Marina Tabassum

MTA Marina Tabassum Architects, Bangladesh

02 February
Start 6:30 pm


Lecture and livestream are starting at 6:30 p.m.


Marina Tabassum is known for designing buildings that use local materials and aim to improve the lives of low-income people in Bangladesh, where all her projects are based. In her work, she seeks to establish a language of architecture that is contemporary yet reflectively rooted to place, always against an ecological rubric containing climate, context, culture, history.

Her Bait Ur Rouf Mosque is distinguished by its lack of popular mosque iconography and its emphasis on calibrated structures of space and light. Beyond serving as a place of worship it functions equally as a refuge for a dense neighbourhood on Dhaka’s periphery; for this building Marina Tabassum won the prestigious Aga Khan Award in 2016.

An upcoming exhibition at the TUM Museum of Architecture in Munich will present various public and private building projects that she has worked on since 1995, first with the architectural office Urbana and since 2005 through Marina Tabassum Architects (MTA).

Marina Tabassum

A Bangladeshi architect and educator, Marina Tabassum founded Dhaka-based Marina Tabassum Architects in 2005. She has taught in Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Technical University, Delft, University of Texas and Bengal Institute. She received Honorary Doctorate from Technical University of Munich. In addition to Aga Khan Awards for Architecture, she has received many accolades including Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture and Soane medal in Architecture from the UK.

Marina Tabassum chairs Foundation for Architecture and Community Equity (FACE) and Prokritee (Fare trade organization). She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Aga Khan Awards for Architecture.

Photo Marina Tabassum © Sounak Das



Besides building design, MTA invests in extensive research works on the impacts of climate change in Bangladesh working closely with geographers, landscape architects, planners and other allied professionals. Their focus of work also extends to the marginalized low to ultra-low-income population of the country with a goal to elevate the environmental and living condition of people.

These includes her engagement in various projects for the 1.2 million Rohingya refugees. In response to the dire situation of the refugees MTA designed a low-cost, mobile, modular house system made of locally sourced material for landless low-income communities facing sea-level rise, once again demonstrating views of architecture as a medium to stabilise society.


Bait Ur Rouf Mosque © Sandro Di Carlo Darsa
Resilient landscape. Aggregation Center, Lomboghona © Asif Salman
Alfadanga Mosque @ Asif Salman
Khudi bari Ukhia © City Syntax
Khudi Bari, climate responsive dwelling unit for landless moving population © Asif Salman