Anatomy of Dhaka – Tracing Relations

Understanding its spatial dynamics and tracing relations with the parallel context of Ahmedabad
Winter School 2017; Instructor: Farahbee Rahman
6 January 2018

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This course was focused on tracing relations between the two contexts of Dhaka and Ahmedabad. The study revolved around the culture, religion, politics and daily lives of people of the two cities and understanding of the deeper structures of the society, which are unconsciously embedded in the roots of the culture. This helped to understand the architectural responses in the contexts of Dhaka and Ahmedabad, and why the architecture has taken shape the way it has.

(Of Dhaka) Walking around the streets of old city, exploring the food, clothing, artifacts, transport, old houses, and monuments, here is something that holds the old city together and the way people live; the character of each street adds to the beauty of the overall experience one perceives.

One really senses the history when one strolls around the University Area, where events have shaped the spaces around them. The significance of the public spaces and plazas have developed where people gather and discuss the issues related to the development of the society.

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 A P P R O A C H    I N    C O N T E X T  

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National Parliament Complex, Dhaka

 

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

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In June 1959 the central government of Pakistan decided to establish two capitals, in a uniquely divided country, an executive capital in Islamabad, and a legislative capital in Dacca. The work of designing the second capital was given to Architect Muzharul Islam. At one point Muzharul Islam decided that the nation would be better served, and the future generation of architects would have an iconic work to learn from, if a master architect could be brought in to do the work instead. Three architects, Le Corbusier, Alvar Alto and Louis I. Kahn, were considered and later on, Kahn was appointed.

While Louis Kahn was designing the National Assembly Building in Bangladesh in 1962, he was approached by an admiring Indian architect, Balkrishna Doshi, to design the 60-acre campus for the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India. Much like his project in Bangladesh, he was faced with a culture enamored in tradition, as well as an arid desert climate.

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Approach, Landscape, Streetscape and Connectivity :

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Scale : Exploring the building at different scales from different points.

Verticality

Horizontality

Geometry :
Visual Impressions :
W H E R E    I T    A L L    B E G A N 
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People in Places :
People in Motion:
People in Amalgamation :

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The Shankhari Bazaar is a riot of colors and as one walks into the street you are pressed to look at several different directions as it is teeming with activity. One cannot miss the presence of the Hindu artisan community, Objects on display like “Shankhas”  or conch bangles,  activities centered around the temple,  delicately adorned auto rickshaws, activites  around  the Islampur and spice markets, and also the Beauty Boarding Inn which is an ancient lodging facility that even today  triggers memories and  conversations between groups of intellectuals and artists. This place still bears the melancholic aura of the past.

While traversing through the streets of Ahmedabad, one can witness a cacophony of colors sounds and smells that are distinct to the place. The Ratanpol street, the Fernandez bridge, lend a unique character. The Dodhia Haveli, an ancient pol house that has been restored, has a facade that bears the quintessential detailed wooden carving characteristic of the pol houses that have stood the test of time, however, the interiors have lost the old-world charm associated with the post-restoration.

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NOTE : The work showcased above is only a portion of the original course output.

Student Participants: Abhimanyu Setia, Abrar Khan, Aditi Bajpai, Al Mujadur Rahman, Arpit Jain, Enakshee Bhatia, Jerin George, Mohammed Enfarad Chowdhury, Kusum Mamtani, Mahbuba Tabassum, Pavithra V B, Prabhuti Desai, Priyanka K S, Sarang Yeola, Subhi Nusrat Shama, Teena Mary Thomas

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