- Firm: URBANA
- Associate Architect: Anup Kumar Basak
- Project Architect: Sabbir Wadud
- Supervising Engineer: Amrul Hasan
- Structural: Eastern Housing Limited
- MEP: Eastern Housing Limited
- City: Dhaka
- Country: Bangladesh
- A plain cuboid volume on a tight urban site is accented with generous overhangs on each level
- Near 270 degrees views to and from the site: an object in the city and a platform to view the city from.
- Heavy solar heat gains on west façade necessitated treatment: deep overhangs offer shade and also protection from rain - A warm wood façade to the city
– a deliberate departure from the ‘pigeon hole’ windows dotting the urban-scape.
Multiple ground planes
The necessary shading in the form of cantilevered slabs was taken as a point of departure to gain an additional advantage. While on the ceiling level the projecting planes provide shading, at the floor level the ‘ground plane’ is extended, interspersed with verandahs, green beds or voids. This then provides privacy from the road, while acting as a barrier to noise generated from the streets. All that remains visible are the clouds: a feeling of living in ‘condos in the sky’.
Response to climatic conditions
Generous cantilevering slabs running continuously along the perimeter provide more than adequate shading not only from solar heat gain but also from rain. The result is that peripheral walls, and their large apertures, remain fully shaded. And although provision for air-conditioning exists, all rooms and living spaces benefit from good natural ventilation. What is more important in the hot-humid tropical climate is cross-ventilation, which is ensured by placing the four bedrooms in corners, with windows in corner walls.
Living spaces are continuous – running the entire length of the apartment and therefore openings and balconies at either end ensure that these areas benefit from cross-breeze as well. All this help to effect comfortable interior spaces, without direct heat gain and have plenty of fresh air and cross-circulation.
Most of the rain falling within the areas of the complex is collected in a large underground reservoir. VRF type air-conditioning will help to keep energy costs down but its need in the first place is reduced due to the carefully prescribed openings along the periphery to ensure good cross-ventilation and zero direct solar heat gain. A small green is created on the ground level and repeated on the roof, while service lines on roof top are carefully designed so that the entire roof remain uncluttered and usable and also facilitates rain harvest.
Luxury and Aesthetics
Charged by the client – one of the largest real estate developers in the country – with creating a new statement ‘luxury’ property, the architect responded with an architecture that employs the most mundane of materials and ordinary finishes but treated in a manner so as to exude a certain sense of ‘luxury’. Abundance of greens, daylight and natural ventilation together with careful detailing of the limited palette of materials create an uncluttered yet warm aesthetics.
The latter is enhanced by the generous employment of real ‘iron wood’ on exterior surfaces, offset by the concrete of deep overhangs, which provide protection to the wood from rain and sun. The hanging gardens sway ever so slightly in the afternoon breeze to animate the structure.