Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1989.
Asilah is an ancient coastal town founded in Phoenician times. Its defensive walls were built in the medieval period when it was a Portuguese trading post. Today it is a harbour, a market, a centre for cultural events and a summer resort. Protection of Asilah's architectural heritage began over 15 years ago with the efforts of the two founding patrons of the cultural association, and other interested intellectuals. The works they have restored and rehabilitated include the Portuguese fortifications and an early 20th-century palace. They relocated commercial facilities to the foot of the fortifications and introduced decorative pavings and murals by local artists. The patrons continue to guide and aid the improvement of the water and sewerage systems, as well as the maintenance of houses, public buildings and mosques. The jury notes that "from a modest start but with ambitious vision, a few native sons of Asilah took it upon themselves to upgrade the physical and cultural environment of their town. With perseverance and skill, they managed to raise the consciousness and mobilise the people of Asilah to implement this vision."
Steele, James, editor. Architecture for Islamic Societies Today. London: Academy Editions, 1994.
Presentation of the projects selected in the fourth cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, all described in detail, examining not only development and design, construction methods and technology, but also the historical background of the site. The visionary philosophy behind the awards has been to seek to encourage architects, builders, clients and users to learn and add to Muslim heritage and to reflect on the continuous relevance of the contemporary expressions of “Islam” as a religion, culture and civilisation. Architecture for Islamic Societies Today is the fourth in a series of books under the general title "Building in the Islamic World Today".