|Name:||VITTI Sthapati Brindo Ltd.|
|Year:||2010 - 2013|
|Location:||Moulovi Bazar, Sylhet|
| From the architect |
Dusai Resort & Spa is a destination resort equipped to serve more than 180 guests at a time with guest living facilities of 80 rooms, 3 restaurants, children’s playground facilities, swimming pool, spa, convention hall etc . Guestrooms are nested on top of the hillocks while the services and walkways are placed in the valleys.
The site used to be a garden and Mr. Naser Rahman’s (the client) ancestors’ vacation house. All the trees were planted and nurtured by his father, the ex finance minister of the country. He fostered this serene landscape to be enjoyed by his 5 children and their grand children. Several years after his parents’ demise Mr. Rahman decided to expand this vacation house to be used by their extended family member. Later on in 2010 considering the public demand for tourism, he decided to transform their vacation house into a resort and share the serene environment with the people. The resort is named after his parents using their initials, Du+Sai=Dusai. The design work started in 2009 and later in 2010, January the construction commenced. It began with the villas followed by Staff accommodation Buildings and main building in places. The Resort inaugurated in mid 2012 with soft opening. The resort is 4 hours drive from capital Dhaka. So it became a popular destination for people seeking retreat on weekends. The resort hosts regular cultural shows and programs on different national holidays. The landscape also has flourished over these two years of occupancy.
Harbored in the serene green hillocks of tea plantations in northeast Bangladesh, “Dusai Resort & Spa” is the first destination resort of its kind in Bangladesh. The complex exudes the essence of a tribal village with its formation along the sloping hills. It includes residential, dining, swimming pool, spa, conference, and indoor and outdoor sports facilities. The site consists of three shallow hills and valleys. The public area with reception and convention hall is placed on the first hill and all the guest rooms are places on the slope of the hills for ease of movement. Other facilities are placed towards the valley. The vehicular circulation ends in public area and the journey towards guest area is starts by foot or electric car. The internal roads and walkways are placed in a round trip encompassing the complex allowing one to travel the whole area in circular motion. The guest facility features a main hotel block and stand-alone bungalows. There are two types of bungalows: cottages for families in a semi-private setting and deluxe cottages for couples in a more private setting, on the slopes of the south-facing hill. Service amenities blend semi private and private zones.
Sylhet is home to the “Khasiya” tribes. The project layout is inspired by their indigenous housing style to blend with the nature and hilly region. The local climate causes high rain with flash floods during the rainy seasons, therefore pitch roofs are incorporated. The structures sit on concrete frames anchored to ground allowing the villas hanging on the edge of slope without disturbing the natural contour. Existing trees shape out the setting of the villas, so that the wilderness is unharmed. The resort is designed by cautiously considering the natural setting and contour site. This resort allows the guests relish the essence of living within nature.
The resort showcases a hybrid construction system of indigenous tea estate bungalows and standardized concrete frame structure. Local indigenous wood joinery techniques were combined with contemporary metal joinery systems. The results were sleek, lightweight wooden trusses that also have metal plates, nuts and bolts. Slender, concrete framing anchored to the ground raises the structure above soil. A roof truss forms the shape of the structure, which is then cladded with locally available lightweight thatch and mud tiles. These raised structures are then approached by an independent open riser stairs. Local technology and materials with local workmanship have been extensively used here.
The project construction materials comprise of locally available materials combined with indigenous construction techniques. Concrete structure infills are comprised of brick walls. Outdoor facade rendered with fair face cement plaster and indoor facades comprises of regular cement mortar plaster rendered and painted. All floors are finished with homogenous matt finished tiles & Villas have wooden floors. General ceilings are cement plastered and finished with paint and some parts are dry gypsum plaster finished.
All the upper floors of the villas and the valley restaurant have exposed roof structure with bamboo & thatch roof ceiling. In some public spaces comprise exposed roof structure with wood and wood veneered finished ceiling. The hand rails grab bars and doors are made with locally acquired aged walnut colored solid wood. All out door surfaces are natural finish so that it blends well with the surrounding green nature. Pitch roofs are a mix of handmade mud tiles and thatch roof with high pitch varying 24-40 degree slope to withhold the heavy rain during monsoon.
