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Bernardo Bader receives international Aga Khan Award

At an awards ceremony in Lisbon, Bernardo Bader (DI), architect and lecturer at the University of Liechtenstein, was awarded the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture for his Islamic Cemetery in Altach, Austria, chosen as one of five winning projects.

At an awards ceremony in Lisbon, Bernardo Bader (DI), architect and lecturer at the University of Liechtenstein, was awarded the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture for his Islamic Cemetery in Altach, Austria, chosen as one of five winning projects.


His Excellency Aníbal Cavaco Silva, President of the Portuguese Republic, and His Highness the Aga Khan presented the five winning projects – the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Khartoum, Sudan, the revitalization of Birzeit Historic Centre in Palestine, the Rabat-Salé Urban Infrastructure Project in Rabat, Morocco, the rehabilitation of Tabriz Bazaar in Iran and Bernardo Bader’s Islamic Cemetery in Altach, Austria – with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture at the Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon on 6 September 2013. 




The Master Jury, made up of internationally renowned architects, artists and professors, reached their decision on the basis of an analysis of three aspects – a holistic participatory approach, the quality of design and its socio-economic and environmental impact. The award includes prize money of USD 1 million, split between the five winners.




Master Jury statement

From 2007  to 2011, Bernardo Bader (DI), architect and lecturer at the University of Liechtenstein, successfully turned his vision of the Islamic Cemetery in Altach into reality in cooperation with the Trägerverein Islamischer Friedhof (Trustees of the Islamic Cemetery) and the municipality of Altach. 




Taking inspiration from the primordial garden, the cemetery is constructed from rose-coloured concrete walls and consists of five staggered, rectangular grave-site enclosures and a structure  housing assembly and prayer rooms. The main materials used were exposed reinforced concrete for the walls and oak for the ornamentation of the entrance facade and the interior of the prayer room. 




The Master Jury praised the design for the manner in which it embodies “an immigrant community’s desire for the creation of a place which fulfils the spiritual needs of its members, whilst also reflecting the customs of their adopted country”.




The Aga Khan Award

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was first created by the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage architectural concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of communities with large Muslim populations.




The award acknowledges examples of outstanding architectural design in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community development and improvement, the restoration, reutilization and conservation of historical sites, as well as landscape design and environmental improvement. Since the first award cycle 36 years ago, over 8,000 building projects have been documented, 110 of which have been presented with an award.


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