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Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established in 1977 by HH Karim Aga Khan (b 1936), the spiritual head of the Nizari Isma‛ili Muslim community since 1957, to identify and encourage building concepts that address the needs and aspirations of societies in which Muslims have a significant presence. The Award, organized on a three-year cycle, is governed by a Steering Committee chaired by the Aga Khan, which selects an independent Master Jury, which in turn selects the projects for awards. Since its inception, the Award has completed nine cycles and documented over 7500 buildings worldwide. Master Juries have selected 92 projects to receive awards, with prizes totaling up to US $500,000. A Chairman’s Award, established to honour accomplishments outside the scope of the Master Jury’s mandate, has recognized the lifetime achievements of the Egptian architect Hassan Fathy, the Iraqi architect Rifat Chadirji, and the Sri Lankan architect ...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Tehran, March 9, 1939).

Iranian architect, urban planner and writer. He studied architecture at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (BA, 1961) and at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (March, 1962). He worked in several firms in the USA, including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, before returning to Iran to work for the National Iranian Oil Company (1964–6). In 1966 he became Design Partner for Iran’s largest archictectural firm, Abdul Aziz Farman Farmaian & Associates, in Tehran, and in 1972 he set up his own practice in Tehran, the Mandala Collaborative. Ardalan, whose work ranges from private residences to master plans for new towns, is one of the most important architects to emerge from Iran in the recent past. His work reflects his particular concern for cultural and ecological aspects of architecture; in Iran it is strongly rooted in an understanding of the traditions and forms of Iranian Islam, although his buildings are in a totally contemporary idiom. Perhaps his best-known work is the Iran Centre for Management Studies (...

Article

Yasir Sakr

(b Jerusalem, 1945).

Jordanian architect . He graduated from Darmstadt University in 1970. Badran’s career is marked by three distinct phases of development, all of which express his capacity for lucid visualization. In his early formalist phase his work reflected modernist inclinations. Committed to a utopian social vision, in each of his designs Badran proposed a redefinition of form, social function and associated modes of behaviour. This phase is exemplified by a low-cost housing project in Bonn (1972) and Handal’s Residence (1975) in Amman. In his second phase his works reflected historicist tendencies by drawing on traditional images for collective communication, for example Queen Alia neighbourhood (1982) in Amman and the Justice Palace Complex (1984) in Riyadh. Badran’s work further evolved into a third stage, a dialectic between modernism and traditionalism, expressed through metaphors operating at two levels. Sensory metaphors present tectonic and iconographic analogies with natural forms and historical artefacts, adapting the designed space-form to its immediate regional setting. Cognitive metaphors endeavour to establish conceptual analogies with the ordering principles and relationships that underlie tradition, through the overall configuration of the design. The third phase of Badran’s career is characterized by a winning entry for the international competition of the State Mosque (...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b New York, Feb 7, 1875; d Monaco, Jan 19, 1968).

British mining consultant and collector of American birth. He was educated at the Columbia School of Mines and at Princeton University; by the age of 28 he was the consulting engineer and assistant general manager of the Guggenheim Exploration Company. In 1913, two years after the death of his first wife, he settled in London and became established as a mining consultant. He married Edith Dunn and bought Baroda House in Kensington Palace Gardens. With one of his associates, Herbert Hoover, later President of the USA (1929–33), he reorganized the Kyshtin mine in the Urals. The Selection Trust Ltd, which he established in 1914 to develop and finance profitable mines throughout the world, made great headway after World War I, and he remained its chairman until 1960. He was naturalized as a British citizen in 1933. In his youth he began collecting a range of items, including Western manuscripts and Chinese snuff bottles, but his main passion was collecting Islamic manuscripts and paintings, early Bibles and rare books, Impressionist paintings, French and Russian gold snuffboxes, 18th-century watches, clocks, and stamps. His interest in the Islamic arts of the book, particularly manuscripts of the Koran, was stimulated by frequent visits to Cairo, where he wintered between the wars. Although he had no knowledge of Arabic, Persian, or Turkish, he was keen to give scholars access to his collection and loaned manuscripts to many exhibitions. In ...

