Architecture evolved from the basic need to create shelter. The beginnings are rooted in manís primal need to define space and an envelope for his daily activities. As the act of living gained complexity, so did the awareness for space definition. This basic requirement acquired many adjuncts and revealed it self in terms of social, political, religious, cultural and other needs. Architecture became manifest in a multitude of manís endeavors in the political, social, religious and economic spheres-transcending the simple scope of defining as shelter. Aside from geographical positioning-political, cultural, economic and technological environments have shaped and generated architectural norms that define the characteristic of a place. And, in that manner, the architecture of a place eventually becomes the symbol and marker for its society. In Bangladesh, as elsewhere in the world, architectural norms have evolved from a similar pattern of an awakened conscious and aesthetic.
The earliest known examples of architectural pursuits in Bangladesh, lie at Mahasthangarh and date from the 2nd century BC. From the early marvels at Paharpur, Mainamati and Gaur that bespeak the golden age of ancient architecture, patterns have changed and evolved to the present-day scenario as part of a continuum that was progressively conditioned by Sultanate. Moghul, Colonial and 20th century rule.
Architecture bears the stamp of the physical environment and the people that have begotten it and in the process certain styles are established. When cultural mores, aesthetic leanings and territorial definitions are absorbed in patterns which generate and evolve over time. In this region, architectural styles have developed in the same manner and have been influenced and generated largely by climatic, historical, technological, economical and political considerations.
Having transcended the cave manís attempts at art and further down, the grandiose art and architecture of the middle ages, architecture is now established as a serious profession absorbing in its wake technical and artistic skills and a keen aesthetic.
Today, although the creation of a piece of architecture requires the combined skills of many professionals, the architect still remains the key player. The architect synthesizes his formal learning, professional skill and artistic acumen to envision a structure that is functional and responsive to the needs of a society. The act of design which establishes the language of the architecture is a complex set of man oeuvres that link the expectations of an individual, organization or society, and strives to weld financial, positional, stylistic and technological limitations that may exist. Architecture, therefore, is a functional and culturally responsive practice.