- Architectural Firm: Geomatrix Architects
- Lead Architect: Sabbir Ahmed Raju
- Project Architect: Sania Akter
- Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Area: 1,338 ft2
- Land Extent: 1,045 ft2
- Project Year: 2016
- Client: K. B. L. Azad
- Structural Engineer: Shamsul Haque
- Photographer: Sabbir Ahmed Raju
- Author: Sabbir Ahmed Raju & Kaustav Ghosh
Malibagh is a neighborhood where Modernism has blended with unconscious urban growth in Dhaka City. The densely populated area is in desperate need of breathing zones. Small business are constantly developing alongside growing residential facilities. “Shatabdi” is one of those brands of men’s ethnic garments, producing Panjabi, thus sharing strong roots with Bengali traditions and culture. The project started off with the significant objective of promoting a socio-cultural brand with a certain level of prominence.
In the age of Western brands, when ethnic arts of weaving and garment industry are at stake, ‘Shatabdi’ is that oasis of employment opportunity for traditional craftsmen. The project aims to maintaining the bridge to connect people with their traditional and cultural roots. Also the project creating a synthesis of socio-cultural interactions in the same compound.
Previously an old single storied production house stood at the current site with vulnerable structure, damp wall, insufficient light and ventilation. The sole objective of this project was to rebuild it to providing more facilities and space than before. The client wants to design the building keeping convertible option of a residential module, in case the brand fails to make significant impact in terms of business. The new design includes a kitchen for the staff who lives there at night for security and monitoring purposes, thus adding to the security for neighborhood itself. The project has similar structural and service facilities as a residential building.
The design generated from the zoning and calculation to achieve maximum light to brighten multilayered open space and built form. Ventilation is not only a necessity for the users; but also an essential to reduce heat from the fabric, machines and equipment. Swing windows and punctures in the walls allows easy and maximum ventilation in the building.
The building orientation has been considered to get maximum diffused light from north to reduce the use of artificial luminaries in working environment. Circulation space has been optimized to a minimum and the efficiency of space utility also includes the use of space under the landing of the staircase. The other part of the landing remains void to circulate light inside the corridor. The tiny voids in first floor slab helps to create a voice connection to talk between floors. The presence of the high-rise building in the west ensures the availability of diffused light to a greater extent. The building develops a visual connection with surrounding residential buildings through multilayered green space and perforated brick wall to create a pleasant healthy environment.
The greatest constraint of this project was to reduce time to lowering the project cost. Brick masonry load-bearing structures are easier and quicker to be constructed. Use of Corrugated Iron Sheets made the construction even quicker and cost saving.
Finally, this particular project, blends more with the surrounding cityscape alongside being unique in its truest form with breathing space just like an organic architecture establishing a strong connection between the old and the new without appearing to be an imposed intervention.