This city is spontaneous and organic; in other word the city is not conventionally planned. This liberty results in “chaos” and “promise” simultaneously. Likewise the hard tissues of Dhaka desire to have the promise of soft-infill. Aspiration for water, the ‘urban blue’ in built up hard areas could be explored with context of this deltaic landscape.
The first, week long project in the Urbanism studio (ARC 401) in Spring 2016 in BRAC University, was to conceive an URBAN BLUE (water) in a hard urban tissue of Dhaka. The initial exercise was appreciation of BLUES from memory. Scale, Senses, Composition and Celebration of waterscapes, from Madhabpur lake in Sreemangal to Kahn’s National Assembly Building were compelling examples to study. How these waterscapes serve the society and how people appropriate them were the most important features to discuss.
Throughout the week, the designers(students) asked questions to themselves about mediating between aesthetics(?) and usability, bringing behavioural change through design, siting a waterbody, dealing with the beneficiaries and role playing authority like city corporation etc. Eventually an URBAN BLUE appeared in different parts of the capital city, in paper though, with various shapes and configurations. Picking up the designed shapes may make a beautiful matrix and alphabet of a language. It appeared that water bodies sharing an edge with road and footpath as well as buildings have more to offer the society; and contribute more to make the city humane rather than the ones just exhibited in a field or boundary in a lonely residential area. Last but not the least to mention some beautiful names of different deliveries are- করেণূ সরোবর, By The Blue, কলতান, জল বেলা, সুধাতট .
About the Author(s)
Shajjad Hossain, Senior Lecturer and AKM Sirajuddin, Assistant Professor, has been teaching in the Department of Architecture, BRAC University for several years.