Vol. 4 Num 55 Sun. July 20, 2003  
Star City in Frames

Harmony of Vision
Muzharul Islam, arguably the first trained Bengali architect, is widely acknowledged for his pioneering work which has led to the establishment of the modem architectural culture and practice in Bangladesh. His signal commitment, extending into cultural and political spheres, was also instrumental in the introduction of such figures as Louis Kahn, Paul Rudolph and Stanley Tigerman into the then formative architectural scene. His built works as well as his numerous projects continue to inspire present generations of architects.

The Jahangir Nagar University, designed in 1969, demonstrate his concerns for a holistic design approach arising out of concerns for landscape and topography, the relation between built and natural environment, climate responsiveness and efficiency of planning. Particularly aware as to the immense responsibility of the architect figure in the larger social structure, Mazharul Islam concentrated as much on the detail design of student's room as he would on an entire block. The master plan of Jahangir Nagar University is an example of his life long occupation with the urgent need for a harmonious co-existence of buildings, roads, bridges or, for that matter, any man-made objects with the sensitive and delicate natural environment.

Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury is a photographer and architect partner in the firm URBANA. Like many of his generation, he is inspired by Muzharul Islam's works and philosophy.