Article

Stephen Hill

(Margaret Lowthian)

(b Washington, Co. Durham, July 14, 1868; d Baghdad, 11/July 12, 1926).

English archaeologist and architectural historian. The first woman to achieve a first-class honours in modern history at Oxford University, she travelled widely in Europe, Japan and especially the Middle East in the 1890s, achieving fluency in a number of European languages as well as in Persian, Turkish and Arabic. She developed an interest in archaeology and architecture that was reflected in an authoritative set of articles on the Early Byzantine churches of Syria and southern Turkey, based on her travels in 1905. Her first major travel book, The Desert and the Sown, contains a mixture of travellers’ tales and archaeological information, as does her Amurath to Amurath. Between 1905 and 1914 she made archaeological studies of the Early Byzantine and Early Islamic monuments of Turkey, Syria and Mesopotamia (now Iraq). In 1905 and 1907 she surveyed Binbirkilise with Sir William Ramsay; their book, The Thousand and One Churches, remains the authoritative account of this important site. The architectural recording by survey and photography at Binbirkilise was carried out by Bell and is a lasting monument in its own right. Bell’s interest in Anatolia was inspired by Josef Strzygowski and his book ...

Article

(b Antalya, 1922).

Turkish architect and writer. He studied architecture at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul. As a student of Sedad Hakkı Eldem, and later as his teaching assistant, he was influenced by Eldem’s ideas on the nature of national architecture. Cansever began his career working in urban planning in Istanbul. During the 1950s, however, he began to attract attention with buildings and designs that incorporated new technology and materials but also referred to the past. His Karatepe Museum (1954–61) near Adana, for example, had slab roofs of poured concrete, but the open porches and corner windows refer to historical and regional architectural traditions. He adopted this approach for other buildings, including the Anadolu Club (1959; with Abdurrahman Hancı) at Büyükada, Istanbul, which combines a traditional T-plan with a meticulous treatment of details, particularly the windows; a block of flats in Çiftehavuzlar, Istanbul; and the partly realized Terakki Foundation School in Istanbul. This approach also inspired the ...

Article

A. C. F. Morris

(Kamil)

(b Baghdad, Dec 6, 1926).

Iraqi architect. He trained in London at the Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts from 1946 to 1952 when he returned to Baghdad and established Iraq Consult, one of the most influential practices in the Middle East. His singular initiative was to evolve a successful philosophy of design that reconciles modern building technology and needs with the specific Arab aesthetic and cultural traditions. His commitment to this reconciliation was informed by his experiences as head of the building department of Waqaf (1954–7), the government body responsible for the building and conservation of old houses, khans and mosques, and as Director General of Housing at the Ministry of Planning (1958–63). Chadirji’s search for a contemporary Iraqi architecture was refined during the 1960s. Notable works include the Iraq Consult offices (1965), the building for the Iraqi Federation of Industries (1966), and offices for the Central Post, Telegraph and Telephone Administration (...

Article

(b London, Sept 13, 1879; d Acton, April 8, 1974).

English historian of Islamic architecture. Born in modest circumstances, Creswell attended Westminster School, where he was active in science and mathematics, and the City and Guilds Technical College at Finsbury, where he studied electrical engineering. He became fascinated with the Orient and specifically the Islamic world, gathering systematic notes on every known monument. In 1913 and 1914 his first publications dealt with domes in Iran, concentrating on their ‘origin’ and ‘evolution’, two terms that became essential concerns of his later work. He applied for a job in the Archaeological Survey of India, but World War I intervened, and he went to Egypt in April 1916 as a member of the Royal Flying Corps. In July 1919 he was appointed Inspector of Monuments in the area (occupied by the British Army) that had formerly been Ottoman territory. With the forceful energy that stayed with him until his early nineties, he traversed Syria and Palestine, measuring buildings, recording their condition and photographing them. Out of his Syrian experience, Creswell made plans for a history of the Muslim architecture of Egypt, and after his demobilization found a patron in Fuاad I (...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(Tabatabai)

(b Tehran, March 5, 1937).

