Architecture exists on earth from the time immemorial. It is an integral part of modern civilization. But, in the context of architecture education in Bangladesh, it is about 53 years old. The formal education of architecture was started in Bangladesh by the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) in 1961 through opening the Department of Archite-cture as one of the beginning departments of the institution.
Before that architecture was little known in Bangladesh. There were no institutions to provide architectural training here or no architecture graduates, having education from abroad, except Architect Muzharul Islam who stands out as a beacon-light of architecture during these dark days of architectural knowledge, education and professional practice in Bangladesh.
The Department of Architecture started its academic activities with only six students and one eminent academician, Professor Richard E. Vrooman, from abroad who served as first head and founder of the department. Later, many foreign academicians like Professor Jack Yardley, Professor D. Dunham and Professor James Walden joined this department and also worked with some Bengali teachers.
At present 56 students are studying undergraduate course in each academic session and 46 highly qualified teachers are teaching at the department. The department also offers Ph.D. programme. Importantly, it is to be mentioned that during the formative days of this department, world-acclaimed professionals of engineering and architectural fields like F. R. Khan, Louis I. Kahn and many others from across the world presented their lectures in the department that reached the image of this department to a better height at home and abroad.
The Department of Architecture has filled up the vacuum of architectural education, professional practice and pedagogical issues of architecture in Bangladesh. The department is fully committed to fulfil the country’s overall needs of architectural education, research, planning, professional, design and development works.
This department has already produced a large number of graduates. The graduates of this department are now working with high reputation at home and abroad. Today, we have many academic and professional institutions of architecture in Bangladesh. There are hands of cooperation of BUET architecture graduates behind the establishment of these institutions and the overall architectural achievements and nation-building activities in Bangladesh. So, the Architecture Department of BUET has ushered in a new era of architectre in Bangladesh.
Realizing this, we’ve chosen to focus on the history, problems, potentials, contributions and future plans of this department. Accordingly, this issue contains a valuable interview of Professor Qazi Azizul Mowla, a veteran architect and then Head of the Department of Architect of BUET and valuable articles of another high-profile architect and educationist Meer Mobashsher Ali and other architectural experts and professionals working in dignified and responsible positions at public and private sectors in the country.
All the stories of architecture published in this issue seem to us very interesting, informative and educative as well. We hope these will attract our policy makers, educationists, researchers, students and also our readers at home and abroad towards the BUET, especially the Department of Architecture widely. On this occasion, let’s wish the BUET and the Architecture Department all the best.