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  7. Bengal Foundation Breaks Ground on Contemporary Arts and Crafts Museum

Bengal Foundation Breaks Ground on Contemporary Arts and Crafts Museum

Bengal Foundation Breaks Ground on Contemporary Arts and Crafts Museum
Bengal Foundation Breaks Ground on Contemporary Arts and Crafts Museum, Courtesy of Bengal Foundation
Courtesy of Bengal Foundation

The Bengal Foundation has begun work on its Contemporary Arts and Crafts Museum, Bangladesh's first private museum of its kind. The ambitious complex will house multi-media works from the organization's founder Abul Khair's private collection, pieces by local artists, a sculpture garden, and a boat museum to celebrate the various cultural arts of local residents.

Learn more about the museum's design, after the break.

Film, photography, and architecture gallery. Image Courtesy of Bengal Foundation Courtesy of Bengal Foundation Cafe and seating area. Image Courtesy of Bengal Foundation View of the sculpture gallery from the art gallery. Image Courtesy of Bengal Foundation + 14

Courtesy of Bengal Foundation
Courtesy of Bengal Foundation

The first instance of large-scale adaptive reuse in Bangladesh, the museum will sit on a 45-acre site in Dhaka. Initial efforts will include transforming one of the jute factories currently occupying the site into an exhibition space. A second factory provides another exhibition area and seminar rooms, while a jute warehouse houses the cafeteria. Small bungalows will occupy the space between natural groves of trees to provide kitchens and washrooms, their features responding to the low-hanging foliage overhead.

Art gallery. Image Courtesy of Bengal Foundation
Art gallery. Image Courtesy of Bengal Foundation

Although a portion of the site consists of built structures, the majority is unoccupied natural landscape. To respect this, the architects, headed by Nahas Khalil, have employed a minimal design approach which is informed by the environment rather than opposed to it. This consists of ecological maintenance and limiting architectural interventions to the interiors and an as-needed basis, thus preserving the trees and industrial character of the complex. Additional nods to the environment are achieved through sustainable practices, like natural daylighting and passive shading techniques.

Cafe and seating area. Image Courtesy of Bengal Foundation
Cafe and seating area. Image Courtesy of Bengal Foundation

Aside from being a place for artistic exploration, the Bengal museum is a place for community. The length of the central-most existing building is truncated to accommodate a cafe and outdoor seating area for people to congregate. This move also helps solidify the relationship between the buildings on either side. Connectivity is further explored through the removal of unnecessary walls, creating a visual cue of the gallery sequence and facilitating a natural flow through the space. 

View of the sculpture gallery from the art gallery. Image Courtesy of Bengal Foundation
View of the sculpture gallery from the art gallery. Image Courtesy of Bengal Foundation
  • Principal architect

    Nahas Khalil
  • Location

    Bangshibari, Savar, Bangladesh
  • Principal Architect

    Nahas Khalil
  • Architect in the Design Team

    Tahmida Afroze
  • Architect in the Client's Management Team

    Luva Nahid Choudhury, Nahid Sharmin
  • Client

  • Project Year

    2015

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
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Cite: Holly Giermann. "Bengal Foundation Breaks Ground on Contemporary Arts and Crafts Museum" 22 Feb 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/601321/bengal-foundation-breaks-ground-on-contemporary-arts-and-crafts-museum/> ISSN 0719-8884
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