Friday, 12 August, 2022
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Bangladeshi projects shortlisted for Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022

Bangladeshi projects shortlisted for Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022

Two Bangladeshi projects have been shortlisted for the acclaimed Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) 2022 amongst 20 projects around the world.

Sustainably built structures in the world’s largest Rohingya refugee camps and a community-driven project providing public spaces in a riverine city of Jhenaidah with 250,000 residents- will compete for a share of the US$ 1 million prize, one of the largest in architecture.

The twenty shortlisted projects were selected by an independent Master Jury from a pool of 463 projects nominated for the 15th Award Cycle (2020-2022), said the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) on Sunday.

Bangladeshi shortlisted projects include the community spaces in Rohingya refugee response in Teknaf, by Rizvi Hassan, Khwaja Fatmi, and Saad Ben Mostafa: Sustainably built structures in the world’s largest refugee camps, which occurred collaboratively in the field without drawings or models, and Urban River Spaces in Jhenaidah by Co.Creation.

A community-driven project providing public spaces in a riverine city with 250,000 residents, offering walkways, gardens and cultural facilities, as well as environmental efforts to increase biodiversity along the river.

To date, the project comprises two ghats – steps leading down to platforms at the river, with adjacent walkways – and the opening of obstructed pedestrian pathways leading to them.

Locally available materials such as brick and concrete were used in the simple, contextual designs, all built by local builders and masons; the site-specific projects retain all existing trees and vegetation.

Future phases focus on public use of the river area with walkways, gardens, cultural facilities and environmental efforts to increase biodiversity in the river.

The AKAA was established by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of communities in which Muslims have a significant presence.

Since it was launched 45 years ago, 122 projects have received the award and 10,000 building projects have been documented.

The AKAA has had a storied and successful presence in Bangladesh with the Arcadia Education Project in South Kanarchor (designed by architect Saif Ul Haque) winning the coveted award and Amber Loom Denim Shed in Gazipur (designed by architect Jubair Hasan) being one of the shortlisted projects in the last cycle of Awards in 2019.

Past winning projects in the country include the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka (designed by architect Marina Tabassum) and the Friendship Centre in Gaibandha (designed by architect Kashef Chowdhury) in 2016, the Grameen Bank Housing Programme, the National Assembly Building (1989), and a school in Rudrapur (2007).

In addition to the above five winners, Bangladesh has had two other projects short-listed in the 2010 edition of the Awards.

Architect Marina Tabassum has been a member of the AKAA’s prestigious Steering Committee for the fourteenth (2017 – 2019) and fifteenth (2020-2022) Award Cycles – a great honour not only for the architect, but also for Bangladesh.

Last year, the AKAA announced the nine-member Master Jury for the 2020 – 2022 Award cycle that included a renowned Bangladesh architect – Professor Kazi Khaleed Ashraf – Director General of the Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements, Dhaka.