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A Comprehensive List of Books on Architecture of Bangladesh

While the discipline of architecture may rely heavily on hands-on techniques and construction methods, the importance in acquiring knowledge of its history, theory and cultural influences cannot be stressed enough.

In this day and age of technology and digital content, one may wonder how much of a contribution can books make to people in a field that relies on practicality and implementation of ideas. But where do these ideas come from? How do we translate the idea from paper to reality? For practitioners, academicians, researchers and students, books on architecture can provide guidance that can benefit them for all purposes be it professional advancement, academic research or simply for inspiration. Below is a comprehensive list of books on architecture of Bangladesh:

1
Il parlamento e la nuova capitale a Dacca di Louis I. Kahn. 1962-1974 (in Italian)
By Florindo Fusaro
Published by Officina Edizioni, Roma, 1985

Earliest independent monograph on Kahn’s Capital Complex in Dhaka, with some wonderful analytical drawings by the author.

2
Louis I. Kahn, Complete Works: 1935-1974
by Sharad Jhaveri
Published by Birkhauser; Enlarged 2nd edition, 1987

With drawings and sketches, a comprehensive account of Kahn’s work, including the Capital Complex in Dhaka.

3
Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture
By David B. Brownlee and David De Long
Rizzoli, 1991

Description from Amazon:

“This remains one of the most important scholarly and illustrative examinations of Kahn’s life work and his philosophy of architecture. Photographs and descriptive analysis are followed by a biographical chronology of the architect’s life and a complete list of his buildings and projects from 1925 to 1974. The primary texts critically address different dimensions and periods of Kahn’s production.” 

4
GA 73
Louis Khan: National Capital of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Photograph by Yukio Futagawa, Text by Kazi Ashraf
GA Edita, Tokyo, 1998

One of the earliest monographs on the Capital Complex with photographs by the renowned Yukio Futagawa.

5
Pundranagar to Sherebanglanagar: Architecture in Bangladesh
By Saif Ul Haque, Raziul Ahsan and Kazi Khaleed Ashraf (editors)
Published by Chetana Sthapatya Unnoyon Society, 1997

Collection of exhibition of drawings and photographs organized by the Chetana Sthapatya Unnoyon Society at National Museum in Dhaka in 1997.

6
Contemporary Architecture and City Form: the South Asian Paradigm
Edited by Farooq Ameen
Published by: Marg Publications, Mumbai, 1997

With essays by Raj Rewal, Kamil Khan Mumtaz, Kenneth Frampton, Kazi Khaleed Ashraf, Michael Meister and others.

7
Dhaka: From Mughal Outpost to Metropolis
By Golam Rabbani
Published by The University Press Limited (UPL), 1997

Description from website of The University Press Limited (UPL):

“Dhaka: From Mughal Outpost to Metropolis” is the first book that provides a pictorial history at the evolution of Dhaka’s urban, social, and political fabric and architecture. It is a visual narrative of how people lived, thought, and made this great city of the East. With two hundred and eight pages of colourful photographs, the book depicts the multifaceted picture of this great city. Like many other cities of the developing world, Dhaka is a fast-growing metropolis of nearly nine million people, a large proportion of them living in poor, unsanitary conditions. Against this background are the sharply contrasting signs of modernism and affluence: high-rise buildings, automobiles, computers. Dhaka’s four-hundred-year history is a collage of the legacy of the great empires, the Mughal and the British, and of the many foreign interlopers who came to this land spreading their religion or seeking their fortune. After a brief introduction, the pictorial chapters wonder through historic Sonargaon, old Dhaka, Sher-e-Banglanagar, and suburban Dhaka. Dhaka’s attractive bazaars, colourful rickshaws, finely decorated mosques, impressive monuments, traditional lifestyles in the old town and on the banks of the Buriganga river, all appear in beautiful colour photographs, printed on high quality paper, to provide a unique portrait of the city and its people.

