Architect: Vitti Sthapati Brindo Ltd, Ehsan Khan
Location: Teknaf, Bangladesh
Client: Md. Ishtiaque Ahmed, Ministry of Environment & Forests Bon Bhaban
Area: 288 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Aga Khan Award for Architecture / BKS Inan
The main objectives of this centre, located in a protected forest and nature reserve in Chittagong District in the south of Bangladesh, are nature education and interpretation tours, in an effort to create awareness and promote biodiversity, conservation and eco-tourism. Nishorgo means environment in Bengali, and the central concept driving the project is to cherish the sanctity of nature.
The building itself is sensitively placed within the landscape: the reinforced concrete platforms of the ‘pavilion shelter’ float above the ground on structural walls; the concrete slabs are pierced by tree trunks where necessary, reflecting the project’s aim to create as little impact on the environment as possible. The visitor walks up the layers of platforms to a raised level to observe the surroundings. An exhibition area is enveloped in a compositional arrangement of openings framed by wooden lattices, and there is a space for viewing films with walls of exposed, burnt clay brick.