|Name:||Md. Iqbal Hossain Talukdar|
|Studio Master:||Sheikh Itmam Soud, Sarah Bashneen Suchona|
|University:||Stamford University Bangladesh|
Louis I Kahn’s Capital Complex at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar is an architectural masterpiece and source of pride to Bangladeshi National. This Capital Complex put Bangladesh on the roster of nation boasting the most sophisticated examples of modern architecture. Next to Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh, it is the most important project to influence the architectural culture of the region. Although, unlike Corbusier, Kahn did not provide a canon for making a building , he did provide a way of building based on rules and shapes and on the architectonics of material and structures . His building adorned with variety of platonic forms and shapes- provided a vocabulary that could be incorporated into any design act.
Initially there was a plan for a secretariat to be built opposite the Parliament building. Infact Kahn also completed a design, but the whole idea was scaled down with other aspects including plans to develop areas to the north of the complex to create a prototype for Dhaka’s future urban development. The following academic exercise is a humble effort to reinstate Louis I Kahn’s vision of Capital Complex as a ‘Citadel’ – a center of administration for People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The scope of the project was limited to envision a design proposal for the Secretariat Complex in the same site as proposed by Master Architect Louis I Kahn.
Kahn recognized the essence of the landscape during his very first trip to Bangladesh in 1963. He realized the fundamental building fact in this delta country is the molding of the earth to provide both platforms and proto-architectural shapes. He conceptualized this as the process of “dig and mound” something that involves an excavation of the ground to create an earth mound on which the building is placed. The excavated pit becomes the pond.
The Capital complex is a host of formal characteristics which are traces of Kahn’s innate geomancy. The most conspicuous feature of Kahn’s plan is their seemingly bilateral symmetry where buildings and individuals units are arranged in formal classical manner. Robert McCarter, author of the book Louis I Kahn, showed the relationship (the tilted square and the axis) between the assembly building and secretariat complex ( fig 1 ) . This relationship has taken as reference for the new scheme of the secretariat complex where functional units are organized following the geometric principle of repetitive multiplicity and bilateral symmetry. Not unlike Kahn’s vision, functions are articulated around a central space – a democratic platform- where citizens can come and interact with the governing body. In volume the proposed complex is lower in height to retain the supremacy of the assembly building. The proposal also carefully considers Kahn’s ideology about material and structure.
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