Government Institute of Arts and the Library Building

Government Institute of Arts and the Library Building Dhaka

Following the Shahbagh Avenue we come to Ayub Avenue after crossing a big traffic circle [the circle to the north of the TSC building]. Just close to this place stands the Library building. Beyond it lays an open space now occupied by green shrubs. It was at this spot that the first session of the All India Muslim League was held, and for this reason this spot has been earmarked for a National Monument. [Now the Dhaka University Mosque and the Nazrul Memorial Complex occupy a part of the open space. The Social Science Faculty Building is now being built in the space between the mosque and the historic building, which served as the reception centre of the 1906 conference, now utilized as the Madhu’s Canteen.] Next to this place stands the Government Institute of Arts. Both these buildings were erected in 1953-54, and were planned by Mr. Mazharul Islam, the first architect from East Pakistan. The buildings are completely alien in taste and show the adoption of a utilitarian type of American architecture to a stormy and windy climate of East Pakistan. The provision of large windows, fitted with glass planes, no doubt provides sufficient light in the halls, but it invites glare in our sunny country and consequently is a source of trouble to the readers and workers inside. Such defects in plan are quite natural when foreign types are sought to serve local needs. It is hoped that in due course out of these new ideas suitable architectural types will grow.


In the Library building the wall surfaces are relieved in two places with mural scenes from the life of East Pakistani people but done in European style of triangulation – a style which conveys very little to the local people. This work was done by two East Pakistani artists, Miss Novera Ahmed and Mr. Hamidur Rahman who received their training in Europe. In 1961 the Public Library was handed over to Dhaka University, and here the additions are being made to accommodate the University Library, of which Mr. M. Siddiq Khan is the Librarian. The Government Institute of Arts will soon be developed into a College. The present principal is Mr. Zainul Abedin, the famous painter of East Pakistan.

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