The land for this vacation house is in Gazipur, a suburb approximately forty kilometers away from Dhaka. With a land area of 160,594 square meters, the initial challenge was to select the most suitable location on site to construct this 465 square meter house. The following maxim led the design philosophy,
“a house facing south is the best,
one that facing north is worst;
having a duck pond in the east is wise, and
a bamboo grove in the west is advised.”
Traditionally, the people of Bangladesh consider land as ‘mother’ and this gave way to the design. The whole construction remains detached with minimum structural touch on the ground – in line with Glenn Murcutt’s words, “touch the earth lightly”. The idea is to “let water flow, let wind blow, let the firefly glow, let the grass grow….”
This four bedroom vacation home serves as the ‘getaway’ for Mrs. Rokia Afzal and her family to indulge into the calm, tranquil pasture landscape of the suburb far away from metro mayhem.
The concrete frames as structural element and handmade terracotta exposed brick as infill used in responding to the severe crisis of timber and sustainability of material in the hot and humid climate. This exposed R.C.C. frame apart from being commonly in use also justifies seismic condition of the area.
The bedroom block facing the south with the family space positioned in the southeast connecting the pond with traditional ghatla (steps in to the water). The foyer, traditionally known as “daowa” is placed in such a way that it creates a courtyard in between the bedroom block and the entry block, keeping the olive tree in the centre. The kitchen and the breakfast area placed on the further north facing east to get the dawning light and glittering view of the water in the early morning.
Architect: SHATOTTO architecture