Water the most precious and abundant and life subtly woven with it makes Bangladesh a country of toil and poetry.
Bangladesh the largest delta on earth, with thousands of river channels that carry water from the Himalayas in an intricate pattern to the Bay of Bengal. During Monsoon these rivers inundate two third of the country’s land depicting water the major element of the country-scape. When the water recedes, it leaves a fine layer of fertile alluvial soil and the entire landscape is transformed into large patches of paddy field dancing with the wind.
As Lalon (a spiritual folk singer, Sufi and philosopher from18th and 19th century o) says “ if there is not one thing inside the body then it is not outside the body either”. This body has two parts: shell or envelop and thinking as soul comes inside the body and go off it. Though they are interdependent yet independent. They belong to each other and they belong to themselves. Just like human body, there is a body of architecture. Similarly have two parts; envelop and mother nature as soul of the house. Despite having all these resources unfortunately lack of political will and policy we failed to produce any proper physical planning for Dhaka and gradually Dhaka became one of the most densely populated cities in the world characterized as an urban mayhem fermented by unregulated development, unreliable infrastructure and lack of green space. Amongst all these, getting individual building as scope of work, an architect has a key role to play in the society.
In this S.A residence project the envelop is a pure square made of a single material ‘concrete’ transformed from celestial form sphere grounded on earth.
The reality is so that the site is surrounded by multi storied buildings and apartments as onlookers and in the current trend of real estate development, this residence has been a challenge particularly ensuring the south and the southeast open to bring in cool breeze during the hot humid summer and the warmth of the sun during winter along with placing a water court as swimming pond in the middle of the house, a surely difficult task to ensure openness and privacy. As a result, an introverted design has been adopted.
The center "water court" also acts as a natural exhaust, which flows out the hot air and makes the middle court a solace.
Considering the socio economic condition of Dhaka, a very simple architectural vocabulary has been adopted through a subtle intervention with form, material and vegetation. The traditional spaces like courtyard, pond, ghat (steps to water), flat green both from urban and rural typology merged, transformed into one urban context and created a quad of water symbolizing nothingness yet containing the power vase of capturing, reflecting and refracting the sky, flying birds, smiling sun, shying moon, composed cosmos and so on.
A small “dingi” boat waiting by the “ghat”, patch green and light with its silence, the space becomes a natural habitat within a manmade dwelling and the layers of understanding to unfold nothingness.
When light caresses the wall, or the water touches the land, or the land pats the green, or the green cuddles the breeze or the breeze ushers ……… It’s all about touching and feeling the soul. The destiny is ‘nothingness’ where soul and shell cohabit and purify themselves. Let the soul come inside the home and let go off it. And let it be and let it be………………..