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Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury, Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury was nominated for the Aga Khan Award for the Chandgaon Mosque in Chittagong, a religious space breaking away from the conventions of architecture of mosques. Later, he also designed the Friendship Centre in Gaibandha, acclaimed for exploring the subterranean landscape and architecture of Asia, thus, reflecting on the historic architecture of ‘ruins’. His practice Kashef Chowdhury/URBANA is located in a secluded cul-de-sac beside a lake in the heart of the capital city of Dhaka, Kashef states that architects need to be conscious of reality but at the same time need to have the creativity to ‘reconsider’ it. He encourages design evolving from real physical experiences like touch, sight, sound, matter and light making spaces which embody a certain spirit. In his practice and studio, time is of a paramount importance and is said to have functioned in daytime predominantly, avoiding any artificial lighting thus discouraging working late in office. Kashef advocates that meaningful architecture is a product of patience and perseverance which are often diluted by the hasty attempts of most clients and architects. His office is known to give extended time to projects, if need be, to sincerely attempt a meticulous design. The philosophy of URBANA is based strongly on the historic roots of the region with an emphasis on climatic and material context. Kashef graduated in architecture from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 1995 and was part of Glenn Murcutt Master Class in Sydney in 2006. Besides architecture has also worked as a professional photographer and has held seven solo exhibitions of his works so far. He divides his time between Dhaka and Kolkata.

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