8
An Architecture of Independence: The Making of Modern South Asia
by Kazi Khaleed Ashraf and James Belluardo
Published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2000
Essays by Kenneth Frampton, Kazi Khaleed Ashraf and James Belluardo

An Architecture of Independence: The Making of Modern South Asia presents the work of four pioneering modern architects from the Indian subcontinent—Charles Correa, Balkrishna Doshi, and Achyut Kanvinde of India, and Muzharul Islam of Bangladesh. An introduction by Kenneth Frampton and essays by the editors situate the work of these architects within the intellectual and aesthetic traditions of the subcontinent. Also included are statements by the architects and documentation of 27 projects, chosen to give a sense of the strategies they have developed for undertakings as diverse as private houses, settlements, major institutional buildings, and even a gallery devoted to the work of one artist. Each of the four has also played a major role in creating the contemporary architectural culture of South Asia, through teaching and influence on important government and cultural policies. Each represents a model of the architect as engaged artist, intellectual, and citizen.

9
Louis I. Kahn: Complete Works
by Klaus-Peter Gast
Published by Prestel Pub, 2001

Description from Amazon:

This volume provides an overview of the life and complete works of the 20th-century architect Louis I. Kahn (1901 – 1974). Kahn designed such buildings as: the Yale University Art Gallery 1951 – 53); the Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (1957 – 61); the First Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York (1959 – 67); the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California (1959 – 65); and designs for the new capital in Dhaka, Bangladesh (1962 – 74). These and other buildings are shown in numerous illustrations. The book also includes a complete chronology of events in Kahn’s life and work. 

10
Louis Kahn’s Situated Modernism
by Sarah Williams Goldhagen
Published by Yale University Press, 2001

Description from Amazon:

Louis Kahn is perhaps the most important architect to emerge in the decades following World War II. In this book Sarah Williams Goldhagen dismantles the myths that have cast Kahn variously as a mystical neo-Platonist, a structural rationalist, a visionary champion of Beaux-Arts principles, or a rebel against modernism. She demonstrates instead that Kahn’s architecture is grounded in his deeply held modernist political, social, and artistic ideals, which guided him as he sought to rework modernism into a socially transformative architecture appropriate for the postwar world. Goldhagen presents much new archival evidence about Kahn’s buildings, his ideas, and his indebtedness to contemporary art and to the many socio-critical and architectural discourses of the postwar years. She offers fresh interpretations of many of his important buildings, including the Yale University Art Gallery and the National Assembly complex in Bangladesh, as well as of such previously understudied or misunderstood works as the Trenton Bathhouse and his AFL Medical Services building in Philadelphia. Goldhagen then theorizes Kahn’s architectural principles to show that he struggled with modernism rather than against it, reconceptualizing it into a singular and powerful new vocabulary that retains architectural and social relevance today. 

11
Sherebanglanagar: Louis Kahn and the Making of a Capital Complex
By Kazi Khaleed Ashraf and Saif Ul Haque (editors)
Published by Loka Publications, 2002

Collection of drawings and photographs on architecture of Dhaka, Bangladesh by Louis I. Kahn, 1901-1974; published as part of an exhibition held at Bangladesh National Museum, Dhaka from Aug. 17 – Sept. 9, 2002.

12
Louis Kahn Dhaka Construction/Louis Kahn Dhaka
By Raymond Meier
Published by Edition Dino Simonett, 2004

13
Louis I. Kahn
By Robert McCarter
Published by Phaidon Press,  2009

Description from Amazon:

Louis I. Kahn (1901-74) was one of the single greatest influences on world architecture in the second half of the twentieth century. This book provides a comprehensive critical overview of Kahn’s architecture, examining his works chronologically and exploring key themes and their evolution throughout his career. Including both built and unbuilt projects, each of the architect’s major buildings is analysed, beginning with the design process and ordering ideas, followed by the methods and materials of construction, and finally a ‘walk-through’ of the spaces themselves – recognizing that Kahn’s primary concern was interior space and its experience. Each project is extensively illustrated with photographs that convey the spirit of Kahn’s work and a concept development portfolio documents the inspirations and ideas that led to the finished design.
Robert McCarter’s authoritative text explores how Louis I. Kahn redefined modern architecture. Featuring a selection of original drawings and photographs from the Louis I. Kahn Archives and newly redrawn plans, this book also includes selected writings by Kahn and the first publication of the complete chronology of Kahn’s buildings and projects, compiled by William Whitaker, Chief Curator of the Louis I. Kahn Archives. This monograph is an indispensable reference work on this renowned architect.

