|Studio Master:||Prof. Khairul Enam, Sheikh Md. Rezwan|
|University:||Daffodil International University|
MRT is a massive intervention in the traffic infrastructure of the dense, urban context of Dhaka. This project explores the possible changes in urban fabric if an MRT station is introduced and the potential opportunities it might bring about. The objective is to find a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) solution by integrating multi-layer transportation and uninterrupted pedestrian flow while enhancing the quality of the surrounding urban environment and landscape. -Editor
Considering the rapid urbanization in Dhaka, the Government of Bangladesh has taken “Strategic Transportation Plan (STP)” through Dhaka Transport Coordination Board (DTCB). Under this plan, the entire Dhaka will connect with multi-layer transport systems. Initially, the funding organization of this project, JICA proposed 6 MRT routes to connect the entire Dhaka city. According to STP, MRT-6 and MRT-5 are the first routes to be constructed. There are several places where MRT routes meet, and Mirpur-10 roundabout is one of them.
Mirpur-10 roundabout is renowned as a junction of vital roads and for its proximity to Sher-E- Bangla National cricket arena. From the early 2000s, this area has undergone a considerable building and construction boom. Consequently, it has become an important transportation hub of Dhaka. It is often one of the busiest and most jam-packed areas of the city.
This project has the scope of incorporating architecture and urban design issues together. It deals with terms and issues regarding transport planning, urban intervention, pedestrian linkage and urban regeneration. The challenge of this project lies in how to address these issues and simplify them into a particular solution. To achieve this, the focus has been placed on sustainable environment and transport system, proper greenery and landscape design for nature and public, accommodation for informal business sector, stands for buses, cars as well as tempo and rickshaw, etc.
To develop the master plan of this area, Begum Rokeya Avenue is taken as an axis. This avenue is considerably busy with mostly mixed-use and commercial developments along the roads. MRT-6 and MRT-5 stations are placed according to JICA’s proposal. Whenever major development interventions such as a metro station occur in a place, it causes an increase in the land price of the surroundings. Since the station is a place where a large number of people come and go on a daily basis, there is a huge possibility for commercial developments such as – shopping malls, banks, restaurants, office spaces, and mixed-use spaces. To ensure that the urban infrastructures have the capacity to support future growth, the proposed redevelopment plan is divided into 3 zones:
Various factors have been considered while designing the metro station such as – environment-friendliness, smooth circulation, proper ventilation, contemporary form and innovative structural solution. The MRT-6 station structure is cantilevered with PC girder columns and lightweight space framed canopy while for MRT-5 there is an underground station in the conventional grid structure. The station has two main parts: concourse level and platform level. Concourse level contains administrative, maintenance, AFC (automatic fare collection), ticket room and other amenities. On the other hand, the platform level maintains the arrival and departure of the trains and passengers. To run a station successfully there should be smooth circulation between paid zone, unpaid zone and platform. The design strategy here is to allot a fair amount of space at ground level as well as the concourse and platform level for transferring people to the stations.
There is a commercial building and a fire station beside the proposed MRT-6 station. A cooperative development approach is suggested by leaving the ground level of both buildings open for the public plaza. This can reduce the human load on the existing pedestrian facility and make that space a transitional place. It will also create opportunities for commercial growth. Further, a skywalk is proposed which connects the Metro station and commercial developments to ensure the safer pedestrian and integrity of the functions. The integration of these buildings with the station platform will let the people enter the station through skywalks first into the free zone and then into the paid zone after collecting the ticket.
For the MRT-5 underground station, people can enter the ground level plaza where they will find vertical circulation for the concourse level. From the unpaid zone of concourse level they collect the ticket via manually or vending machines. Then they will get into the underground platform and easily depart for their destination.
Throughout this design project, it is attempted to achieve a commuter-friendly transport interchange and local urban environment integration.
CONTEXT contributing editor: Louise Bani Sarcar, B.Arch ( BUET)