Iranian architect, urban planner and painter. He studied architecture at Howard University, Washington, DC, graduating in 1964 and then adding a year of post-graduate studies in sociology. He returned to Tehran in 1966 and a year later became President and Senior Designer of DAZ Consulting Architects, Planners and Engineers. DAZ undertook numerous and diverse projects in Iran and grew rapidly; it had a staff of 150 in 1977. Diba worked entirely in the public sector in Iran and was interested in both vernacular traditions and the demands of modern urban society, especially for human interaction. The partially completed Shushtar New Town (1974–80) in Khuzestan, where he was both architect and planner, owes much of its success to the traditional construction patterns and building types used by Diba in place of the Western-style planning favoured by the authorities. The town, planned for a population of 30,000, was designed along a central communications spine with crossroads and public squares around which small neighbourhoods were established, with gardens and bazaars to encourage community life. The poetic brick-clad buildings produce a unified architecture that is elegant, and the sequencing of the urban spaces is highly refined. Other significant works in Iran include several buildings at Jondi Shapour University (...

Article

Mark Dike DeLancey

[Jenne] [Friday Mosque]

Malian mosque that was built in 1906–7 in the Sudanese style under the direction of master mason Ismaïla Traoré. Local historical traditions state that a mosque was first built on this site in the 12th century, replacing the palace of Djenné’s ruler Koi Konboro after he converted to Islam. By the turn of the 20th century the mosque was in ruins.

The mosque’s heavy earthen walls (see fig.) are inset with wooden timbers that act as scaffolding for replastering, while numerous pilasters create a sense of verticality. The horizontal emphasis of the eastern qibla wall is broken by three huge towers, creating a rhythmic alternation of reserved horizontal wall surfaces and projecting vertical towers. Towers in the centre of the north and south walls provide rooftop access for the call to prayer via internal staircases. A monumental entrance on the north side is composed of three projecting pillars enclosing two deep recesses. Seven projections at the top of the portal echo the tops of the pilasters extending beyond the roofline of the mosque walls....

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Pune, Aug 26, 1927).

Indian architect, urban planner and teacher. He entered the J. J. College of Architecture, Bombay, in 1947 but left for London in 1951 and took courses at the North London Polytechnic. After attending the eighth meeting of CIAM (1951) in Hoddesdon, Doshi moved to Paris to work for Le Corbusier; this formative experience influenced his subsequent approach to architecture and planning. In 1955 he returned to India to help supervise Le Corbusier’s work at Chandigarh and Ahmadabad, and in 1956 he set up his own practice in Ahmadabad. Early independent commissions included some relatively luxurious houses and subsequently several industrial buildings, but his first significant work was the Institute of Indology (1962), Ahmadabad. In this building a concrete frame structure combines the principle of the ‘parasol’ with a monumental verandah as a response to the hot climate of the region. In 1962 Doshi was instrumental in arranging for Louis Kahn to work in India, and he was greatly influenced by Kahn’s use of light, geometry and structure. Another important work of the 1960s was the first phase of the Ahmadabad School of Architecture (...

Article

Sibel Bozdogan

(b Istanbul, Aug 18, 1908; d Istanbul, Sept 7, 1988).

