Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil Presented with 2009 Driehaus Prize

Author: School of Architecture

Egyptian architect Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil was named the 2009 Driehaus Prize laureate. Considered the foremost authority on Islamic architecture, Professor El-Wakil has designed mosques, palaces, government buildings and houses, mostly in the Middle East. Selecting an Egyptian architect whose work reflects a non-Western tradition illustrates the variety and cultural fluency of classical architecture. As professor and former chair Carroll William Westfall says, classical architecture is the best that a tradition produces, and every culture has a tradition. Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil’s work represents the best of the Islamic tradition. Two colloquia replaced the traditional Driehaus Prize award ceremony. Adele Chatfield-Taylor, Driehaus Prize juror and president of the American Academy in Rome, moderated a conversation with 2009 Henry Hope Reed Award recipient Fabio Grementieri, an Argentine scholar and preservationist. Paul Goldberger, juror and The New Yorker architecture critic, hosted a conversation with Professor El-Wakil. Both events were recorded for broadcast in May on WTTW, Chicago public television, and may be viewed on Notre Dame’s YouTube Channel, NDdotEDU.