The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is an architectural prize that recognizes excellence in architecture and urbanism. The award was established in 1977 by His Highness the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, and is administered by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
The award is given every three years to a range of architectural projects, including buildings, urban design, and conservation. The award recognizes projects that have a positive impact on the built environment and the communities in which they are located, and that demonstrate innovative thinking and a commitment to sustainability.
RAAS architects received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007 for its contribution to the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The embassy is a striking and unique building that incorporates local materials and building techniques. The building is designed around a central courtyard, which provides natural light and ventilation to the interior spaces. The walls of the building are made of rammed earth, which is a traditional building material in Ethiopia, and the roof is covered in vegetation, which helps to regulate the temperature inside.
The embassy also incorporates a number of sustainable features, such as rainwater harvesting and solar panels, which help to reduce its environmental impact. The building’s design takes into account Ethiopia’s hot and dry climate, and is designed to be energy-efficient and comfortable for its users. Its innovative approach to sustainable architecture made it a deserving recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007.