Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2016.
After a difficult life and the loss of her husband and near relatives, the client donated a part of her land for a mosque to be built. A temporary structure was erected. After her death, her grand-daughter, an architect, acted on her behalf as fundraiser, designer, client and builder to bring the project to completion. In an increasingly dense neighbourhood of Dhaka, the Mosque was raised on a plinth on a site axis creating a 13-degree angle with the qibla direction, which called for innovation in the layout. A cylindrical volume was inserted into a square, facilitating a rotation of the prayer hall, and forming light courts on four sides. The hall is a space raised on eight peripheral columns. Ancillary functions are located in spaces created by the outer square and the cylinder. The plinth remains vibrant throughout the day with children playing and elderly men chatting and waiting for the call to prayer. Funded and used by locals, and inspired by Sultanate mosque architecture, it breathes through porous brick walls, keeping the prayer hall ventilated and cool. Natural light brought in through a skylight is ample for the daytime.
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Design 2005-2006, construction 2007-2012, completion 2012
The Bengal Institute, with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, conducted a special course on architecture that shapes our thinking and practice: Learning from the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Marina Tabassum speaks about the public realm and what role it plays in a citizen's life. Architects don’t get to design public spaces, we get involved through competitions. It is usually the government who does it. There is a disconnect between the user and the government; this is an important agenda which hasn’t been a focus. In this presentation, Marina Tabassum showcases three projects: Museum of Independence, Comfort Reverie, and Bait Ur Rouf Mosque. A lecture continues in part 2.