The entire project is powered from national grid. The project has an onsite 750 MW power substation. As secondary back up power 3 Diesel powered generators are used in a synchronized system. Garden lights and part of outdoor lights are powered off grid by solar power. The HVAC system is designed as dispersed system with Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) cooling system. This is an advanced energy efficient system. The water supply and sewage distribution system is also independent and off grid. The whole resort area is served by wifi net work, access control system and firefighting and detection system. It also has a heated swimming pool. The natural water reservoir and lakes work as water storage for firefighting. The resort complex contains its own independent automatic laundry facility. Its kitchens are fitted with advanced kitchen equipment.
CONSTRAINTS AND SOLUTIONS ACHIEVED
The contour site posed as a constraint as well as adding diversity to the project. The hilly site on the natural setting urged for the wilderness to be untouched whereas building on such setting with usual techniques could offset its natural setting. Following the indigenous construction style and technique; the longer structures were broken into smaller ones matching contour as opposed to following regular construction techniques that would have called for the contour site to be flattened to build a sizable structure.
The structures are built on slopes that posed the threat of landslide which was resolved by installing slender concrete columns deep into the earth and mimicking the floating structures of local indigenous “Khasiya” houses.
The land was deep into the woods and populated with tall trunk trees. It was difficult to find any buildable space. The villas had to be placed in between trees. These trees actually governed to shape out the final layout of this resort.
The aesthetics of the resort always prioritized nature over built structures. Intrusion was kept to a minimum during placing structures on the contour site and surrounding green. Structures are built at the base of hillocks at a low height to highlight green in the background. Existing wilderness to the west was left untouched, only seven trees were taken down, and 300 new plants have been planted. Thus natural grass and shrubs were retained as ground coverage. Water bodies were re-excavated. In the buildings large openings with folding windows invite nature to come inside and let guests enjoy the spectacular and uninterrupted view of the surrounding landscape from their dwellings. Nature is not lost in its extravagance but nurtured.
The ingenuity of this complex lies in constructing a luxurious resort with latest facilities without losing its ethnic identity. In a tea plantation area, built structures give way to the existing landscape and blend with nature. Larger buildings were avoided in order to respect the site. The humbleness of the design blends the complex with tree gardens in surrounding.
The linear site imparts an impression of a journey. After arriving at the resort, guests start their journey by walking along the curved path through hills to reach their destination. Programs are distributed into public, semi-private and private zones in a consecutive manner. Reception is at the beginning of the public zone and leads to the semi-private zone with cottages for families, along with recreational amenities, such as a sports arena and swimming pool, followed by dining with a golf pudding range view, and ending at the spa facilities. Villas are placed around a courtyard, and the path loops around it that leads to the end of the complex and into a more private zone. The private zone at the end of the complex consists of exclusive residential cottages.
During construction a portion of construction brick, cement, and wood were supplied by a local contractor, and local laborers were involved in construction. Eighty percent of staff employed in the resort are locals. Ninety percent of fresh food is also locally produced and supplied.
DETAILS OF SUPPORTING STRUCTURES
The complex includes guest accommodation facilities with Spa, steam room and restaurant. Other services include parking, convention hall, swimming pool, poolside bar, Jacuzzi, gym, business center, laundry facilities, boat station etc.
DETAILS OF LANDSCAPING
The existing natural water bodies were incorporated into the design of the complex. Natural herbal trees were unharmed and ground coverage shrubs were retained. Only 7 trees were removed during the construction and the wood was also used into structures. The landscaping technique caused least interruption in the natural setting and helped merging the structures with its surrounding.
SIGNIFICANCE OF PROJECT
This is the first of its kind spread out resort in the remote hilly region of Bangladesh. The project is a symbiotic and It employed local expertise and builders with appropriate local technology. It also embraces local culture and community. It contributed in local economy by acquiring the construction materials from local suppliers as well as daily fresh supply of grocery and vegetables from local community. In the resort regular cultural shows are arranged to foster the Sylhety and Khasiya culture.
|_ Name of the Project:||Dusai Resort & Spa|
|_ Location:||Moulovi Bazar, Sylhet|
|_ Name of the Client:||Nasser Rahman|
|_ Site Area:||55567.90 sq. m.|
|_ Total built up area of the Project:||11103.42 sq. m.|
|_Year of Commencement:||2010|
|_Year of Completion:||2013|
|_ Architect:||Md. Ishtiaque Zahir|
|Md. Iqbal Habib|
|_ Associated Architects:||Nabila Aftab|
|_ Architecture:||VITTI Sthapati Brindo Ltd.|
|_ Structure:||Tofazzel Hossain|
|Achintya Kumar Saha|
|_ Construction:||Nasser Rahman (Client)|
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