14
Made in India
by Kazi Khaleed Ashraf (editor)
Published by Academy Press, 2007
Received the Pierre Vago Journalism Award from the International Committee of Architectural Critics, 2009

Description from Amazon:

The architectural and urban landscape of India is being remade in unexpected and exuberant ways. New economic growth, the infiltration of global media and technologies, and the transnational reach of the diasporic Indian have unleashed a new cultural and social dynamic. While the dynamic is most explicit and visible in the context of the Indian city, a different set of transformations is taking place in the rural milieu. Yet, as the political writer Sunil Khilnani notes, the world’s sense of India, of what it stands for and what it wishes to become, seems as confused and divided today as is India’s own sense of itself. It is a challenge, in these conditions, to explore how the deeply entrenched histories and traditions of India are being reimagined, and how questions of the extraordinary diversity of India are being reinterpreted in its architectural and urban landscape. AD traces this compelling story through the writings of Prem Chandavarkar, Sunil Khilnani, Anupama Kundoo, Reinhold Martin, Michael Sorkin, Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha, and others, as well as through the work of some 25 practices currently producing work on the Indian subcontinent, including Urbana, Saif Ul Haque and Rafiq Azam. 

15
Muzharul Islam, Architect
by Zainab Faruqui Ali and Fuad H Mallick (editors)
Published by BRAC University and Bangla Academy, 2011
With essay by Kazi Khaleed Ashraf

Muzharul Islam is the single most dominant influence on modern architecture in Bangladesh. Fifty eight years since he started his practice the influence continues. Other than the odd article here and there and references to his projects in others, there has been no major publication of his works. Muzharul Islam gave the first public lecture on his work at BRAC University in May, 2002 at the age of 78, when he had almost stopped designing. It was soon after his lecture that a book on his work was conceived. This was not an easy task since nowhere was his work documented. The history of the projects was related mostly by him and some information could be gathered from the people who had worked with him. Fortunately the drawings of the projects were stored in his office, but quite a lot were missing. This is a well deserved homage to Bangladesh’s master architect. While it may lack the quality expected of the quality of work it displays, there has been no shortage of dedication and care. This book is a gift to Muzharul Islam from all the architects of Bangladesh.

16
Designing Dhaka: A Manifesto for a Better City
By Kazi Khaleed Ashraf
Published by Loka Publications, 2012

17
Rafiq Azam – Architecture of Green Living
by Rosa Maria Falvo (Editor), Kerry Hill (Foreword), Kazi Khaled Ashraf (Contributor), Philip Goad (Contributor), Syed Manzoorul Islam (Contributor)
Published by Skira, 2013

18
Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture
by Mateo Kries, Jochen Eisenbrand, and Stanislaus von Moos (Editors)
Published by Vitra Design Museum, 2013

Description from Amazon:

