Over the past several years, Dhaka-based architect Kashef Chowdhury has become widely known for a body of work that responds with great sensitivity to places, local circumstances, and the demands of a building’s users. At the 2016 International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, Chowdhury presented four recent projects that his firm URBANA has realized in Bangladesh in a fascinating exhibition.
For that installation, Chowdhury deployed a labyrinth—but he challenged spatial perceptions through a simple trick: the labyrinth, which is designed to hide and block, was instead suddenly made transparent. The installation was conceived not merely as a hyper-maze but rather as an expression of the anxiety that the artist experiences in his work due to a myriad of uncertainties. Chowdhury’s Glass Labyrinth in Venice serves as a reminder that, while an architect may have a clear vision of what he wants to do, the path to success in a challenging environment can be complicated by previously unseen barriers. This book explores and documents the installation through beautiful photographs by Eric Chenal and an illuminating text by Robert McCarter.
About the Author
Robert McCarter is an architect and professor of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a prolific writer and author of monographs on eminent architects.