WOHA and BRAC University have unveiled the latest images from the 5.3-acre university campus, scheduled for completion in 2021. Located in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the intervention will transform a polluted and flooded wasteland into a sustainable inner-city campus and public park.
Designed by Singapore-based architecture firm WOHA, the project will put in place new standards for sustainable development in the region. Under construction since 2017, the 950,000 square-foot campus will incorporate the values of BRAC, the largest non-governmental organization (NGO) in the world. Transforming a residual area into a liveable, tropical, and sustainable campus, the project draws inspiration “from the region’s Sundarbans, which have separate ecosystems above and below tidal level”.
The design and the functions are divided into two bodies, “the private Academia raised canopy for learning and the ground-level public Campus Park created by remediating the existing polluted swamp into a bio-retention pond with lush native landscaping”. In fact, the campus that will host over 10,000 students, will have its Academia entity shelter the Campus Park from the sun and the monsoon rains.
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Moreover, the public part will also include a gathering space for the University’s auditorium, multi-purpose hall, and public gallery. The roof, serving as the University Green will accommodate a recreational field, a swimming pool and a 200m running track under the shade of a large photovoltaic (PV) solar canopy. With a flexible structural model, spaces can be combined or subdivided, allowing for future resizing of the faculties.
We were inspired by BRAC University’s mission to foster the development process of Bangladesh by creating an opportunity for excellence in higher education that is responsive to the local communities’ needs. The new campus will provide an environment that is conducive to learning and human interaction and its integrated landscaping will enhance urban biodiversity. Where there used to be a flooded wasteland, the design of the new building implements strategies that help to reduce waste as well as save energy and water. -- Richard Hassell, WOHA Co-Founder.
The new architectural and environmental strategies incorporated in the design will create “tropical learning spaces that do not require full air conditioning, while a matrix of sun-shading fins and vertical green walls address solar heat gain”. The green facades act as environmental filters that cut out glare and dust, help keep rooms cool, and dampen traffic noise. Open and airy, the floor plans facilitate cross ventilation and daylight in every classroom.
- Design Inception: September 2011
- Start of Construction: July 2017
- Completion: 2021
- Plot Area: 232,500 sq. ft.
- Gross Floor Area: 950,000 sq. ft.
- Height of Building: 150 ft.
- No. of Stories: 13
- Client: BRAC University
- Architects: WOHA Architects Pte Ltd
- Consultants: 7+ total including Transsolar, Atelier Dreiseitl, and Arup Singapore
- Contractor: 1 total