02.12.2017 - 24.06.2018

Bengal Stream. The Vibrant Architecture Scene of Bangladesh

The exhibition has been extended until 24/06/2018.

From the 2nd of December 2017 to the 24th of June 2018, the Swiss Architecture Museum S AM is presenting the exhibition ‘Bengal Stream: The Vibrant Architecture Scene of Bangladesh’, curated by Niklaus Graber, Andreas Ruby and Viviane Ehrensberger.
Produced in cooperation with the Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements, Dhaka

With ‘Bengal Stream’ S AM is the first museum worldwide to present an exhibition on Bangladesh’s architecture. In a chequered historical sequence of events, various trends have expressed themselves in different architectural ways, according to religious or socio-cultural developments. Nevertheless, many underlying motifs have held their ground in a typological sense for centuries and even represent a valid foundation for today's architectural trends. Modernism also used these as a basis on which to build, whereby the most important local protagonist was Muzharul Islam. It was also in keeping with his personal identity, situated between localism and internationalism, to bring international protagonists like Paul Rudolph, Stanley Tigerman and ultimately Louis I. Kahn to Bangladesh for important construction projects. In ‘Bengal Stream’, original drawings by Muzharul Islam are exhibited for the first time outside of his native Bangladesh. The main focus of this exhibition is on contemporary positions. Many of today's protagonists were students, assistants or companions of Muzharul Islam and in recent decades they have formed an independent architecture scene that carries the societal and architectural concerns of their predecessors forwards in a contemporary way. Again and again, it is this loose group who, despite dynamic global pressure to develop, collectively stand up for architectural values and for an awareness of Bengali culture. The exhibition ‘Bengal Stream’ brings together over 60 projects by established and emerging architects in Bangladesh. One of the most internationally prominent architectural photographers, Iwan Baan, was brought in to document the projects.

When the exhibition opens, a Christoph Merian Verlag publication with the same title will also be released. This catalogue covers all the presented projects and looks at the exhibition's themes in greater depth, with essays by the curators, as well as by local experts Kazi Khaleed, Saif Ul Haque and Manzoorul Islam. 

photo credits:
1_ Architect's Home & Studio Farmgate, Dhaka
Architect: Bashirul Haq & Associates
Copyright: Iwan Baan
2_Shuktara Nature Retreat, Khadimnagar, Sylhet
Copyright: Iwan Baan
3_Friendship Centre Gaibhanda
Architect: URBANA / Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury
Copyright: Iwan Baan
4_Bait Ur Rouf Mosque Faydabad, Dhaka
Architect: MTA / Marina Tabassum Architects
Copyright: Iwan Baan
5_Arcadia School, Alipur, Keraniganj
Architect: Saif Ul Haque Sthapati
Copyright: Iwan Baan
6_Loom Shed for Amber Denim, Gazipur
Architect: Archeground Ltd.
Copyright: Iwan Baan
7_Café Mango, Dhanmondi, Dhaka
Architect: Atelier Robin / Salauddin Ahmed
Copyright: Iwan Baan

Accompanying Programme:

Wednesday-Mattinée at S AM
29.11.2017, 10am-12pm 
Behind the scene – guided tour through the exhibition installation
Admission: CHF 10.- (red. CHF 5.-)
Language: German

Opening ‘Bengal Stream’
01.12.2017, 7pm
with a welcoming greeting by Elisabeth Ackermann, district president Canton Basel-Stadt,
and Abul Khair, Chairman Bengal Foundation

Public Guided Tours
14.12.2017, 25.1., 8.2., 8.3., 19.4., 3.5., 7.6.2018
at 6 pm
Admission: CHF 12.-, red. CHF 10.-

Symposium: When the Jamuna meets the Rhine
Learning from Recent Architecture of Bangladesh

2.12.2017, 9.30am-5pm
Place: Alte Universität Basel, Rheinsprung 9/11, 4051 Basel
Language: English

Basel Museum Night at S AM
‘Bengal Style – from old to new’
19.01.2018 18.00-02.00 H
Guided Tours: 8pm and 10pm, 30 min. each
Workshop: Keep that paper!, 7pm-11pm

Lecture series
Place Ackermannshof, St. Johanns-Vorstadt 21, 4056 Basel
Admission: CHF 12.-, red. CHF 8.-
Language: English

15.02.2018, 7PM
Lecture: ‘The Modernist Muzharul Islam’, Nurur Rahman Khan
15.03.2018, 7PM
Lecture: ‘The poor cannot afford poor solutions’, Runa Khan
12.04.2018, 7PM
Lecture: ‘Co-creating space’, Khondaker Hasibul Kobir

March 2018
Films from Bangladesh at Stadtkino Basel
Programme: from 22.2.2018, www.stadtkinobasel.ch

Upcoming exhibitions

19.10.2024 - 16.03.2025

Soft Power: The Brussels Way of Making the City

Opening: 18/10/2024, 7 PM

The exhibition 'Soft Power: The Brussels Way of Making the City' traces Belgium's journey to becoming an internationally renowned hotspot for contemporary architecture and urban planning. The show sheds light on the framework conditions that have given rise to a high-quality building culture in Brussels and encouraged a new generation of architects to participate in its urban development. 

Curators: Roxane Le Grelle, Andreas Kofler (S AM)​

An exhibition of S AM Swiss Architecture Museum in cooperation with the
Bouwmeester Maître Architecte (BMA) and with support of Brussels Capital Region.