Cityscape Young Architect Award 2002
Khaled Nahhas was named the winner of the inaugural Cityscape Young Architect Award 2002 for the Blue
Fig Café and bar in Jordan. The aim of the annual award is to recognize the efforts of young architects working
in (or designing for) the region who have made a positive contribution to the lives of communities within
their local context.
Initiated by the Institute for International Research (IIR) together with Architecture+, the award was presented
by Issam Galadari, Executive Director of Projects, EMAAR Properties PJSC during the ceremony held at the
Montgomerie Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Situated in Amman's prestigious Abdoun neighborhood, the Blue Fig Café and bar opened in 2000. The
outlet is distinguished by its efforts to introduce and celebrate art, books, food and music that correspond with
the multitude of cultures from around the world. Since it's opening, the café has been received well by both
the young and older social society of Amman.
Congratulating Nahhas on his award, Galadari commented on the vital role of architecture in helping people
find their roots and to remain true to their identity. "Almost every architectural structure addresses, in a direct
sense, cultural identity and philosophy, within a physical context. If we want to understand, appreciate and
evaluate the architectural quality of a building, we need to develop a sense of dimension, topography, climate
material, structure and proportion".
Praising the role of modern architecture in the development of the region, Galadari added: "The Middle East
in undergoing a transformation unprecedented in its history. Modernity, new-found wealth, along with social
and political change, is readily apparent in architectural design. "These changes are intrinsic to Dubai's march
forward and the Middle East's recognition as a place where tradition and modernity blends in harmony.
Modern architecture has contributed significantly to the evolving patterns of the built environment".
Nahhas was chosen by a five-man jury of experts, from a shortlist of three regional architects that also
included Dubai's Khalid Al-Najjar and Feby Kuriakose.
The award jury comprised Dr. Suha Ozkan, Secretary General, Aga Khan Award for Architecture; Dr. Rasem
Badran, Aga Khan Award-winning architect; Dr John Alexander Smith, Professor and Programme Chairman,
Department of interior Design, American University of Dubai; Rashad Muhammed Bukhash, Head of the
Historical Building Section, General Projects Department, Dubai Municipality and Rashid Taqui, Architect,
CEO and Editor-in-Chief of architecture+ magazine.