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Garagem Sul | Architecture Exhibitions

Marina Tabassum

Building in Bangladesh


Marina Tabassum belongs to a generation of younger Bengali architects who are reacting to the conditions of architectural practice in their region in an impressive way. The constant shifts and changes in the landscape, the informality of building and inhabiting as well as the adaptive processes that shape people’s lives and livelihoods are key to her approach. Coming from a country of 160 million inhabitants, her stance is primarily centred on people. She addresses local craftsmanship and technological transformations from a balanced perspective that informs up a radical architectural response. Her projects address a variety of scales, from master plans to housing and public facilities, and her buildings delve into environmental materials, forms of technology and aspirations. Believing that in countries like Bangladesh architecture has a role that goes beyond architecture itself, this lecture will focus on the challenges and rewards of practice.


Marina Tabassum
graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). She is the Academic Director of Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements. She has taught design studios in BRAC University as a visiting Faculty since 2005. She taught Advanced Design Studio as Visiting Professor at UTA, Texas in Fall 2015. Currently she is teaching studio at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Marina Tabassum received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2016 for her project Bait ur Rouf mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She also designed the Independence Monument of Bangladesh and the Museum of Independence during her partnership with Kashef Chowdhury in URBANA.
Tabassum is the principal of Bangladesh based architecture practice MTA established in 2005. MTA began its journey in the quest of establishing a language of architecture that is contemporary to the world yet rooted to the place. MTA stands against the global pressure of Industrial materials –easy and quick– fast breed of buildings, confused and impersonal, out of place and context; thus is the pledge to root architecture to the place; thus the material palette - the climate, the location, the culture of the people, history of the land. The practice is consciously kept and retained in an optimum size and projects undertaken are carefully chosen and are limited by number per year. The projects done and at hand are varied, ranging from Master Planning of Eco Resort to twelve storey residential blocks.


March 13, 2018
7 pm

Luís de Freitas Branco Room
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