The winners of the 2022 Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) were announced today. Two projects from Bangladesh have won this year’s prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA): Urban River Spaces, Jhenaidah, by architect Khondaker Hasibul Kabir and architect Suhailey Farzana, and the other project: Community Spaces in Rohingya Refugee Response, Cox’s Bazar, by architect Rizvi Hassan, architect Khwaja Nuzhat Zerin Fatmi and architect Saad Ben Mostafa.
Community Spaces in Rohingya Refugee Response’ is a series of projects that were a 14-month response to the Rohingya crisis in the Ukhiya-Teknaf area. The architects, Rizvi Hassan, Saad Ben Mostafa, Khwaja Fatmi, designed the spaces with regards to climate, context, and culture that resonated among the Rohingya and the local community to create safe and welcoming spaces.
Through consistent community participation and appropriation, extensive involvement of women and marginalised groups, and a local workforce, the seemingly simple undertaking of cleaning up the access to the Nabaganga river in Jhenaidah led to a thoughtful and minimal landscaping project with local materials and construction techniques, thus transforming a derelict informal dump site into an attractive and accessible multifunctional space that is valued by Jhenaidah’s diverse communities. As such, the project managed to reverse the ecological degradation and health hazards of the river and its banks, and induce effective ecological improvement of the river, in one of the most riverine countries on earth. (Extract, Jury Citation)