Marina Tabassum Architects (MTA) is an internationally recognized, leading architecture practice based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The firm was founded by Marina Tabassum in 2005 after her ten-year partnership in URBANA established in 1995.
MTA began its journey in the quest of establishing a language of architecture that is contemporary to the world yet rooted to the place. MTA stands against the global pressure of consumer architecture, a fast breed of buildings that are out of place and context. Our pledge of the practice is to root Architecture to the place informed by climate and geography. MTA's work is well regarded in the world as environmentally conscious, socially responsible, historically and culturally appropriate. Every project undertaken is a sensitive and relevant response to the uniqueness of individual site context, culture and people.
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. Our focus of work also extends to the marginalized low to ultra-lowincome population of the country with a goal to elevate the environmental and living condition of people.
Our practice is based on a simple model of studio with Marina Tabassum as the principal architect. The studio engages talented architects and professionals with an interest in self built projects, who are willing to push the boundaries of the conventional norms of practice. The associate architects who are responsible for research, design and management of individual projects work directly under the principal architect. The practice is consciously kept and retained in an optimum size and projects undertaken are carefully chosen and are limited by number per year.
MTA's process-based practice model is well regarded in the international scene of architecture as a Twenty First Century model. As such MTA has presented works and research to numerous national and international institutions and events around the world. MTA received the prestigious Aga Khan Awards for Architecture in 2016 for the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque.
A Bangladeshi architect and educator, Marina Tabassum founded Dhaka-based Marina Tabassum Architects in 2005. In her work, Tabassum 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 project the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Bangladesh is distinguished by its lack of popular mosque iconography, its emphasis on space and light, and its capacity to function not only as a place of worship but also as a refuge for a dense neighborhood on Dhaka's periphery. The portfolio of work notwithstanding, Tabassum's practice remains consciously contained in size, undertaking a limited number of projects per year.
Tabassum is a Professor at Technical University Delft, in the Netherlands. She held the Gehry Chair at the University of Toronto 2022 - 2023. She has taught in Harvard University Graduate School of Design, University of Texas, Bengal Institute and BRAC University.
She received Honorary Doctorate from Technical University of Munich. In addition to Aga Khan Awards for Architecture, she has received many accolades including Arnold 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 United Kingdom.
Tabassum chairs Foundation for Architecture and Community Equity (F.A.C.E) and Prokritee, a Fare trade organization. She has served as the member of the Steering Committee of the Aga Khan Awards for Architecture from 2017 to 2022. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
|2023||The Vassilis Sgoutas Prize for Implemented Architecture Serving the Impoverished, UIA World Congress of Architects.|
|2023||Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, Government of France|
|2022||Carrier Award from Lisbon, Portugal|
|2021||Gold Medal, French Academy of Architecture|
|2021||Royal Designer of the Industry (RDI)|
|2021||Arnold W Burner Prize, American Academy of Arts and Literature|
|2020||Honorary Doctorate form Technical University, Munich|
|2020||The Top Ten Thinkers of the World by Prospect Magazine, UK|
|2018||Jameel Prize, Victoria and Albert Museum|
|2016||Aga Khan Award for Architecture|
|2005||Ananya Shirshwa Dash Award|
|2004||Shortlisted for Aga Khan Award for Architecture|
|2001||Architect of the Year Award|