Based in Bangladesh, Marina Tabassum's exploratory approach makes her practice one of the outstanding contemporary positions in international architecture. Her extremely diverse oeuvre spans from governmental projects to housing. For the design process Tabassum works closely with students as well as with the local communities, seeking to establish a language of architecture that is contemporary yet reflectively rooted to place. The driving elements in her design concepts are climate, context, culture and history. Her Bait Ur Rouf Mosque is distinguished by its lack of popular mosque iconography and its emphasis on calibrated structures of space and light. Beyond serving as a place of worship it functions equally as a refuge for a dense neighbourhood on Dhaka's periphery; for this building Marina Tabassum won the prestigious Aga Khan Award in 2016.
The planned exhibition at the TUM Museum of Architecture will present various public and private building projects that she has worked on since 1995, first with the architectural office Urbana and since 2005 through Marina Tabassum Architects (MTA). These include the Monument and Museum of Independence in Dhaka as well as her engagement in various projects for the 1.2 million Rohingya refugees. In response to the dire situation of the refugees MTA designed a low-cost, mobile, modular house system made of locally sourced material for landless low-income communities facing sea-level rise, once again demonstrating views of architecture as a medium to stabilise society.
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