Ottawa, 1 February 2013 – The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa was among twelve projects that had the honour of receiving the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. Presented at Rideau Hall by Governor General David Johnston, the prestigious award recognises outstanding achievement in projects built by Canadian architects.