Books review: Old but New: New but Old

March 8, 2010

Editor: Mahbubur Rahman
Publisher: UNESCO
Distributor: Omni Books
PP 366. Price: Tk 1500/ ISBN 978 984 33 0894 8
Reviewed by Dr. Marzooqi Said Ismail
Three papers discuss the master plans, building codes, construction rules, and antiquities law, old and new, followed in Dhaka and other large cities of Bangladesh, and put them into historic perspective putting forward so many unknown but very useful information in one place which make it a must buy for the building professionals. On top of it, two papers on Ahsan Manzil and Painamnagar too give out many unknown facts to the first time readers, and establish that it is not only architectural value or antiquity that can justify the heritage claim of any edifice, it is also socio-economic and historic role can qualify it. Of particular value are the many information, examples and case studies in highlighted boxes, and as annexure with all the papers. Some of the annexure, for example the ones on traditional houses or Dhaka’s relation with water, are very rich and thorough. Even the annexure on building code and Antiquities Act are otherwise difficult to get. In fact over 300 references used in the book show just how thoroughly all the topics have been researched upon. The book, Old but New: New but Old, is a befitting response to 400 years of Dhaka,
This book is not only for architects, but for any conscious person who loves his/her city and cares for the heritage. It can be an excellent gift for any occasion. We wish this book, available at the Ekushey Boi Mela, a success.


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