Amidst the social tension of the 1970s, a new generation of ambitious architects burst forth onto the architectural scene of Bangladesh. The outcomes of a few national architectural competitions revealed new visions of modernity, building technology, and architectural space. Institutional and commercial buildings were no longer bland boxes, comprising corridors and rooms. In 1977, Bashirul Haq won the national design competition for the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) headquarters in downtown Dhaka's Dilkusha Commercial Area. His entry showcased a new type of design energy that synthesised modernist aesthetics with a reasoned consideration for the local climate, a low budget, and a dense urban context.
Many of his subsequent brick buildings are considered architectural icons of the country, suggesting a sublime modern abstraction of Bengal's geographic ambiance. Haq's work is of utmost importance to explain how the notion of "critical regionalism" informed architectural modernism in Bangladesh since the early 1980s.
Born in 1942 in a village named Bhatshala, Brahmanbaria, a district in east-central Bangladesh and about 100 km from the capital Dhaka, Bashirul Haq developed a particular fondness for Bengal's rural landscape.