Marina Tabassum becomes first architect to win Jameel Prize for mosque in Bangladesh
Architect Marina Tabassum has been announced as a joint winner with Iraqi artist Mehdi Moutashar, of the Jameel Prize 5, the first architect and building to receive the accolade.
Tabassum received the award for her design of the Bait ur Rouf mosque which was built in 2012 in Dakha, Bangladesh, which was presented during a ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The judges expressed that although the finalists work in two different fields, both had shown “the same combination of lucidity and sophistication in drawing on Islamic tradition”.
The Bait ur Rouf mosque is inspired by medieval Islamic architecture and celebrates traditions of Bengal. The religious space becomes both animated and contemplative through the play of geometry, abstraction, light, air, and water.
Featuring an intricate geometric layering of space with a square prayer room contained within cylindrical walls, the interior space is enclosed by a square, terracotta exterior – all build using local materials.
The space has been created for meditation and prayer; with funds raised by the architect’s grandmother and the local community in Dhaka, functioning as a spiritual refuge in an urban city.
Launched in 2009, the Jameel Prize was conceived after the renovation of the V&A’s Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art and is supported by the Art Jameel organisation.
The organisation has also announced plans for an arts centre in Dubai, designed by Serie Architects, set to open in the winter of 2018.
An artwork by Jordanian design duo Naqsh Collective had been shortlisted for the fifth edition of the prize.
Main image: Photography by Sandrodi Carlo Darsa. Image courtesy of MTA/Sandrodi Carlo Darsa.