The American architect Louis Kahn is one of the great master builders of the twentieth century. With complex spatial compositions, an elemental formal vocabulary and a choreographic mastery of light, Kahn created buildings of powerful archaic beauty. Among his most important works are the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California (1959–65), the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (1966–72) and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh (1962–83). Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture is the first comprehensive publication on this architect in 20 years, and presents all of his important projects. Essays by prominent Kahn experts discuss the sources, contexts and influences of his work; among the authors are such renowned art and architectural historians as Stanislaus von Moos, William J. R. Curtis, Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen and Neil Levine. Topics discussed include Kahn’s pioneering role in concrete construction; the visionary plans for his home city of Philadelphia; his years at Yale University; his dialogue with Josef Albers; and his importance for modern architecture in Southeast Asia. An illustrated biography provides new facts and insights about Kahn’s life and work. In interviews, leading architects such as Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor and Sou Fujimoto explain Kahn’s significance in today’s architectural discourse. An extensive catalogue of works features original drawings and architectural models from the Kahn archive, many of which are presented with high-quality images for the first time. The book is further augmented by a portfolio of Kahn’s travel drawings as well as photographs by Thomas Florschuetz, which offer completely new views of the Salk Institute and the Indian Institute of Management. 

19
Louis Kahn: House of the Nation
by Grischa Ruschendorf (photographer)
Published by ORO Editions, 2014
Essays by Kazi Khaleed Ashraf and Richard Saul Wurman

Louis Kahn’s National Assembly building in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is regarded by many as his greatest masterpiece and one of the wonders of modern architecture.The octagonal main Parliament building is framed by eight hostel blocks–all built in local red brick, lawns and an artificial lake symbolizing the significance of water in Bangladesh.The striking simplicity of the exterior, consisting of only concrete and bands of inlaid marble, is broken up by a variety of recessed geometric shapes which create hollow spaces to allow for sunlight and air to circulate the entire building complex. Grischa Rüschendorf’s stunning architectural photos, some depicting so far unseen areas, invite you to explore the rarely visited building, and how this timeless masterpiece has stood the test of time.

20
An Architect in Bangladesh: Conversations with Muzharul Islam
By Kazi Khaleed Ashraf (editor)
Publihsed by Loka Press, 2014

21
স্থপতি মাজহারুল ইসলাম
by Abul Hasnat (editor)
Published by Bengal Publications, 2015

22
Locations: An Anthology of Architecture and Urbanism 01
Edited by Kazi Khaleed Ashraf
Published by ORO Editions, 2016

23
The Friendship Centre: Gaibandha, Bangladesh
by Kashef Chowdhury
Published by Park Books, 2016
with essays by Kenneth Frampton and Robert Wilson, and photography by Hélène Binet

Description from Amazon:

The Friendship Centre in Gaibandha, Bangladesh, was built for the local NGO Friendship, which provides services for poor citizens of the region. Built by Dhaka-based architect Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury, it was designed to provide an inviting and accessible space for those who use the Centre’s services. This book looks closely at the Centre’s design and construction. Situated on two acres, the complex is designed to blend with the natural environment while echoing the ruins of Mahasthan, a Buddhist dwelling from the third century BC, located nearby. It is constructed and finished primarily of one material—local handmade bricks, and individual pavilions, courtyards, pools, and green spaces are woven throughout. The result, as evidenced in the book’s photographs by celebrated Swiss architectural photographer Hélène Binet, is a building that is a celebration of the essential and simple beauty. 

24
Dhaka: An Urban Reader
By Mahbubur Rahman (Editor)
Published by The University Press Limited (UPL), 2016

25
Bengal Stream: The Vibrant Architecture Scene of Bangladesh
by Niklaus Graber and Andreas Ruby (editors)
Published by Christoph Merian, 2017
Essays by Andreas Ruby, Niklaus Graber, Kazi Khaleed Ashraf, Saif Ul Haque and Syed Manzoorul Islam

Description from Amazon:

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has one of the most important buildings of the 20th century: its parliamentary building by Louis I. Kahn constructed between 1961 and 1982. Little is known, however, about the local architecture scene that has emerged since then. Yet contemporary architecture in Bangladesh exhibits a strong formal idiom that has its roots in tradition and is combined with an innovative handling of local resources such as bamboo and brick. Alongside texts by Andreas Ruby, Niklaus Graber, Kazi Khaleed, Saif Ul Haque and Syed Manzoorul Islam, the special photographs taken by Iwan Baan for this publication capture the imagination. 

