In projects that range from the scale of the residential block to the master plan, Marina Tabassum prioritizes climate, materials, site, culture, and local history in order to counteract what she finds impersonal and confused in architecture globally. Her Bait Ur Rouf Mosque is a case in point: built over the course of twelve years with a minuscule budget, it is distinguished by its lack of popular mosque iconography, its emphasis on materials, space, and light, and its capacity to function not only as a place of worship but also as a meeting room, school, and playground for an underserved community on Dhaka’s periphery.
Tabassum, a graduate of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, founded Dhaka-based Marina Tabassum Architects in 2005 after ten years as a partner and cofounder of URBANA in Dhaka. She has taught and lectured widely and is currently academic director of Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes, and Settlements. In 2016 she was one of six architects to receive the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.