Enghelab Street Rehabilitation – Aga Khan Architecture Prize
The so-called Enghelab Street Rehabilitation in Tehran has been shortlisted
for the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The announcement was made by Farrokh
Derakhshani, Director of the Award, in a ceremony in Kazan, Russia, on April 25.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is one of the oldest major awards in the field of architecture. It
selects projects – from slum upgrading to high-rise “green” buildings – that not only exhibit
architectural excellence but also improve the overall quality of life. The Award rewards architects, but
also identifies municipalities, builders, clients, master artisans and engineers who have played
important roles in the realization of a project.
“The Enghelab Street Rehabilitation favoured preservation over demolition,” said Farrokh
Derakhshani, Director of the Award. “Owners were encouraged to collaborate with the Tehran
Municipality in the renovation process and maintain their buildings thereafter.”
The Enghelab Street Rehabilitation project encompasses both the rehabilitation of the façades of
114 existing buildings – including 54 of particular interest – and the creation of a public cultural space
between the national theatre and opera house. The project was developed through community
consultations involving 1,000 invitations, 300 hours of meetings, 200 agreements and numerous plans
and drawings. The rejuvenation of the façades has transformed the street’s appearance. Since it was
completed, the scheme’s success in regenerating the district is evident in the establishment of nine new
cafés, six restaurants, a bakery, two theatres and a boutique hotel.
What happens now?
The sites will now undergo a rigorous investigation by experts who visit and evaluate each project onsite. Their reports are the basis for the Master Jury’s selection of the eventual laureates. It should be
noted that projects commissioned by the Aga Khan or any of the institutions of the Aga Khan
Development Network (AKDN) are ineligible for the Award. To be eligible for consideration in the
2019 Award cycle, projects had to be completed between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2017, and
should have been in use for at least one year.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established by the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and
encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of communities in
which Muslims have a significant presence.
The Award recognises examples of architectural excellence in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community improvement and development, historic preservation, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and Aga Khan Award for Architecture improvement of the environment. Since the Award was launched 42 years ago, 116 projects have received the award and more than 9,000 building projects have been documented.