|Name:||AKM Saleh Ahmed Anik, Kanak Saha, Sayon Sur; Associates-Babu Singh, Hlatun Singh, Saiful Islam.|
|Location:||Baidyapara, Idgarh, RamuEidgaon, Cox Bazar|
| Notes from the Architects|
Located in a remote village in Ramu, Sampriti Anathalaya is an orphanage by Bidyanondo foundation housing over 100 indigenous kids. As the kids were growing, they needed to replace the only one-storied temporary shelter with separate hostels for boys and girls, and a school for the kids, which also will work as a multipurpose hall. The school was the first project that we built. The requirement from the Bidyanondo authority was a beautiful stand-alone structure made of local materials.
The 94′ x 42′ school structure is enclosed by a pond on three sides, which is used for fish and water lily farming. The pavilion-like school is placed carefully along the waterbody in a way that it can have enough space for assembly and playing space on the front yard, and also have a visual connection with the surrounding water and farmlands. The classrooms are arranged in a staggered manner to open up two semi-outdoor study/recreation areas on the front and back.
The basic materials-bamboo and wood were sourced locally. The roof was covered with Golpata (collected from the Sundarbans region), as we needed a roof material which keeps the interior cool enough in the hot humid weather of Cox’s bazar and is comparatively low maintenance, also it creates a beautiful combination with the other materials used. It was quite a difficult task to convince the local craftsman to build such delicate bamboo structures, as in this remote area of Bangladesh, people are now inclined towards brick and concrete structures. Some of the traditional methods of bamboo crafting are already forgotten. So, we have to search for these techniques on the books and make models with locals before implementation. At the end, the local craftsmen actually did an excellent job and even improvised some of the solutions themselves.
Building anything for children, especially those who are growing in an orphanage, is a sensitive and challenging task. Not to forget, the project required us to promote a regional language of architecture and inspire people living in the most remote places of the country to celebrate the beauty of local materials. We tried to respond to the situation with a functionally simple, open yet aesthetically elegant building.