Marina Tabassum retrospective surveys architectural work in her native Bangladesh
By Josh Niland|
Thursday, Feb 9, 2023
A new exhibition has opened at Munich’s Architekturmuseum der TUM at the Pinakothek der Moderne focusing on the award-winning work of architect Marina Tabassum in her native country of Bangladesh.
Curated by Tabassum and writer Vera Simone Bader, the show looks back at her career beginning with her graduation from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1995. Projects covered include her early work with Kashef Chowdhury and URBANA and eventual pursuits under her own practice, which was founded in 2005.
Tabassum would eventually go on to win the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture eleven years later for her design of the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka. The Monument and Museum of Independence (also in Dhaka) will be highlighted as well, along with several other key designs which articulate a deeply-felt and humanistic approach to architecture that has left an impact through the construction of housing schemes and educational facilities throughout the country.
“Being born and brought up in the capital city of Dhaka, my connection to the villages were few and far between,” Tabassum said in her 2021 Soane Medal acceptance speech. “The eternal beauty of the delta land revealed herself to me only in the last decade in various projects in the Ganges Delta. I found my ‘Desh’ there, through the interactions and connections I felt with rural Bengal, the soul of the delta land. There is inherent wisdom embedded in living symbiotically with nature.”
“The quest for my own identity — my ‘Desh’, that which I had sought since my childhood — seemed diluted within high-flying capitalist culture,” she continued. “The icon-mania of the super-rich and stardom of architects brought about a crisis. It is a point of crisis when an architect must decide whether to indulge in easy excitement or to choose a path of resistance.”
The exhibition is open to the public today and will remain on view through June 11th. More information about events accompanying the exhibition can be found here.
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