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Weaving Nature into the Urban Fabric: The Visionary Architecture of Rafiq Azam and Zannat Jui


Dhaka, a city teeming with life, is undergoing a quiet transformation. At the forefront of this change are Rafiq Azam and Zannat Jui, a power couple who are redefining the city’s architectural landscape. Their firm, SHATOTTO Architecture of Green Living, isn’t just building structures; they’re weaving stories of nature into the urban fabric.

Azam’s artistic odyssey commenced along the banks of the Buriganga River. Surrounded by the natural beauty and historic architecture of old Dhaka, his creative spirit yearned for expression. This translated into an architectural philosophy that transcends brick and mortar. Lush greenery, flowing water, and open spaces are hallmarks of his designs, echoing the essence of rural Bangladesh.

Imagine contemporary edifices adorned with trailing vines or corporate structures featuring lush rooftop gardens – this is the enchantment crafted by SHATOTTO.

Rafiq Azam

Zannat Jui

Jui, daughter of writer and researcher Surma Zahid and Zahid Hossain, experienced a diverse upbringing due to her father’s government job, living in various regions of the country. This exposure allowed her to absorb different regional cultural heritages from an early age. Proficient in dance, music, sports, and drawing since her youth, her passion for creative endeavors stemmed from her adaptability and willingness to tackle challenges. Today, she stands as a successful architect, a testament to her journey of transformation.

Together, they are an unstoppable force. SHATOTTO, meaning “continuous process” in Bengali, reflects their unwavering commitment to innovation. Established in 1995, the firm has garnered international acclaim.

Azam’s projects in Malaysia, Pakistan, and Australia showcase his ability to translate his philosophy across borders. His dedication to nurturing future generations is evident in the scholarships bearing his name at prestigious institutions worldwide.

Shattoto’s visionary approach
melds Dhaka’s urban sprawl with
enchanting natural allure.

Accolades haven’t overshadowed their local impact. SHATOTTO is revitalizing Dhaka’s public spaces. From the Mayor Hanif Jame Mosque to the Dhaka Art Gallery, their projects are transforming the city. Imagine bustling parks teeming with greenery, or a rejuvenated mosque offering a serene escape – that’s the legacy they’re building.

Azam’s design genius has been recognized globally. The prestigious Robert Matthew Award and the recent International Design Awards are testaments to his groundbreaking work. Jui’s leadership was recently acknowledged when she was invited as a panelist for a design competition in India.

Azam and Jui are more than architects; they are alchemists. They are transforming Dhaka’s concrete jungle into a city that seamlessly blends modern life with the beauty of nature. Their creations stand as testaments to the power of collaboration, artistic vision, and a deep respect for Bangladesh’s heritage. In their hands, Dhaka is not just growing; it’s blossoming!


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