Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s iconic Musalla of Al Hosn has been selected for this year’s winner of the international architecture A+ Architizer Award, coming first in the Internal Design and Creative Ceilings category.
The Architizer A+ Award, which focuses on promoting and celebrating the year’s best architecture, is the world’s largest architectural awards programme, featuring thousands of contestants every year and attracting more than 400 million visitors to its website.
The winners for the 2020 edition were selected by a panel of expert judges and rated on parameters that included harnessing cutting-edge approaches, material and technologies to build safer, cleaner and more resilient spaces for generations to come.
The Musalla project, developed by the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has won the top spot in the cultural category, triumphing over competitors from Detroit in the United States, Lisbon in Portugal, as well as Beijing and Hefei in China.
“The Musalla at Al Hosn site has already received global recognition for its creative design, and this latest award from the prestigious Architizer Award further validates DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to excellence in our initiatives,” said Saood Al Hosani, acting undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi.
“Al Hosn is a physical manifestation of the emirate’s heritage and its link to the past. The Musalla, however, represents a wonderful symbol of the emirate’s continuous cultural growth, and DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to both preserving the past whilst looking to the future,” he added.
The Musalla’s interior design was the standout feature for the judges, with its suspended ceiling with circular openings punctuating the otherwise closed spaces as skylights. Combined with pendant lights, they appear as abstract star formations that evoke associations to the region’s heritage of stargazing for navigation.
The A+ accolade bestowed upon the Musalla adds to the previous international award the structure had received when it won the first prize in the category of Completed Building — Religion at the World Architecture Festival 2019, held in Amsterdam last December.
The Musalla site stands as one of DCT Abu Dhabi’s primary goals to conserve and promote Abu Dhabi’s cultural heritage.