SHATOTTO's new residential project makes the most of rare lake views in Dhaka
Dhaka, a five-hundred-square-mile city, has over time become an area of complete urban mayhem. Getting a lake and a narrow strip of green patch on the back side (west) of the plot was a fortune in a city where total city green is not more than five percent. 'South Water Caress' is an eight-family housing project located at United Nations Road in the Baridhara diplomatic zone. A deal made between the land owner and the developer was to divide the 7,500 sq ft plot into two equal pieces to construct two six-storeyed buildings of 2,800 sq ft area on each floor in order to share equally.
Utilising 75 % of the plot area as per rule was a strong requirement from the clients; however, it became a challenge in terms of designing an open green space. The design suggestion here was to take 40 sq ft of small area from both the parties as a good gesture, placed along with an 8 ft gap between the two buildings and 5 ft set-back from the road in order to create 200 sq ft of green patch and water body in front of the building on the east road. This arrangement was also accompanied by a no-boundary-wall notion and little benches were set as a token of respect for the passerby and the community.
The two buildings developed were almost identical in terms of the ground floor plans / parking area and the basic plan of four houses per building. The simple interior, as required by the functional arrangements, that connects to the beautiful lake and large trees on the west, allows the south east summer breeze to flow through the entire house with ample light throughout the day. The road side trees spreading their light branches inspired the building to transform into a vertical garden.
The use of exposed structural beams and columns on the exterior with terracotta brick infill is also a simple approach, friendly to the subtropical climate of Dhaka. The scheme also developed the two rooftops of the buildings as community greens with lawns, rain court (collects the rain water) and bushes around a small pavilion as a transformed subtropical architectural vocabulary addressing the concern of 'shortage of green and open space' in the city.