Author(s): Saiqa Iqbal Meghna & Suvro Sovon Chowdhury
Dhaka, because of its alarming population density, limited land area and unplanned developments, faces challenge to posit an alternative approach towards designing urban space, which may eventually manifest into a resilient city. Through the design of ‘Architecture as Landscape’ an effort was made to transform a leftover open space situated within a zone of historic, cultural and political significance into a ‘place’ for the ‘people’ where the ‘Genius Loci’ itself directed the design elements. The approach that integrates nature and the urbanites will be discussed focusing on the architectural interventions to offer interactive public space. The project dealt with design ideas, considerations and strategies intertwined with challenges due to constrained budget. The ‘site’ itself being located at the heart of Dhaka city, witnessed the major movements in course of the history of Bangladesh. The project unified not only the surrounding disintegrated built forms but also the tangible and intangible aspects of the people. The approach as mentioned is based on two basic principles; Recollecting the Spirit of thePlace and Revisiting the Spirit of the People. Focus has been given on enhancing the latent possibilities of the ‘non-place’ itself by a deliberate design strategy of evolving the ultimate landscape formation from on-site design decisions responding to its immediate surrounding structures of cultural, historic and programmatic significance as well as existing trees.
Amir Ameri & Rebecca O'Neal Dagg