A new committee is constituted each cycle to establish the eligibility criteria for project, provide thematic direction with reference to current concerns, and to develop plans for the long-term future of the award. The Steering Committee is responsible for the selection of the Master Jury appointed for each award cycle, and for activities such as seminars and field visits, the award ceremony, publications and exhibitions.
Prizes totalling up to US$500,000, constituting the largest architectural award in the world, are presented every three years to projects selected by the Master Jury. The award has completed nine cycles of activity since 1977; documentation has been compiled on over 7500 building projects located throughout the world. To date, 92 projects have receive awards. The tenth award cycle covers the period from 2005 to 2007.
The Chairman's Award is given in honor of accomplishments that fall outside the mandate of the Master Jury. It recognizes the lifetime achievement. It has been presented three times: In 1980 to Egyptian architect and urban planner Hassan Fathy, in 1986 to Iraqi architect and educator Rifat Chadirji, and in 2001 to Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa.
The award ceremony took place at the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, Pakistan. During this cycle, the Chairman's Award was given to Hassan Fathy in recognition of his lifelong commitment to architecture in the Muslim world.
The brief prepared by the Steering Committee for this award cycle focused on the preservation and continuation of cultural heritage, community building and social housing, and excellence in contemporary architectural expression.
Six winners were chosen from among 213 entries. The conservation of Mostar Old Town and restoration of Al-Aqsa Mosque were examples of cultural heritage, the first theme, while the Yama Mosque and Bhong Mosque were noted for their innovation in translating traditional techniques and materials to meet contemporary requirements. The Social Security Complex and Dar Lamane Housing address the issues of community and social housing while remaining sensitive to local culture.
The fourth cycle of the award considered 241 project nominations. Of these, 32 were short-listed for technical review and the Master Jury selected 11 winners. Two themes were noted as areas of focus in this cycle: Revival of past vernacular traditions, and projects that reflect the efforts of individual patrons and of non-governmental organisations in improving society.
Projects such as the Great Omari Mosque and the Rehabilitation of Asilah seek to reconstruct and preserve heritage buildings for continued use, demonstrating the significance of these spaces within their communities. Meanwhile the Grameen Bank Housing Programme and Sidi el-Aloui Primary School apply architectural solutions to address current socioeonomic issues.
The award ceremony took place at the Citadel of Salah Ed-Din in Cairo.
The Master Jury selected seven winning projects of the 424 presented. During this cycle, special emphasis was placed on projects that responded creatively to the emerging forces of globalization. Issues such as demographic pressure, environmental degradation, and the crisis of the nation-state, and the changes in lifestyle, cultural values, and relationships among social groups and between governments and people at large they prompted, were considered..
Of the winning projects, the rehabilitation of Hebron Old Town and Slum Networking of Indore City sought to reclaim community space in environments strained by social, physical and environmental degradation. The Lepers Hospital created a sustainable and dignified shelter for a marginalized segment of society. The remaining projects were recognized for their contribution in evolving an architectural vocabulary in response to contemporary social and environmental challenges.
During the ninth cycle, 378 projects were nominated. Of these, 23 were site-reviewed, and the Master Jury selected seven award recipients. Notable among the recipients is the Sandbag Shelter Prototypes, a technique by which victims of natural disasters and war can build their own shelter using earth-filled sandbags and barbed wire. The resulting structures - made up of arches, domes and vaulted spaces - provide earthquake resistance, shelter from hurricanes and flood resistance, while being aesthetically pleasing.
Other winning projects include a primary school in Gando, Burkina Faso that combines high-caliber architectural design with local materials, techniques and community participation. The Bibliotheca Alexandria in Egypt and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia are examples of high-profile landmark buildings.
The Award Presentation Ceremony was held at the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The award recipients were: