|Joint venture of Cubeinside Design Ltd. and Dcon Design Studio
|Department of Public Library and Bangladesh National Museum
Through placemaking we can collectively shape our public realm to maximize shared value. Placemaking facilitates creative patterns of activities and connections in terms of cultural, social and ecological that defines a place and supports its ongoing evolution. The main goal of the proposed design is to create a place that has both a strong sense of community and a comfortable image for all aged people, as well as a setting, activities and uses that collectively add up to something more than the sum of its often simple parts by celebrating the institution of life through democratic participation of the entire city.
When understanding the concept of ‘institution of life’, the first question that derives is ‘what does a library and a museum do?’ Such institution contributes to the society and spread the light of knowledge among people of all age. This enlighten the society through its intellectual attributes which as a whole becomes the institution of life.
Shahbag as a public place has historical, cultural and political significance. The national museum and public library are located at the gateway of this place. So, in the proposal, spatial democracy has been envisaged by providing easy accessibility and freedom of movement through spaces and their connections. Most importantly, the project is designed to create a multi-scalar, harmonious relationship within the site (between the library and museum buildings) , then with the local place and finally with the entire city and its people.
The existing museum stands as a monumental icon of the city as well as of the nation. While developing a vision for co-ordinated complex, the challenge was to add new built forms for public library and archival functions around the museum block without compromising the monumental nature of the project.
The site originally has the existing museum located at the north. The structure of the museum is kept as it is; instead the functions of the central court are being relocated to enhance the quality of space. An elongated library building has been placed at the south of the site with the ventilation and perforation to achieve maximum daylights and air in order to serve the required functions. The plaza and the open space connects to the museum that floats on a water body to which the annex building is connected. The annex building is functioning as storage facility for the complex. The idea to place the annex building to the west is to cut down the maximum heat from west. Large void has been inserted in the annex building in such a manner to ensure the north south ventilation through the void. The annex and museum has been fused with large water body and amphitheatre with a auditorium beneath.
Open spaces connecting one built form to another provide more breathing spaces and visual connectivity, hence ensure better indoor-outdoor relationship. Large slope of green has been introduced with the city face to create a smooth and flowing landscape which may serve the user for relaxing and casual gathering. Thus it offers a soft and lively urban public space.
Plaza as a central element: A central plaza connecting the library and museum buildings holds a central court where people can gather. This is a space for celebrations where social and intellectual exchanges occur and cultures mix takes place.
Cultural corridor: This co-ordinated complex will host cultural activities that take place in this area such as Pohela boishakh, Boshonto boron, FIlm festival, Boi mela and many more. It will become the stage for celebrating urban cultural life, simultaneously perform as a focal point of the central cultural hub for the nation.
Linkage with surroundings:. The permeable edge of the complex provides visual and physical access for the pedestrian, hence encourage public interaction within the site. Its linkage with the surrounding important places such as Dhaka University Campus, Museum of independence, Bangla Academy has created an unique opportunity for the place to become an extended platform for sharing the cultural and intellectual ideas.
Reincarnation of the rural lifestyle: The circular court in the central plaza is a metaphor of rural gathering place surrounding a large banyan tree. Functionally this works as a place for public events and social gathering .
Interpretation of the riverine territory: The use of water in the design is to portray the riverine territory of Bangladesh which adds to the environmental value of the site. This water court serves to minimize the heat level by creating a micro-climate.
House of multi-disciplinary events: The outdoor spaces play a pivotal role in serving the locality and its people by hosting multi-events such as, exhibitions, mela, haat and other forms of cultural activities.
Layering of user realm: In the design, the ground layer is used for vehicular movement, parking and administrative offices. The pedestrian movements are in two different layers which do not allow the functions to overlap. The first floor has been dedicated to the plaza which united the built forms and transformed it into a public gathering and sharing spaces.
Effective placemaking and identity design happens in collaboration with the people who live in, work in or use the space. At its best, it is a transformative design process that inspires people to create and improve the places where they live, work, learn, exchange, play, and gather. In conclusion, the main motto of the design is to bring people and the city under one platform to celebrate the ‘institution of life’ which is rooted in the culture and heritage of Bangladesh.
Khandaker Ashifuzzaman, Md. Shakhawat Hossain, Arif-uz-zaman
Abu Anas Faisal
Md. Sharifuzzaman, Ahmed Firoz Ul Hoque, Md. Rakibul Alam
Onie Khandaker, Imran Hasan, Anika Tabassum, Kazi Asadullaj Al Emran, Niloy Nath, Md. Farzad Ghani Azmi, Rakesh Sharma, Usama Ibn Anwar, MH Masud, Sajjat Hossain
Visualization & Post production
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