|Ar. Imran Hasan (Lead Architect), Ar. Arpan Shil, Ar. Amit Kushum Chowdhury, Ar. Sadia Sharmin, Ar. Sadiqul Islam Shehab, Saad Siddique
|Polo ground, Chattagram, Bangladesh
|The Chattagram Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI)
|Text from the architect|
Temporary architectures have been increasingly appearing and disappearing in urban spaces with transient events and situations. These structures have extended the opportunities for architects to test their understandings of urban spaces and human behavior by challenging the boundaries of architecture. Through the masterplan of Chattagram International Trade Fair (CITF), we have tried to explore the possibilities to integrate contextual analysis into the design and re-evaluate the idea of a Trade Fair to craft an experiential environment for the visitors.
CITF is an annual event in Chattagram city for the last 27 years. It’s the second-largest trade fair of Bangladesh with an estimated 2 million visitors yearly. In contrast to a short construction period (approximately 30 days), the design and organization phase takes several months. The event runs for 40 days.
[Video is shared from architect’s youtube page]
The inception of the design started from collecting memories of the city dwellers through a podcast called Chattagram Echoes. Most of the stories narrated the nostalgia of green terrain landscape, open spaces, less traffic in the city. However, rapid urbanization has barely left any of those memories and places intact. These conversations guided us to pursue negotiations on placemaking focusing on people’s experience in urban spaces.
In the previous layouts, all the major access points and circulations were dominated by vehicular movements prioritizing the construction works and daily product supply. We altered the vehicular thoroughfare in the masterplan which allowed us to introduce a 90m X 15m plaza dedicated to the visitors. Under a fabric canopy, the plaza accommodated sitting area, fountain, floor lights, and plants.
To design the main entrance, we reevaluated the concept of the gate from a doorway to a spatial experience. We designed a circular bamboo installation (20m diameter, 10m in height). This acted as a transitional space to lead the visitors into the plaza. All the materials were locally sourced and reused after demolition.
The masterplan included 20 pavilions, 200 stalls, international zone, associate country zone, food court, gaming zone, prayer space, toilet facilities for male and female, car parking, security booth, admin office, fire service, police security booth and power supply station. The design process was flexible to address the challenges during construction and to collaborate with various professional and local technicians.
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