26
DAC Dhaka
by Adnan Morshed and Nesfun Nahar Nipa
Published by Altrim Publishers

27
Dhaka: Memories or Lost
by Philip Ursprung (author), Kashef Chowdhury (photographer)
Published by Scheidegger and Spiess, 2017

Description from website of  The University of Chicago Press Books:

Upon setting foot in Dhaka, it becomes clear that this is a city steeped in history. One of the oldest settlements in Bangladesh, it is today among the largest cities in the world, and rapid, often unplanned, urbanization has vastly outpaced sustainability, threatening the historic buildings and communities that make up the city’s cultural soul. But, despite bursting at the seams, Dhaka’s six centuries of history are still visible if we are to look carefully in the shadows of the tall buildings, in the spaces between the speeding cars.

Dhaka-based Kashef Chowdhury’s camera captures a record of the capital city—of the local character that may soon be lost due to urban development. In Chowdhury’s photographs, a woman hangs sheets of polythene to dry and resell, a blind man sings mystic love songs. Other photographs reflect Dhaka’s state of social and cultural flux, like an image of weary night-shift workers returning from work in a wholesale market in the late morning or of the barely visible side lights of a truck concealed to prevent theft. Chowdhury is one of South Asia’s most renowned architects, and Dhaka: Memories or Lost constitutes his deeply personal tribute to the city. 

28
Reassessing Rudolph
By Timothy M. Rohan (Editor)
Published by Yale School of Architecture, 2017

Essays by Kazi K. Ashraf, Lizabeth Cohen, Brian Goldstein, Pat Kirkham, Tom Tredway, Sylvia Lavin, Réjean Legault, Louis Martin, Eric Mumford, Ken Tadashi Oshima, Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, Emmanuel J. Petit

Description from ebay:

American architect Paul Rudolph (1918-1997) was internationally known in the 1950s and early 1960s for his powerful, large-scale concrete buildings. Hugely influential during his lifetime, Rudolph was one of the most significant American architects of his generation. To a remarkable extent, his reputation rose and fell with the fortunes of postwar modernism in America. This insightful book reconsiders Rudolph’s architecture and the discipline’s assessment of his projects. It includes nearly a dozen essays by well-known scholars in the fields of architectural and urban history, all of which shed new light on Rudolph’s theories and practices. Contributions explore the architect’s innovative use of materials, including plywood, Plexiglas, and exposed concrete; the places he lived and worked, from the Anglo-American axis to the Bengal delta; his affiliation with CIAM (Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne); and currents within his philosophy of architecture. 

29
Vastukatha বাস্তুকথা
Selected Sayings of Architect Muzharul Islam | বাস্তুকথা: স্থপতি মাজহারুল ইসলামের নির্বাচিত উক্তি
Published by Bengal Publications, 2018

30
আগামীর সিলেট
“Agameer Sylhet” is a collection of ideas and schemes Bengal Institute proposes for the urban transformation of Sylhet Town. The work was exhibited, with same title, in Sylhet in February 2017, as part of Bengal Institute’s effort to bring attention to the future of our smaller towns.
Published by Bengal Publications for Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements, 2018

31
Rassegna
Louis I. Kahn 1902/1974
By Vittorio Gregotti
Published by Bologne, 1985

32
Making Dhaka Livable
By Sadiq Ahmed, Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Adeeb Mahmud
Published by The University Press Limited (UPL), 2007

33
Louis Kahn: House of the Nation
by Grischa Ruschendorf (Photographer), Kazi Ashraf (Introduction), Richard Saul Wurman (Foreword)
Published by ORO Editions, 2014

Description from Amazon:

Louis Kahn’s National Assembly building in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is regarded by many as his greatest masterpiece and one of the wonders of modern architecture.The octagonal main Parliament building is framed by eight hostel blocks–all built in local red brick, lawns and an artificial lake symbolizing the significance of water in Bangladesh.The striking simplicity of the exterior, consisting of only concrete and bands of inlaid marble, is broken up by a variety of recessed geometric shapes which create hollow spaces to allow for sunlight and air to circulate the entire building complex. Grischa Rüschendorf’s stunning architectural photos, some depicting so far unseen areas, invite you to explore the rarely visited building, and how this timeless masterpiece has stood the test of time.

