Dr Nasser Golzari, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, formed part of a winning team which scooped the prestigious Holcim Awards Acknowledgment Prize 2014 for Africa Middle East.

Dr Golzari contributed to the development of the Adaptive Re-Use: Women's Center and Playground in Beit Iksa, Palestine.

The project offered a response to the village's isolation and limited resources. Reviving the historic centre of the village the first phase of the project will adapt for reuse two abandoned buildings. These will become working spaces with an eco-kitchen for the local women's association. The surrounding spaces will also be rehabilitated with educational playgrounds for children, winter and summer seating areas, as well as a protected bird habitat. The Eco Kitchen is designed as a prototype for exploring affordable methods of construction that can improve the quality of life for the local citizens. Aiming to empower the women of the village, the project responds to their energy and celebrates their skills, as well as their collective cultural traditions.

All 12 winning projects of the Holcim Awards 2014 Africa Middle East focus mainly on enhancing social and environmental resilience, as well as improving the economy of construction.

"The team's overall proposal consciously seeks to question and redefine sustainability in Palestine. Its various components are not only limited to thinking about Beit Iksa itself but also to the farmlands which surround it. Once developed, the plan is to apply these new techniques to the other villages across the West Bank" says Dr Golzari.

Nasser Golzari is the principle partner at Golzari NG Architects in London, working with both the private and public sector since 1990 on a number of projects nationally and internationally. Some of these projects have been nominated for the Civic Trust Award and more recently the regeneration of the Historic centre at Bierzeit – on which Dr Golzari was a consultant – won the prestigious 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2013. Nasser Golzari has been working more specifically in Iran and Palestine over the past few years with different organisations including Municipalities, UN-Habitat, and the British Council, as well as NGOs.

Find out more about Nasser Golzari's prestigious academic and editorial posts, research and project work.

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