NZ Muslim Wins Top Student Architecture Accolade

Overcoming a difficult year, an Oakland Muslim student and brother of a Christchurch mosque shooting victim has won an architecture award for his pathway of tolerance and respect through a national park, Stuff reported on Sunday.

Christchurch student Abdallah Alayan co-won the Student Design Awards, which is contested by final-year architecture school students.

The proposal, called Faith in Fiordland, was a design for a pathway through Fiordland National Park.

NZ Muslim Wins Top Student Architecture Accolade - About Islam
The Faith in Fiordland design co-won the top award. (ABDALLAH ALAYAN)

In their feedback, judges Courtney Kitchen and Amelia Borg said Alayan’s work exhibited a “profound understanding and sympathy for the human condition” and the structures were designed for an age in which most people had no allegiance to a particular religion, but “retained the capacity to be awe-struck by nature”.

Alayan’s designs were mostly abstract structures, using geometric lines and natural materials to blend into the landscape.

The designs were “accomplished pieces of work” that illustrated architecture’s ability to respond to social and political conditions, identify issues and offer solutions, Institute of Architects president Tim Melville, convenor of the awards jury, said.

The annual national competition is contested by final-year students from New Zealand’s three schools of architecture

Muslim children, parents, and grandparents lost their lives in two mosques when a terrorist opened fire to end the lives of 51 people who dreamt of having a new home in New Zealand.

NZ Muslim Wins Top Student Architecture Accolade - About Islam
New Zealand futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan was among those killed in the Christchurch terror attacks.

The victims include children who were at the mosque to pray with their parents, a teenager who dreamed of becoming a footballer, a teacher, refugees who had found a new home in New Zealand, and nationals from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Alayan’s brother, Atta Elayyan, 33, was among the Deans Ave mosque shooting victims on March 15.

Elayyan was a goalkeeper for New Zealand’s national futsal team. He represented Canterbury in club competitions. Elayyan was also an app designer and CEO of LazywormApps.