|Name:||Lines Architects + CSA + terracotta architects|
|Location:||Mirpur Road (from Dhanmondi 27 to New Market)|
|Client:||Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC)|
| From the submission |
Cities can be seen as vast built-forms: through its grain, grid, form and system. On other way it can be seen as a large humanscape: through its community, neighbourhood, collective memories and identity. For being a responsive living abode city needs to considered much from the second perspective; community as its core unit to maintain such human landscape.
A city is represented by it streets and life on it. And that life is made by the active participation of its people. A model street should have that kind of representations and engagement. A Street is not only a traffic corridor rather the interface of communities, connector of neighbourhoods that it passes through.
Dhaka inherently being an informal city celebrated the power of community and people through its past. It has amazing resilient quality of adaptability and self-generation through informal sector and community participation. Alike other developed cities the process of development and busy urban life tends to loosen the sense of community and suppress the power of informality. This scheme by principle wants to integrate those two core qualities of resilience into our city development. It envisions a street as the engagement platform and representative interface for such resilient community, which is aware of own history, healthy and active by walking and biking, responsive to nature by interacting with the lake and vegetation and socially engaged by community interaction.
The proposal celebrates the context of this part of Dhaka. Mirpur Road is an important arterial traffic corridor, at the same time signifies being connector between elements of two inspirations and two foundations. The conceptual transfer-zone between foundations: Old-Dhaka (city’s historic origin) and the cultural and campus-district (civic and intellectual root) and towards inspirations: Kahn’s new citadel (pride of new nation) and historic Bangabandhu residence (the inception point of our national endeavour). The scenario encourages a framework for a remarkable urban corridor for people and in participation of people.
Mirpur Road within its precincts contains a number of urban catalysts: a vibrant marketplace, an active water body, significant historic site, and a busy intersection. The masterplan considers those components and defines local needs and programmes based on each section’s neighbourhood and community characteristics. It suggests four strategic nodes and four zones. It proposed prototypes of community modules and street sections based on each zones community needs (ie shopping and hawking related, institute related, park related, traffic-intersection related). Apart from residential, other forms of communities like: book lovers community in Nilkhet, Hawkers’ community at marketplace, nature lovers at lake, are encouraged and accommodated to take care of their portion of spaces, to create more belongingness and work as unit in the time of emergency or needs.
|History Aware||Historic Park, Play n Learn|
|Socially Engaged||Community Module,
Lease & Manage: Community Engagement Programme, Hawkers’ Programme, Shared Pedestrian Scheme,
|Nature Responsive||Share & Care, Friends of Lake, Rain Garden Programme, Rain-water Harvesting Programme|
|Active & Healthy||Bike Programme, Walkability,|
The programme in its master planning proposes development of four strategic nodes.
Node 01 is in the mid of an impressive mixture of marketplaces: New Market (household, fashion, foods), Nilkhet (stationaries and old books, small press), Gausia (ladies’ fashion market) and precincts (fashion market, large kitchen market) allows a robust assembly of shoppers and shop-keepers along with parking and hawker issues. Market square and extended pedestrian crossing plus hawkers’ plaza have been programmed for this city-scale public domain.
Node 02 basically addresses traffic and transit-issues with a busy crossing of two major traffic corridors. To avoid traffic-pedestrian conflict an elevated pedestrian network proposed for the first phase; that network shall connect hospitals, colleges, shopping and bus interchange on a pedestrian share scheme. It would be a win-win situation for the sharing shopping, hospitals and offices for better connectivity and human flow. In third phase a short overpass over Science Lab intersection and bus interchange is proposed to ease up the traffic crossing.
Node 03 is situated in between neighbourhoods of two different characters. A shallow connection at Dhanmondi 10 and Kalabagan indicates Kalabagan’s disjunction with the lake and Dhanmondi. Neighbourhood Court, an elevated connector neighbourhood plaza between Kalabagan and Dhanmondi Lake will encourage more interaction with the lake and both neighbourhood ends at a local scale.
Node 04 carries both past and future significance. Vicinity of Bangabandhu Residence at Road 32 (old) and active public square of Bangabandhu Museum demands the extension of that realm into Russel Square for larger exposure. Strategically this node is also important for future MRT Line 4 station and green and blue corridors. Proposed scheme namely Inception Point shall signify such a critical node with a history park informing communities on Bangabandhu and Residence at Dhanmondi-32’s role in our history. A history park in the mode of play-and-learn for kids, inception tower in form of watchtower will lead towards a neighbourhood plaza consisting rain terrace that houses few lake-based community activities.
And In between four zones are programmed to encourage street side activities responsive to the adjacent frontages, typed into retail-front, institution-front, house/mixed-front, and park-front. Street section prototypes are devised accommodating zone-specific community modules (i.e. information kiosks, charging booths, pedestrian shelters, parklets, social seating, stalls) and run-through elements.
As a primary aim of this streetscape project, bicycle route is the integral part of this proposal. Through bicycle connected neighbourhoods, market, park, work and campus, this portion of Mirpur Road should be the exemplar for a future Bikable Dhaka for active and healthy communities. The whole stretch with a 20-minute cycle journey shall connect Dhanmondi, Lalmatia, Kalabagan and Sobhanbagh neighbourhoods and offices with major colleges and universities and New Market and Elephant Road. Along with bike-corals and lending facilities, two routes are envisioned: A continuous cycle lane along the pedestrian stretched through Mirpur Road and the other looped around the lake and intersect at Dhanmondi 32 and 10.
The second element of active citizenship is ensured through walkability: a safe, well graded, age-friendly and accessible pedestrian route that enjoys a journey through a pedestrian programme of various street frontage and facilities in 5 minute walk intervals. Considerably vegetation and shadings are part of landscape to provide a comfortable journey and street image. It proposes to encourage programme-specific street frontage (art and food street, arcaded retail front, street side café table, corporate plaza, park-walk etc.) by phase to make the pedestrian journey remarkable and active.
The most immediate devisable element is the existing foot-overpasses. There are a number of overpasses on this part of Mirpur Road, yet used at a very low frequency (apart from the New Market over bridge). Accessibility, location in relation to adjacent demand point, vertical ride versus travel benefit and such are responsible for ineffectiveness. To reduce cost this proposal aimed in modifying the connection, access and more importantly make the crossing space more active and purposeful, by extending its platform and stairs and accommodating stalls, kiosks and few more facilities.
Lines Architects + CSA + terracotta architects
Ar. Mohiuddin Zilanee, Ar. Shah Fuad Mohammad Cyrus, Ar. Mohammad Sami Al Hasan,
Ar. Reesham Shahab Tirtho, Ar. Adbana Taj Anis, Ar. Md. Fahad Bin Mostafiz, Ar.Ferdoush Hasann, Ar.Sayon Sur
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