The award is given to individuals and organizations who have promoted, encouraged, campaigned, or influenced (directly or indirectly) the advancement of architecture and the built environment in the Middle East between 2017 and 2020. Part of the Tamayouz Excellence Award program that champions the best of architecture in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond, the annual prize is named after the prolific Iraqi architect Dr.Mohamed Saleh Makiya.
The shortlist consists of 12 submissions, representing countries all over the world, including Iraq, Egypt, Syria, the UK, Iran, and others. The finalists also range from being individuals to entities and organizations working for the betterment of the built environment.
In the final list of Tamayouz Award in addition to ZAV Architecture Group; Ahmad Sukkar – Syria/USA, Ali Al-Lawati– Oman/UK, Arabesque - UAE
Cairo Heritage School - Egypt, Film My Design – Egypt, Hanaa Dahy – Egypt, IWLab – Syria/UK, Jalal B. Mejel Algaood - Iraq, Mazen Alali - Jordan, Radwa Rostom - Egypt, and Reparametrize Studio - Syria.
Coventry University academic and founding director of Tamayouz Excellence Award, Ahmed Al-Mallak said: “Congratulations to the finalists. It was great to see such individuals and organizations working hard to promote and influence the advancement of architecture and enrich the cultural heritage of the region. The outstanding achievements of hardworking people who strive to tell our side of the story should be celebrated. Although there will be a single award, the focus of the process is on creating visibility for individuals, organizations, and initiatives, and stimulating debate about the value of these contributions among professionals and decision-makers in urban planning and design.”
ZAV Architects is an Iranian architecture firm based in Tehran that seeks to generate socio-economic change. It does this by employing architectural means and capacities to create designs that match the contemporary needs of Iranian people, and architectural forms that adapt to the present-day reality of design and building processes. In seeking its goals, ZAV Architects operates via a three-part work process: it relies on national resources (human, natural, industrial, cultural and scientific); it applies adaptive aesthetics (the studio avoids using a formal approach to projects and copying heritage forms or western architecture, and rather lets the form and aesthetics of a project result organically from the building process); and finally, it informs its work with future-proof scenarios (spatial programs are defined by present-day and future needs of the end-users). ZAV Architects aims to redefine the function of its practice beyond the predefined limits of its influence; it believes architecture can be evaluated in terms of its capacity for maximizing the balanced production and distribution of economic gain for its stakeholders. In the firm’s work, it attempts to postpone architectural presumptions in order to create space for a critical re-evaluation of assets, techniques, and spatial diagrams.