One touch of nature...

Amy
Wednesday 30 Mar 2011

SHATOTTO injects a shot of uplifting greenery into the urban congestion of Dhaka

Due to lack of a proper master plan, construction rules and awareness, Dhaka, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, has become a city of urban mayhem. Having less than 5% green area for a city of more than 500 sq miles with a growing population of disparity and persistent difficulties with other utilities, SHATOTTO believes it is fast losing its living ambiance.

The Meghna Residence is a single extended family house located at Dhanmondi - a planned residential area of the early sixties. This house has been conceived in three layers- its surrounding context, the climate, the traditional typology.

This is a corner plot connecting roads at the northeast and northwest. The northwest road has median with large mahoganies as a screen providing privacy and facing a large open play field of women sports federation across the northeast road. On the southeast is a six-storey apartment with a facade having 49 windows peeping over the plot.

Dhaka is on the 24.5-degree latitude near the tropics of cancer. The summer wind comes from the southeast and monsoon rain approximately 60in yearly. The summer solstice does not seem to be critical that starts from the northeast to the vertex at midday to the northwest in the afternoon. But in winter when the sun inclines further towards the south needs careful intervention.

In Bangladesh the courtyard is a traditional typology creating space for living in privacy along with cross ventilation, ample daylight and vegetation.

To create a screen against 49 windows on the southeast particularly for guarding the swimming pond (refraining from calling it swimming pool since Bangladesh is a land of ponds associated with JONGLA means untamed bush and GHUT means steps into the water) on the 5th level of the house with much privacy and to ensure winter solstice. The effort was further to achieve a traditional living ambiance with layers of greeneries and water to achieve a deltaic condition. For this, a 'U' shape configuration has been adopted.

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