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Title:An Emblem of Democracy
Author(s):Samayeen, Nubras
Subject(s):Bengali Architecture
Abstract:Louis Kahn (1901–1974) is one of the most important American, modernist architects of 21st century. He is revered for his monumental works such as the Salk Institute (1959), la Jolla and Kimbell Art Museum (1972), Fort Worth in the United States and the National Assembly Complex (19820) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As a work of singular importance in the design-world, his Complex has attracted close attention. Architectural scholars have extensively analyzed and published Kahn’s works in general and the Complex in particular. Yet, its landscape, that is more than eighty percent of the total built- space, had been ignored. There had been no scholarly investigation of the landscape. While designing, Kahn was inspired by Bengal’s quintessential deltaic topography and intertwined culture which emanates through the Complex’s constructed lakes, terraced civic-plazas, gardens and immense lawns. My dissertation research examines the Complex as a case study on how Kahn’s designed landscape aided the identity formation of a newly born democratic nation and its popular culture in its post-colonial (1947) and post-independence (1971) periods. My dissertation asks, how the paradoxical merger of a Western receptivity with a traditional Bengali sensibility operated over time as the Complex materialized as a national symbol of democracy?
Issue Date:2021
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Nubras Samayeen
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-04-12

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