Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury graduated in
architecture from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
(BUET) in 1995 and, after working with architect Uttam Kumar Saha, he
established the practice URBANA in partnership in 1995 and, from 2004, has
continued as the sole principal of the firm. Kashef Chowdhury has a studio-based
practice whose works find root in history with a strong emphasis on climate,
materials and context – both natural and human. Projects in the studio are
given extended time for research so as to reach a level of innovation and
original expression. Works range from the conversion of a ship and low-cost
raised settlements in “chars” to a training centre, mosque, art gallery,
museum, residences and multi-family housing, as well as corporate head offices.
Chowdhury has been a visiting faculty member at the North South University and
BRAC University, both in Bangladesh. In 2006, he attended a Glenn Murcutt masterclass
in Sydney, Australia. He has twice been a finalist in the Aga Khan Award for
Architecture and won first prize in Architectural Review's AR+D Emerging Architecture
Chowdhury takes an active interest in art and
in 2004 presented a lecture series Aspects
of Contemporary Art in Germany at the Goethe Institut, Dhaka. He has worked
as a professional photographer and has held seven solo exhibitions. He has
designed and published three books: Around
Dhaka, 2004; Plot Number Fifty Six,
2009 and The Night of Fifteen November,
2011 – a photographic and recorded account of some survivors of the cyclone
SIDR in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
Friendship Centre On-site Review Report, edited by Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 2016.
The On-site Review Report, formerly called the Technical Review, is a document prepared for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by commissioned independent reviewers who report to the Master Jury about a specific shortlisted project. The reviewers are architectural professionals specialised in various disciplines, including housing, urban planning, landscape design, and restoration. Their task is to examine, on-site, the shortlisted projects to verify project data seek. The reviewers must consider a detailed set of criteria in their written reports, and must also respond to the specific concerns and questions prepared by the Master Jury for each project. This process is intensive and exhaustive making the Aga Khan Award process entirely unique.