SA Residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh – a shelter for the soul

- in BUILDINGS ON WATER
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Shatotto Architects designed a deft, seductive contemporary residence , the SA Residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh – project for contemporary home that was completed in 2011and it is merely another luxury home.

The S.A Residence successfully addresses two very different design aspects; the challenging local climatic and urban conditions in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh the largest delta on earth has 52 rivers that carry water from the Himalayas in an intricate pattern to the Bay of Bengal. The house’s design revolves around a precious and abundant element in Bangladeshi life, water. As water is a constituent ingredient of the human body in order to function, here it is the key element that brings the house into life, the feature that energizes the body of architecture.

Description from the architects: As Lalon, a spiritual folk singer, Sufi and philosopher of this land, says in eighteenth century, “if there is not one thing inside the body then it is not outside the body either”. Just like human body, there is a body of architecture. Human body has two parts, shell and thinking as soul. Architecture has similar, shell and Mother Nature as soul. Shell and soul are interdependent yet independent. They belong to each other and they belong to themselves. A good soul needs a good shell. In this project the shell is outcome of a pure square made of ‘concrete’ transformed from celestial form “sphere” grounded.

The S.A Residence is a three story single family residence made purely out of concrete with wooden details. Its material palette brings together two different qualities that seem to compliment perfectly each other; concrete is brutal yet elegant and wooden surfaces while details evoke a sense of warmth and comfort. The sphere, the universal celestial form, in this case is transformed to its terrestrial expression in the shape of a square. The greenish blue is actually water, not a floor which makes this residence border the line of a Zen castle.

The South and South-East have been designed to bring in cool breeze during the hot, summers and the warmth of the sun during the winters. The central water court acts as a natural exhaust system, allowing hot air to escape and making the middle court a cool sanctuary. A small boat waits by the ghat , green and light with its silence and the space becomes a natural habitat within a man-made dwelling, with layers of understanding to unfold nothingness.

”Let the soul come inside the home and let go off it. And let it be and let it be…”
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