Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2012 Recipient | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2012 Recipient

Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat: Architecture of Peace and Plurality
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

Maki and Associates | Moriyama & Teshima Architects

Lead design architect(s): 

Ted Teshima, FRAIC,
Diarmuid Nash, FRAIC
Fumihiko Maki
Gary Kamemoto

On a prominent site in Ottawa, this secular facility conceived by the Aga Khan as a sanctuary for peace, diplomacy and global pluralism, powerfully expresses its mission through an architectural “bridging of dichotomies”: modernity + tradition, light + dark, indoor + outdoor, west + east. Clad in luminous crystallized glass panels, the Delegation Building focuses upon two symbolic meeting spaces—the glass-ceilinged Atrium, inspired by natural stone crystals and Islamic geometries, and the open-air Courtyard, inspired by Chahar-Bagh, the traditional Persian-Islamic walled garden.

Jury Comment(s): 

"This is a significant addition to Ottawa’s repertoire of diplomatic buildings and puts Canadian architecture firmly on the world stage. Impressively monumental in scale, the project combines a powerful civic presence with a remarkable level of sophistication. Its integration of traditional Islamic motifs such as specially crafted screens and a lush courtyard garden is choreographed with assurance and sensitivity, bringing the building wonderfully to life as a delicate and sensual piece of architecture, while the quality of materials and detailing is outstanding."

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photos: Tom Arban