Left to right: Angela Brady PPRIBA, Dr Kahtan Al-Madfai and Barbara Howell (Coventry University)
The renowned Iraqi architect Dr Kahtan Al-Madfai (1927) has received Iraq’s most prestigious architectural accolade: The Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award during the Tamayouz Award Ceremony in Amman hosted by the Iraqi Business Council in Jordan, Dr Al-Madfai was presented with the Award by the Past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects Angela Brady OBA and Associate Dean International at Coventry University Barbara Howell.
The Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award for architecture which aims to celebrate the pioneers of Iraqi architecture, is presented annually to an individual who has had a significant contribution towards the advancement of architecture in Iraq, this award was established as part of the Tamayouz Excellence Award programme of championing and celebrating the best of Iraqi Architecture.
Angela Brady PPRIBA said in her announcement of the award: “The Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Dr Kahtan Al-Madfai in recognition of a lasting contribution to architecture in Iraq; as a celebrated practitioner, a mentor of generations of aspiring Iraqi architects, an artist and a poet”.
Dr Kahtan Al-Madfai during his acceptance speech
In his acceptance speech of the Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr Kahtan Al-Madfai said:
“Dear Friends, Colleagues and Students,
It is with great honour and humility that I accept the Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award – Especially in the presence of the Iraqi architectural and engineering community.
This event and what it stands for reflects a multifaceted aspect in the history of our profession. It is a reminder rich in achievement in what I call the golden era or architecture in Iraq. It was an epoch of hard work, great achievement and a big dream.
The dream of building our country and now rebuilding our country.
As the dream materialized, I ask each one of us to work towards a sequel of this golden dream, let’s join together and continue forward.”
The architecture of Dr Al-Madfai formed and still forming a special phenomenon in Iraqi and regional architectural language, he designed the Iraqi’s fine art association building and is considered as one of the founders and an active participant in most of the exhibitions held there.
More than half a century of construction, design and architectural theories, Dr Madfai designed the oil refinery housing in Dora, the Iraqi Section in Damascus international exhibition, Mortgage bank in Baghdad, the opera landscape design, National History Museum design, Amusement park and many other projects. He also designed many landmarks in Baghdad like Bait Bonyia Mosque in the Alawi area and the Ministry of Finance.
The works of Dr Kahtan Al-Madfai in Iraq
Academic and founder of the Tamayouz Excellence Award, Ahmed Al-Mallak said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate the achievements of Dr Kahtan Al-Madfai, who inspired and still inspiring generation of young Iraqi architects with his work.
It is important for us to highlight the contribution of Dr Kahtan Al-Madfai as an architect, thinker and an artist, as serious, hardworking and honest individuals like Dr Kahtan Al – Madfai is what Iraq needs look up to today to get back on its feet”.
A standing Ovation for Dr Kahtan Al-Madfai after accepting the Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award
Laureates of the Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award:
– 2014, Dr Mohamed Saleh Makiya (1914-2015) received the inaugural Tamayouz Architectural Lifetime Achievement Award.
– 2015, Dr Rifat Chadirji.
Tamayouz Excellence Award is sponsored by;
The Iraqi Business Council in Jordan, Coventry University, Dewan Architects and Engineers, Ayad Al-Tuhafi Architects, Artiginai Interiors, Tradex Global, Malachy Walsh and Partners Consulting Engineers, The United Nations Global Compact, The Grand Millennium Hotel – Amman and Eastern Holding.