Marina Tabassum has won an international award for building an eco-friendly mosque in Dhaka. In an interview with DW, she explains what makes the mosque so unique, and how is it to be a woman architect in Bangladesh.
DW: You received the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture for building an environment-friendly mosque in the Bangladeshi capital. What is so unique about your mosque?
Marina Tabassum: I focused on spirituality, which, I believe, is essential to prayers. The design of the Bait ur Rouf Mosque is such that it allows natural light and fresh air into the prayer hall that evokes a sense of communion and spirituality. At the same time, it reduces the dependence on the artificiameans of comfort.
In a country where women are rarely allowed to enter a mosque, you actually constructed one. What kind of challenges did you face?
Actually, I did not face any challenge. In Bangladesh, mosques are rarely designed by professional architects. So, people were happy to see a mosque that was designed by a real architect. Besides, I also raised funds to build that mosque, so the people appreciated that as well.
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- Aga Khan Architetcure Award 2016: Bangladeshi Woman Wins Architecture Prize | Mosque without Minaret or Dome