Soane Medal 2021 Winner Marina Tabassum, Architecture Award, Bait ur Rouf Mosque Dhaka Building Photos, Architects
Soane Medal 2021: Marina Tabassum
17 Nov 2021
Soane Medal 2021 Winner: Marina Tabassum
Tuesday 16 November 2021
Marina Tabassum, Architect Of The Dispossessed, Wins Soane Medal
The 2021 Soane Medal Lecture was streamed live direct from Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.
Marina Tabassum, the distinguished Bangladeshi architect, was awarded on Tuesday 16 November 2021, the 2021 Soane Medal, which is presented annually by Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. Receiving the Award at a ceremony celebrating her career, Marina Tabassum gave the fourth Soane Medal Lecture before an invited audience in the Museum and a global audience through a live digital event
Marina Tabassum said: “I am honoured to have been chosen to receive this recognition from such a distinguished institution as the Soane Museum. Winning the Soane Medal means a great deal to me. My current work is focused on the twin crises of Bangladesh: the plight of refugees, and the heightened threat to our population of flooding, exacerbated by global warming. Both factors have led me to focus on prototyping low impact, mobile housing which can be delivered at the lowest cost possible for those in need. Our goal is to make it an open source knowledge that can help people build their own houses, with the help of a manual with detailed instructions.”
Marina Tabassum, aged 53, was born, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is Founder and Principal Architect of Marina Tabassum Architects MTA in Dhaka and is a pioneer of what she describes as ‘the architecture of relevance’.
Her architectural practice focuses on designing buildings in tune with their natural environments (in particular, working with local materials and communities) while also embracing the design challenges of sustainability, environment, and our collective impact on the planet. She is currently working in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, in south-east Bangladesh, and designing mobile modular houses for ultra-low-income people in the country’s coastal areas.
Her notable buildings include the minimal, sun-dappled Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, opened in 2012, the Independence Monument of Bangladesh and the Museum of Independence, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She was winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2016. In 2018, she took part in Freespace, the main exhibition of the Venice Biennale for Architecture, where she explored the Bengali courtyard.
She currently runs a Masters’ Studio at TU Delft, and has previously been a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, the University of Texas and BRAC University in Dhaka. She has given lectures and presentations at a number of other educational institutions and conferences, having been the Director of Academic Program at Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements since 2015.
The Soane Medal, was established by Sir John Soane’s Museum in 2017 and continues the mission of the Museum’s founder, the celebrated regency architect Sir John Soane, to encourage a better understanding of the central importance of architecture in culture and society. The Medal recognises architects, educators and critics who have made a major contribution to their field through practice, history or theory.
The recipient receives a replica of the original gold medal presented to Sir John Soane by the ‘Architects of England’ in 1835. Sir John Soane’s Museum also issues a publication marking the occasion.
The inaugural Soane Medal winner in 2017 was the Spanish architect, Rafael Moneo. American architect, planner and theorist, Denise Scott Brown was awarded the second Soane Medal in 2018. The renowned British architect Kenneth Frampton received the third Soane Medal award in 2019.
Bruce Boucher, Deborah Loeb Brice Director, Sir John Soane’s Museum, and Chair of jury, said: “The Soane Medal continues the mission of Sir John Soane to encourage a better understanding of the central importance of architecture in people’s lives, and Marina Tabassum’s ‘architecture of relevance’ is closely aligned with this. She consistently demonstrates the ways in which architecture can improve lives and her work with Rohingya Refugees at Cox’s Bazaar showcases the potential of architects to contribute to solving the problems society faces today.
From her Bait ur Rouf Mosque to Dhaka’s Independence Monument, Tabassum has created buildings which bring communities together and foster a distinct sense of place.
Her research into dwelling in the Ganges Delta and Bengali courtyards suggest alternative models of building, habitation, and ownership which have the potential to inform architectural practice more widely. All her work is underpinned by a focus on sustainability and Tabassum is truly leading the conversation about the ways in which architecture, people and planet interact.”
Soane Medal 2021 Jury
Marina Tabassum was selected for the award by the following jury:
Bruce Boucher, Deborah Loeb Brice Director, Sir John Soane’s Museum
Sir David Chipperfield, architect
Paul Goldberger, architecture critic
Owen Hopkins, architecture writer and curator
Farshid Moussavi, architect
Eric Parry, architect
Alice Rawsthorn, design critic and author
Oliver Wainwright, architecture critic
Thomas Weaver, architectural historian
The full 2021 Soane Medal Lecture was available to watch online via The Sir John Soane’s Museum website: http://www.soane.org/soane-medal-2021
Soane Medal 2021 Winner: Marina Tabassum images / information received 161121
Location: London, UK
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