Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa

Marina Tabassum wins Lifetime Achievement Award

29 SEP 2022 - 05 DEC 2022
Various venues in the city of Lisbon
Curatorial Team: Cristina Veríssimo, Diogo Burnay, Anastassia Smirnova, Jose Pablo Ambrosi & Loreta Castro Reguera, Pamela Prado & Pedro Ignacio Alonso, Tau Tavengwa & Vyjayanthi Rao.
CCB/Garagem Sul, Culturgest, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, EDP/MAAT Foundation, Millennium bcp Foundation / MNAC - National Museum of Contemporary Art.

Architect, researcher and educator Marina Tabassum is the winner of the Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Lifetime Achievement Award. In line with the values proposed by the curators of this year's edition, Terra, over the past three decades, Tabassum's practice based in Bangladesh has been an inspiring example of how architects' work with local communities can have a positive impact across the planet – even under the most adverse conditions. The work of this architect demonstrates a deep sense of commitment to the social and cultural role of architecture, with particular attention paid to building a collective sense of belonging in each new project. 

The international jury responsible for choosing the winner of this edition's Lifetime Achievement Award highlights how «Marina Tabassum’s unique practice touches on the spiritual fundamentals of architecture, without losing sight of its responsibilities and potential impact. Her projects demonstrate both a strong, clear ethical position and delicate, sophisticated design, being uncompromisingly innovative even with limited resources and budget constraints. Always driven by specific cultural and geographical contexts, her work addresses pressing contemporary issues, being particularly mindful of local communities and their environment and history. Marina Tabassum's bold step forward, transforming architecture’s role from a passive-commission model into an active-initiative one, keeps showing us the way towards how architects can challenge the climate crisis and bring about social change in an experimental, respectful and inspiring manner.»

Panigram Resort, Jessore, 2018 © MTA

Khudi Bari, modular house for the Climate Victims of Bangladesh, hands-on built project, 2020 © Asif Salman

During Terra's opening days, Marina Tabassum will be in Lisbon to receive this award, which is an original work of art by Portuguese artist and sculptor Carlos Nogueira. On September 30, a series of conferences will bring together the winners of all three Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Awards – Lifetime Achievement, Début and Universities –, being a great opportunity to learn from Tabassum's vision for our common future.

Marina Tabassum is the first architect from the Global South to receive this award, adding her name to a list that includes Denise Scott-Brown from the USA (awarded in 2019), the French duo Lacaton & Vassal (2016), Kenneth Frampton from the UK (2013), Álvaro Siza from Portugal (2010) and the Italian Vittorio Gregotti (2007).

This award is given after an independent selection process that runs through two different stages. In the first phase, over 30 international leading figures* in architecture are invited by the Triennale to nominate up to three names they consider worthy of the award. The resulting list is then given to the jury responsible for the final decision, which includes the chief curators of the Triennale 2022 plus three other prominent figures from Senegal, Israel and China.

*The 2022 nominators were: Alice Rawsthorn, Ana Dana Beroš, Bekim Ramku, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, Chuka Ihonor, David Basulto, Denise Scott Brown, Ethel Baraona Pohl, Eve Arpo, Fabrizio Gallanti, Hanna Dencik Petersson, Herbert Wright, Jimenez Lai, Joanna Wasko, Josephine Michau, Julija Reklaitė, Marina Otero Verzier, Martynas Germanavičius, Matevž Čelik, Mimi Zeiger, Nathalie Weadick, Olamide Udoma-Ejorh, Paul Preissner, Paula Nascimento, Saimir Kristo, Sevra Davis, Shumi Bose, Sini Parikka, Taro Igarashi, Vera Sacchetti, Victoria Thornton and Zahra Ali Baba. 

Cristina Veríssimo (Portugal)
Diogo Burnay (Portugal)
N’Goné Fall (Senegal)
Yael Reisner (Israel)
Zhang Ke (China)