explores the dichotomy between the solid, ageless construction of the existing
13th century Nasrid Tower, made by anonymous craftsmen, and the
provisional, light, degradable nature of the contemporary. The additions to the
original building are conceived as future ruins, removable, temporary objects
placed directly onto the ground without foundations and made with contrasting
materials. The restoration of the Tower itself involved the preservation of
original materials where possible, removing modern additions and resurfacing
the original mud wall and interior brick fabric. To restore the original entry
to the tower, four metres above ground level, a new pre-rusted steel staircase
tower and toilet and office container were built. The space was adapted for use
as an exhibition space but a range of events, including weddings, have taken
place. The landscaping of the area adjacent to the tower re-uses the existing
topography to minimise ground alteration. A careful, sensitive restoration
project has been undertaken which has restored the presence and meaning of the
historic Tower, while at the same time a modern design project produced which demonstrates
great flair and a sensitivity towards its built and natural environment. The
main achievement has been to transform a derelict building into a symbol of the
village and its past, and it has become a powerful tourist attraction.
Nasrid Tower Restoration On-site Review Report, edited by Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 2016.
The On-site Review Report, formerly called the Technical Review, is a document prepared for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by commissioned independent reviewers who report to the Master Jury about a specific shortlisted project. The reviewers are architectural professionals specialised in various disciplines, including housing, urban planning, landscape design, and restoration. Their task is to examine, on-site, the shortlisted projects to verify project data seek. The reviewers must consider a detailed set of criteria in their written reports, and must also respond to the specific concerns and questions prepared by the Master Jury for each project. This process is intensive and exhaustive making the Aga Khan Award process entirely unique.