Turkish architect. He was descended from an élite Ottoman family. He trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul (1924–8) and in the office of Hans Poelzig in Berlin (1929–30). Inspired by Auguste Perret, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, Eldem was a committed modernist searching for a culturally relevant Turkish architecture. His early works include the State Monopolies General Directorate (1934–7), Ankara, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (1942–3), Istanbul, and Faculty of Sciences (1943–5), Ankara, the latter two, in their monumentality and use of stone, reflecting the acknowledged influence of Paul Bonatz with whom Eldem collaborated in this period. His paradigmatic Taşlık Coffee House (1947–8; destr. 1988), Istanbul, was modelled after a 17th-century timber house and reflected Eldem’s lasting preoccupation: the reinterpretation of the timber-frame Turkish house in modern terms using reinforced concrete. Wide overhanging eaves, modular window patterns and traditional plan types constitute the leitmotifs of his personal style, elaborated over decades in numerous private houses along the banks of the Bosphorous in Istanbul and employed on larger scales in a number of embassy buildings in Ankara. Eldem also directed the architectural department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul where, in ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tripoli, Libya, 1945).

Libyan painter. He returned to Libya in 1970 after graduating from the Plymouth School of Architecture and Design in England. In 1974 he was appointed consultant to the Festival of Islam in London, and in 1981 he settled in England. He typically uses individual letter forms based on the maghribī style of script typical of North Africa, setting one or two large letters against a richly textured abstract ground with accompanying excerpts from Arabic and world literature that address social and moral issues. His works have been exhibited in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions and can be found in many major museums. Chairman of Muslim Cultural Heritage Center in London, he has also been involved with several other cultural and intellectual institutions there.

A. O. Ermes: Ali Omar Ermes: Art and Ideas: Works on Paper (exh. cat., Oxford, Ashmolean, 1992)A. O. Ermeswith S. Rizvi: Reaching Out: Conversations on Islamic Art with Ali Omar Ermes...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

(b Alexandria, March 23, 1900; d Cairo, Nov 30, 1989).

Egyptian architect, teacher and writer. He graduated in architecture (1926) from the High School of Engineering, University of King Fuad I (now University of Cairo), and then worked at the Department of Municipal Affairs, Cairo (1926–30). He subsequently began to teach at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the university (1930–46 and 1953–7) while working independently as an architect. Fathy’s work can be considered in five main phases (see Steele, 1988). His early projects (1928–37) reveal his interest in the classical Beaux-Arts tradition, Art Deco and other trends fashionable in Europe at the time. In his second phase (1938–56) he developed the interest in indigenous building that made him internationally known. Starting with villas, the use of mud-brick and a preoccupation with the rural poor, Fathy evolved a new aesthetic that irrevocably linked him to local vernacular building traditions. This new direction was expressed in a series of beautiful gouaches and coloured pencil drawings (see Richards, Serageldin and Rastorfer, pls 1–8) exhibited in Mansoura and Cairo in ...

Article

(b Cérisières, Aug 2, 1883; d Bar-sur-Aube, Dec 23, 1972).

French architectural historian and archaeologist . He obtained a diploma in architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and from 1908 to 1911 he was attached to the French School at Athens, where he participated in the publication of the school’s excavations at Delos and studied the medieval buildings of Rhodes. During World War I he was an interpreter in Syria. He earned his license-ès-lettres at the University of Paris in 1921 with theses on the ramparts of Rhodes and the excavations at Fustat (Old Cairo). This double education as an architect and archaeologist shaped his later works on the Islamic monuments of medieval Anatolia, Iraq and Iran. He visited Syria and Cilicia in 1922 and Syria again in 1925; he taught at the universities of Caen (1923), Strasbourg (1925–46) and Istanbul (1926–30). From 1930 to 1955 he directed the Institut Français d’Archéologie in Istanbul. In ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Chaumont, Haute-Marne, Jan 21, 1881; d Paris, July 31, 1965).

French archaeologist and art historian, active in Iran. Godard qualified as an architect at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and in 1910 became involved with the urban planning of Baghdad. At this time, he began to develop an interest in the archaeology and art of the Middle East. He visited Egypt and Syria and, in 1923, went to Afghanistan to research Buddhist remains. In 1928 he settled in Iran, where he lived until 1960, except for the years 1953–6. During his years in Iran he directed the College of Fine Arts, Tehran, and the Department of Antiquities, founded the Archaeological (Iran Bastan) Museum and drew up plans for the museums of Mashhad and Abadan. He also initiated the documentation and restoration of many ancient monuments and archaeological remains and gained access to sites previously forbidden to non-Muslims. He published many of the principal monuments of Iran in such learned journals as ...