34
Le Corbusier e Louis Kahn in India e Bangladesh
by Ludovico Degli Uberti (Author)
Published by F.lli Palombi, 1997

35
Islamic Heritage of Bangladesh
by Dr. Nazimuddin Ahmed (Author)
Published by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, 1980

36
Terracottas of Bengal: An Analytical Study
by Zulekah Haque and Enamul Haque (Author)
Published by The International Centre for Study of Bengal Art, 2014

Description from Amazon:

This book on the Terracottas of Bengal, covers the discussion on terracotta plaques found in the archaeological sites and monuments in the Bengali speaking area of the Indian sub-continent. The area politically divided between India and Bangladesh but speaking the same language and enjoying the same historical heredity, is studied here. The book contains discussion on the framework of society, economic, domestic, and social life, arms, dress and jewellery used by the people of the succeeding ages. More than 276 plates, mostly in colours, illustrate the various points raised in the discussions. Thus, possibly, the most authentic portrayal of a society and the priceless heritage of a nation which survived for over two thousand years gradually declining under the pressure of western civilization and economic exigency. Artists and craftsmen, who through their brilliance, labour and hard work, have left such wonderful creations for the posterity, will thus be remembered and saluted. No doubt the art historians of today can draw upon these terracottas as the most authentic source of information for their future writings. 

37
Selected Hindu Temples of Bangladesh
by Babu Ahmed (Author), Nazly Chowdhury (Author)
Published by UNESCO Dhaka, 2005

Description from Amazon:

Temples occupy a major chapter in the South-Asian subcontinent’s history of architecture. Bangladesh has a glorious legacy of temple architecture, and Hindu templesess with their divers forms and decorative designs, is a part of that legacy. Every temple of Bangladesh in not only a document of architectural art, but also a witness to Bengali aspirations-refected in their varied styles of construction. The book pressents selected 35 Hindu Temples of Bangladesh built between the 16th and 19th centuries. Along with the colour photograps andground plans, the book give a brief account of the selected temples, including their location, general description, period of construction, decoration, and dimensions. It also incorporates a list of 231 temples, in Bangladesh, as an appendix.

38
Sultans and Mosques: The Early Muslim Architecture of Bangladesh
by Perween Hasan (Author), Oleg Grabar (Foreword)
Published by I.B.Tauris, 2007

Description from Amazon:

Before the Mughal style came to dominate the Islamic architecture of the Indian sub-continent, Bengal and its rulers had developed their own forms. The mosque architecture of the Independent Sultanate period (from the 14th to the 16th centuries) represents the most important element of the Islamic architecture of Bengal. This distinctive regional style drew its inspiration from the indigenous vernacular architecture of Bengal, itself heavily influenced by Hindu temple architecture. The early Muslim architecture of Bangladesh is an important but little studied part of the architectural heritage of the Islamic world and the Indian sub-continent. Perween Hasan’s work is a most original contribution to its subject.

39
Mosque Architecture in Bangladesh
By Dr. Abu Sayeed M. Ahmed
Published by The University Press Limited (UPL), 2006

Description from Context BD:

Mosque Architecture in Bangladesh by architect Dr Abu Sayeed M Ahmed features a thorough research and insight on the development of designs of mosques in Bangladesh through the ages. The first chapter of the book offers a comprehensive thought on the revolution and influence of mosque architecture in Bangladesh. The following chapter titled “Catalogue” is an attempt to compile the representations of these mosques, classified in three phases — Early Islamic, Mughal and Colonial. The physical form of thirty selected mosques is analysed and illustrated with plans, elevations and photographs. Images used in the book are by Syed Zakir Hossain. The book can be of great help to architecture and history enthusiasts.

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