Renowned Palestinian-Jordanian architect Rasem Badran was recently announced as the 2019 laureate of the honorable Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award, which celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to society and have long been dedicated to the advancement of architecture and the built environment in the Near East region and North Africa. Badran will be presented with the award during Tamayouz’s annual ceremony in Jordan later this year.
Dr. Badran was born in Jerusalem in 1945 and had a talent for drawing and spatial understanding as a child. His family then moved to Amman, Jordan. He earned his bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Technology Darmstadt, Germany in 1969. In 1980, he founded his architecture, planning and engineering practice, Dar Al-Omran (DAO), which has grown its presence across the Middle East and operates in Amman, Riyadh, Beirut, and Abu Dhabi. In 2002, Badran received his Honorary Doctorate from the Jordan University of Science and Technology.
Being involved in the students' reform movement against West German authoritarianism in the 1960s, Badran developed a deep understanding of how the built environment affects the emotional and psychological well-being of its users.
Some of his notable projects include the winning competition entry for the design of the Baghdad Grand Mosque (1982), the Grand Mosque and Justice Palace of Riyadh (1985), the International Islamic University Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur (1993), the King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre in Riyadh (1994), Madinat al Fahaheel in Kuwait (2003), the Abu Dhabi Court House Complex (2006), and Al-Bujairi Development in Al-Diriyah in Saudi Arabia (2006-2015).
A few architecture awards Dr. Badran has received throughout his career include the Nile Award 2019, the 2017 Abdullatif Al Fozan Award for Mosque Architecture, the Arab Architect Award in 2001 and 1990, and the Aga Khan Award for Islamic Architecture in 1995, and more.
“Throughout his career, [Badran] has shown an unmatched commitment to making our cities a better place for the people living in them,” said Ahmed Al-Mallak, Founder of the Tamayouz Excellence Award and Coventry University academic, in a statement. “He is an architect, a mentor, an advisor, an artist and, above all, a role model to younger generations and architecture students across the MENA region and greater Muslim world. He has inspired many through his architecture, kindness, humility and unyielding support of the youth.”
“I tried to create homelands for everyone. That was my dream,” says Dr. Badran on his hopes for his legacy.
Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Dr Mohamed Makiya (2014), Dr Rifat Chadirji (2015), Dr Kahtan Al-Madfai (2016), Hisham Munir (2017), and Maath Alousi (2018). Previously open to Iraq architects only, the award competition expanded to architects based across the Near East and North Africa in 2019.
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