| Site home | 

< Previous  |  Main contents  |  Section contents | Next >

[[ Other sections:  || Archaeology|| Architecture||  Arts and Crafts||  Cultural history||  || Folklore||  || Indigenous||  || Language & Literature||  || Living traditions||  || State & Culture  ]] 



The first decade of Pakistan time in Bangladesh is almost devoid of architectural activity. The unstable political condition caused by the death of Zinnah in 1948 and the murder of it’s first Prime Minister in 1951 coupled with the step motherly attitude of ‘major’ Pakistan against it’s ‘minor’ partner from the beginning was not at all conducive to any development not to speak of architecture alone. In the absence of professional architects produced locally the demand of increasing housing as a result of independence was met by the civil engineers and their assistants, the draftsmen of the polytechnic institute. Some British architects were imported, but their lack of knowledge about the architectural tradition of the province could not fulfill the expected aspirations swinging thus between impersonal structures and cheap Islamic imitations the two glaring examples being the Shahbagh Hotel and the Newmarket. The seemingly stabilized period of development during the Martial Law period (1958-68), so-called ‘decade of reforms’ as it was epitheted, was the beginning of an architectural activity in moderate scale. The reason behind this was the continued movement demanding ‘parity’ and the establishment of a local architectural firm Vastukalabid by Muzharul Islam in 1964 and the coming out of the first architectural graduates from BUET in 1966. Mr. Islam was the pioneer of International style in Bangladesh using widely cantilevering technique and the scope of extension without compromising with the original plan. He was also instrumental in bringing some eminent architects including Louis Khan and Constantine Doxiades- the first the creator of Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, and the second the initiator of elliptical vaulting method in steel used both in Dhaka and outside. Some of the attractive architectural pieces of the time are much criticised- Thariani and Son’s DIT building mainly because of it’s tall clock tower, Chishti Brothers’ New High Court Building because of it’s entrance structure dominated by the elongated dome, and the Berger Engineers’ Kamalapur Railway Station because of it’s petel or sail-shaped canopies at the top. Of these the first one may be described as ‘non-definitional’ but presently termed ‘Colonial’, because of it’s frontal columns and the pallisade, the second ‘fully Colonial’ by the amalgamation of Renaissance Palladian and Mughal style, and the third ‘modern’ following probably the Sydney Opera House sail pattern. The motto was not a single traditional pattern, but all and acceptable.

[[ Other sections:  || Archaeology|| Architecture||  Arts and Crafts||  Cultural history||  || Folklore||  || Indigenous||  || Language & Literature||  || Living traditions||  || State & Culture  ]]