|Name:||Mohammad Zillur Rahman|
|Studio Master:||Mohammad Habib Reza, PhD; Iftekhar Ahmed, PhD; S M Kaikobad|
This academic project attempted to understand the morphology of different modes of transportation systems and reflect the understanding through the design of an integrated transportation system of BRT, MRT and Railway station to serve the city on both macro and micro scales.
The site and context are challenging, as it is working as a physical connection between Railway station and airport; and, in near future, it will also be a connecting hub for BRT and MRT systems. Such complex movement of different traffic needs careful attention and planning for comfortable and efficient movement.
In the scope of the final year studio project, there are some notable positive aspects. The design evolved by focusing on the mass pedestrian movement pattern, and by integrating different modes of transportation in different layers. Thus, the complexity of different movement patterns evolved into a layered solution. The architectural vocabulary of the project is contemporary, and public plazas at ground level interact with its apparently chaotic surroundings.
However, there are some observations on the proposed design. Parking adequacy of the underground bus stand might have a scope to rethink. Also, entry to the bus stand at the basement and exit from it, both being at the west, most lanes might create congestion. Surface parking requirement considering the mode of transportation, frequency of the arrival of trains, BRT and MRT transports, rush hour traffic load and demand for rent-a-car service plays an important role in a such vital multimodal terminal. Designated drop-off and parking at the eastern part for the local modes of transport like CNG auto-rickshaw and non-motorized rickshaw might also be taken into consideration as an immediate response.
Overall, this project is a good response to the current need to solve complex transportation problems by implementing smart solutions having contemporary architectural vocabulary. — Editor
This final year design project is underpinned by the study of urban issues and characteristics of the Dhaka airport station site, its local pedestrian network, movement and vehicle traffic, nodes and transition points, and the anticipated impact of future urban growth on this site. As the BRT, MRT and trains intersect the site, the detailed study of each transport mode and its effects and serving radius is studied and analyzed using various methods such as surveys, behavioural observation and interviews. The survey reveals its significance in local placemaking as well as a multimodal hub to establish city-wide connectivity. The design exercise explores how the rail station can be integrated with BRT and MRT as well as with physical connections to the airport. Followed by an investigation of the potential opportunities and threats, the study identifies that the local area has a shortage of public spaces and that the site surrounding has been used for public functions. Hence, attention was given to revitalising the underused, unbuilt open space surrounding the station as a public plaza and park to serve the passengers, the local people, and the environment. As the local habitants do not have public places nearby it is important to ensure multi-functional use of the existing open land to address various local needs. More emphasis has been given to the ease of horizontal public movement and preserving natural green by shifting the transport infrastructure vertically without undermining either of the functions.
The surrounding areas of the airport feature different land use. The maximum part of the east and northern areas is mainly residential. The nearby area of the site contains a mixed-use zone where residential and commercial functions exist together. The area is also interspersed with some administrative functions.
Some new developments are ongoing on the west side of the airport rail station. One of them is an office building and the other one is a shopping mall. The exiting station facility is not large enough to handle the growing number of passenger loads. The shopping mall which is under construction is also one of the biggest shopping malls. After the completion of this mall, the traffic situation is most likely to be aggravated.
There are busy pedestrian activities on both south and west ends of the site. The west end consists of two major bus stops serving intra-city travellers. Poor management of public transport and insufficient walkways for the pedestrians led to a chaotic street environment.
The design decisions are taken on the basis of key findings from extensive site analysis and movement study of the context. As this design approach is oriented towards human mobility behaviours, understanding urban mobility and pedestrian movement are, therefore, vital.
The pedestrian movement map shows the pattern of pedestrian movement through the site. It also reveals the important pedestrian connection points. A significant crowding around the nodes is noticeable. Movement through the station can also be noticed which indicates a demand for a pedestrian connection through the rail station.
From the pedestrian trail map, it is discernible that there is a hidden, informal navigation route that is used by the local people. So, developing that path has been given a priority in this proposed design scheme because they emerge as convenient shortcuts between destination points.
Editorial note: Saiful Hasan Tariq, Architect and Assistant Professor.