Bangladeshi architect Marina Tabassum added another feather to her cap – the Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Lifetime Achievement Award 2022.
Marina, also a researcher and educator, is the first architect from the global south to receive the honour, adding her name to a list that includes Denise Scott-Brown, Lacaton, Vassal, Kenneth Frampton, Álvaro Siza and Vittorio Gregotti.
The 2021 Soane Medal and 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture winner's work shows a "deep sense of commitment to the social and cultural role of architecture, with particular attention paid to building a collective sense of belonging in each new project."
The international jury responsible for choosing the winner of this edition's Lifetime Achievement Award highlighted how Marina's unique practice touches on the spiritual fundamentals of architecture, without losing sight of its responsibilities and potential impact.
The 2022 edition of the Lisbon Triennale has Terra (the Earth) as its theme, a motto that expresses the territory, the city, the landscape, the place where everyone belongs or a continent seen from the sea.
Over the past three decades Marina's practice "has been an inspiring example of work with local communities that can have a positive impact across the planet – even under the most adverse conditions," the jury, composed of Cristina Veríssimo (Portugal), Diogo Burnay (Portugal), N’Goné Fall (Senegal), Yael Reisner (Israel) and Zhang Ke (China), said.
Marina's projects demonstrate both a "strong, clear ethical position and delicate, sophisticated design, being uncompromisingly innovative even with limited resources and budget constraints," it added.
"The architect's bold step forward, transforming architecture's role from a passive-commission model into an active-initiative one, keeps showing us the way towards how architects can challenge the climate crisis and bring about social change in an experimental, respectful and inspiring manner," the jury said.
Marina's notable works include the minimal, sun-dappled Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, opened in 2012, the Independence Monument of Bangladesh, and the Museum of Independence.
The 6th Lisbon Architecture Triennale, curated by Cristina Veríssimo and Diogo Burnay, will be held from September 29 to December 5, 2022, in Portugal's Lisbon.
During Terra's opening days, Marina will be in Lisbon to receive the award, which is an original work of art by Portuguese artist and sculptor Carlos Nogueira.
On September 30, a series of conferences will bring together the winners of all three Lisbon Triennale Millennium Awards – Lifetime Achievement, Début and Universities.
This award is given after an independent selection process that runs through two different stages.
In the first phase, over 30 international leading figures in architecture are invited by the Triennale to nominate up to three names they consider worthy of the award. The resulting list is then given to the jury responsible for the final decision, which includes the general curators of the Triennale 2022 plus three other prominent figures from Senegal, Israel and China.