Architect Rabiul Hussain (1943-2019): The Life of a Polymath
Architect Rabiul Hussain, a polymath, who excelled across a diverse field of ‘intellectual enterprises.’ He was not only a veteran architect but also an eminent poet, prolific writer, art critique and cultural activist. He led the architect community as the president of the Institute of Architects, Bangladesh (IAB) for four terms. At international level, Rabiul Hussain served as the vice-chairman of ARCASIA (Architects Regional Council of Asia), vice-president of CAA (Commonwealth Association of Architects) and president of SAARCH (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation of Architects). He was a trustee of the Bangladesh Liberation War Museum and an executive member of the Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee.
Since his early career as an architect, Rabiul Hussain was involved in designing a number of public buildings of national interest. His works include, among others, Shaheed Minar on Jahangirnagar University campus, Agriculture Research Institute (with architect Mazharul Islam), Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (with Shaheedullah and Associates), Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University in Dinajpur, Polytechnique Institute in Chittagong and Khulna, Gateway of Dhaka University.
This true to the heart person took his last breath on 26th November 2019 at the age of 76. His death has been widely mourned across the nation.
Biographical timeline of architect Rabiul Hussain
- 1943- Rabiul Hussain was born in Shailkupa, Jhenaidah.
- 1961- He got himself admitted to architecture discipline in EPUET (now BUET).
- 1965-He started working with architect Mazharul Islam on part-time basis while he was a third-year student and continued till 1971.
- 1968-He graduated from BUET.
- 1975-76- He started his practice with Shaheedullah and Associates as a partner architect.
- 1979- He got married to Nurjahan Begum. His better half passed away in 1998.
- 1982- Construction of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BRAC) at Farmgate, Dhaka – one of the milestone projects of his career.
- 1987- He published his book on architecture titled বাংলাদেশের স্থাপত্য সংস্কৃতি.
- 2009- He was awarded Bangla Academy Award for his contribution in Bengali poetry.
- 2016- IAB gold medal was awarded to architect Rabiul Hussain for his lifetime dedication to connect the secular, progressive, yet culturally sensitive modern-day spirit of Bangladeshi architecture.
- 2018- He was awarded the একুশে পদক (Ekushey Padak) for his contributions to language and literature.
- 2019- Took his last breath on 26th November.
Sources: Architect’s own account (recorded), Institute of Architects Bangladesh, Dhaka Tribune, The Daily Sun, Interview with BTV (কীর্তিমানের গল্পকথা/ Keertymaner Galpokatha)
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