In early 2017, the inaugural Samdani Architecture Award invited, through open call, individuals or groups of 3rd and 4th year Bangladeshi Architecture students to propose new models for learning in abandoned urban spaces across Bangladesh, using ecologically sustainable, and locally sourced materials and technology. Participants were required to design an imaginative and innovative open pavilion, both visually stimulating and architecturally flexible for different functions, including lectures, events and workshops. The winning proposal was selected by an international jury: Aurélien Lemonier (National Museum of the History of Immigration, Paris, France); Jeannette Plaut (Constructo, Santiago de Chile); and Shamshul Wares (Department of Architecture, State University of Bangladesh).
From 135 registrations, Maksudul Karim’s design, Chhaya Tori (ছায়া তরী), which translates as Shadow Boat, was selected. A Level 3, B.Sc Architecture student at Premier University, Chittagong, Karim’s design utilised traditional Shampan boat building techniques—synonymous with Bangladesh’s fishing communities—bringing traditional rural Bangladeshi construction techniques into the urban environment. Using bamboo as its primary construction material, Chhaya Tori floated above ground level on bamboo supports, covered with a shade (known locally as choi) erected using traditional bamboo inter-weaving techniques, allowing natural light to fall into the internal teaching space. Bangladesh has one of the largest inland waterway networks in the world with nearly 5,000 miles of navigable waters, making boats a vital mode of transportation to the nation. Despite this, the use of traditional boat building methods is in decline in favour of mechanised mass-produced models.
“Maksudul Karim's design embraced themes from the origins of the tectonics as the interlacing of materials and fibres proposing a habitable structure. Exploring local materials and techniques he offers experiences based in the generation and superposition of shadows with different sieves that present an organic changing atmosphere.”
- Jeannette Plaut, Co-Founder and Director Constructo
Karim was awarded the inaugural Samdani Architecture Award during the Dhaka Art Summit's Opening Celebratory Dinner and received funding towards further studies.
Dhaka Art Summit 2018 Education Pavilion
On 2 February 2018, Karim’s winning design was unveiled at the heart of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy as the Dhaka Art Summit 2018’s Education Pavilion. Curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, the Education Pavilion transformed DAS into a free art school, re-imagining the traditional toolboxes used when considering art-making and artistic practices. This free and alternative art school’s curriculum was led by leading artistic practitioners and educators from institutions including: Goldsmiths University (UK); Yale School of Art (USA); Cornell University (USA); Kalabhavan Santiniketan (India); Harvard, South Asia Institute (USA); Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Switzerland); Open School East (UK); Council (France); and the FHNW Academy of Art and Design (Basel, Switzerland); among others. Programmed across DAS’s nine-day duration, the Education Pavilion hosted a bilingual, collaborative curriculum, developing a timely and productive discussion about art education in South Asia.
TO SENSE THE UNSEEN, DESIGNED BY TEAM GAIA
Fouzia Masud Mouri (b. 1996)
Ahmad Abdul Wasi (b. 1995)
Both level 3, B.s.c Architecture students at the Bangaldesh University of Engineering and Technology
“I sense a Threshold: Light to Silence, Silence to Light – an ambiance of inspiration, in which the desire to be, to express, crosses with the possible … Light to Silence, Silence to Light crosses in the sanctuary of art.”
- Louis Kahn
Just under 20 percent of Bangladesh’s land mass is covered with forest, the largest of which are in the Chittagong Hills, covering around 4,600 square kilometres, and the tidal mangrove forests in the Sundarbans, covering around 6,000 square kilometres. Mimicking the layering of foliage in Bangladesh’s lush forests, the pavilion’s two outer mesh layers create a visual barrier to the outside world. A space for public gatherings, lectures and sharing, inside the pavilion, rays of light push through the outer mesh, creating patterns and shapes that will change with the seasons and time of day.
THE DOT PAVILION, DESIGNED BY TEAM DELTa
Rahat Ibna Hasan (b. 1996)
Nirupam Bakshi (b. 1996)
Md. Khalid Hossain (b. 1996)
All Level 3, B.s.c Architecture students at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
Dhaka, the capital and largest city in Bangladesh, is a city of diversity. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, crammed with educational institutes, government and private offices, markets, industrial units and residences, it is filled with people from all walks of life and backgrounds. A microcosm of the whole country, The Dot Pavilion encapsulates Dhaka’s diversity, creating a space for the city’s people to meet.
An omnidirectional circle, representing the city’s diversity, the pavilion’s main vernacular structure uses bamboo and wood. Maintaining an environmental friendly structure, bamboo will keep the inner environment 3° degrees cooler than outside, while the structures longitudinal cross-section hollows absorb co2. An outer layer of lipids, will protect the bamboo structure from rotting.