I think, first, of how great architecture can integrate the past and the future — inherited tradition and changing needs. We need not choose between looking back and looking forward; they are not competing choices, but healthy complements. We can learn valuable lessons from history without getting lost in history; we can look boldly ahead without ignoring what has gone before….
I think of how architectural excellence can integrate the Gifts of Nature and the potentials of the Human Mind. Natural Blessings and Human Creativity are Divine gifts — and it is wrong to embrace one at the expense of the other. The best architecture teaches us to engage with Nature respectfully; not by conquering or subduing it, nor by isolating ourselves away from it.
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
Your Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai,
It is a genuine pleasure to welcome you to the 2016 ceremony of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
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