process of industrialization and urbanization in the
then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in the 1905s led
to hectic development which suffered from lack of technological
support. In view of the challenging situation, the Department
of Architecture was established alongside the existing
engineering education. The founding of the Department
in 1961 helped in the transformation of the then Ahsanullah
Engineering College to a full-fledged University. From
its inception till 1990, the Department was the only
institution of its kind imparting architectural education
in the country.
Despite the support of the Texas A&M University,
the Department had a humble beginning with only one
expatriate teacher, Professor Richard E. Vrooman, and
six students. By the year 1965 there were four American
teachers and 68 students at five levels.
The year 1966 is a landmark in the history of Architectural
education in this country. It was the year when the
first five students graduated in Architecture after
the completion of a 5-year programme. In the same year
six Bangalees, on obtaining their degrees in architecture
from the USA returned to bolster the teaching staff.
In 1968 all the expatriates left, entrusting the programme
entirely with the local staff.
Tragedy hit the programme with the death of Professor
Ahsanur Rahman on June 27, 1967. Professor Rahman was
a dedicated teacher of outstanding merit. In fond memory
of the late professor, the Ahsanur Rahman Award was
instituted in 1968 to support postgraduate studies at
the time. The award has since then been presented to
students who achieve a high level of design and scholastic
With the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 the building
industry gained a new lease of life. The pressure of
students intending to study architecture increased continually.
Initially, the yearly intake of students at the first
year level was 25. In 1977, the number was raised to
35 and again to 50 in 1980. Since 1995-96 enrolment
is 55 per batch.
Consequently the number of teachers has also increased.
At present, the Department has a total of 31 teachers,
24 of whom have post-graduate degrees with specializations
in Housing, Environment, Architectural Acoustics, Urban
Design, Health Facilities, Educational Facilities and
Industrial Buildings. In 1979, as the demand for higher
education increased, a programme offering the Master
of Architecture degree was introduced. From 1993-94
the department is offering PhD programme.
In 1986, the Department celebrated its Silver Jubilee.
Since 1966, degrees awarded to
Students of the department have excelled in national
and international design competitions. Student entries
in 'Mimar' Design Competitions IV, V and VI were awarded
as Winners, Highly Commended and Commended. In 1989,
entries secured Honourable Mentions in the Students
Jamboree of Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA).
In 1994, the Department's entry to the CAA won the First
The Department of Architecture is committed to advance
architectural education through different programmes
and researches. The department continuously endeavors
to instil in the students a firm intellectual and professional
base. The course curricula are designed to bring out
the best in students aspiring to enter the profession.
In the past, distinguished architects and professionals
of the stature of Fazlur R. Khan, Louis I. Kahn, Paul
Rudolph, Stanley Tigermann, Aptullah Kuran, Helmut Borcherdt,
Kenneth Young, Charles Correa and B.V. Doshi have presented
lectures in the Department. Views on architecture, practice
and education are constantly exchanged with architects
from home and abroad as well as with related professionals.