Article

(b Peshawar, Oct 25, 1926).

Pakistani painter and sculptor. He began painting while training as an engineer in the USA (Columbia and Harvard universities) and held his first exhibition in 1950. He continued to paint while secretary at the Pakistan embassy at Ottawa during the 1950s, developing a reputation for portraiture. In 1957 he was commissioned to paint the portrait of King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan, and in 1959 he held an exhibition of 151 paintings and sketches in Kabul. He also painted portraits of Prince Karim Aga Khan (1961), Zhou Enlai (1964), Queen Farah Diba of Iran (1965) and President Ayub Khan of Pakistan (1968). He then turned to making portraits from marble mosaic and semi-precious stones, a technique that he had developed in Kabul in 1959. His abstract paintings, produced since the 1960s, incorporate ornamental calligraphy, coloured beads, small pieces of mirror, and gold and silver leaf. These works include a large abstract mural painted in ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Emil)

(b Celle, July 23, 1879; d Basle, Jan 21, 1948).

German architect, archaeologist, historian and philologist. He was educated at the universities of Munich and Berlin and at the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg, where he trained as an architect. In 1903 he visited the Middle East by participating as field architect in the excavation of Assur by the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft. The expedition was led by Friedrich Delitzsch, Herzfeld’s instructor in Assyrian and Arabic, and it enabled him to learn the techniques of excavation and to develop his interest in early Islamic culture. After returning to Germany, he made a journey through Luristan to visit Pasargadae and Persepolis, and following the acceptance of his doctoral thesis on Pasargadae by the University of Berlin in 1907, he travelled with Friedrich Sarre, his lifelong colleague and friend whom he had met in 1905, from Istanbul via Aleppo and Baghdad to the Gulf to find an Islamic site suitable for excavation. The choice fell upon ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. 2 Aug. 1941, Damgarten, Germany).

British historian of Islamic art and architecture. Hillenbrand was educated at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, earning his D.Phil. in 1974. Three years earlier he had begun teaching in the Department of Fine Art in the University of Edinburgh, where he occupied the position formerly held by D. T. Rice. He remained there throughout his career, being awarded a chair in 1989. He trained several generations of younger scholars from Europe, the USA and the Middle East. His home in Edinburgh was where he and his wife Carole, a noted historian, entertained scholars in diverse fields of Islamic studies. Holder of visiting professorships at several universities in Europe and the United States, he delivered the 1993 Kevorkian Lectures at New York University. One of the most versatile and eloquent scholars of his generation, his interests focused on Islamic architecture, painting and iconography, with particular reference to Iran and early Islamic Syria....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Kemalettin Bey]

(b Istanbul, 1870; d Ankara, July 1927).

Turkish architect. He studied at the College of Civil Engineering in Istanbul, graduating in 1891, and at the Charlottenburg Technische Hochschule in Berlin (1896–8). After his return to Turkey in 1900, he taught at the College of Civil Engineering in Istanbul and became chief architect of the Ministry of Pious Foundations (1909), entrusted with the restoration of historical monuments and the design of new buildings. This work enabled him to analyse the principles of Ottoman architecture and formulate a revivalist idiom. He built mosques, mausoleums, office blocks, schools, prisons and hospitals; the small mosque (1913) at Bebek, Istanbul, is a fine example of his revivalist style. The Fourth Vakıf Han (1912–26), a large seven-storey office block in Istanbul’s Bahçekapı district, epitomizes Ottoman revivalist architecture, also known as the First National Architectural Style (see Islamic art, §II, 7(i)). Its well-ordered stone façade with rich carvings and coloured tiles hides a sophisticated steel framework. His last building complex in Istanbul, the Harikzedegan apartments (...