Tropical Architecture Perspective 1

There are several architecture elements used in the cityscape of Bangladesh. Water, one of the main ingredients defines lives and the society and is described as a precious gift that has been  abundant  in  the  planning  approach. Climate  is  a  relationship  between  land  and  soil whereas  land  is  a mixture  of  earth  and water.  In Bangladesh,  it  is  believed  that  the  sun, wind, water  and  clay  are  the  poetics  of  tropics where  the  sun  plays  the  role  of  a  ‘Lover’ rather  than  that of a  ‘Ruler’.  In Malaysia, on  the other hand, the sun acts as a  ‘King’ where the  usage  of  Omni  directional  sun  light,  scientifically  and  poetically  creates  interesting shadows  as  Kuala  Lumpur  can  be  the  city  of  sunlight,  a  conurbation  under  the  sun. Bangladesh fails to produce any visionary planning as it lacks in green spaces. This is where the role of an architect  is  important  in a society as architecture has  the power  to  transform the culture in a society. One of the poor designs highlighted in Bangladesh is its streets. The streets are designed so narrow that not even two cars can pass through them. 

People assume that they need big houses with big compounds to realise their dreams. This is not true as small houses do not equate to small desires or small. This is where the role of the architect comes in; in providing a healthy environment by allowing maximum greeneries, and wind and sun into the house, which gives happiness to occupants. 

One of  the projects presented  is  the Khazedewan apartment building, small yet abundant. The challenge of this project is creating spaciousness in a minimal space for a big family of fourteen.  Each  space  is  attached  to  gardens  to maximise  summer  wind  and  winter  sun, creating  the sense of sharing among occupants. The approach of a courtyard  is  important especially for the future growth as children has the right to see how tree grows and pick up fruits as it has been neglected in today. Apart from that, it acts as a second ‘nature’, creating spaces for birds to nest. Five feet courtyards with greeneries enhance the sense of sharing among neighbours. The overall construction uses exposed  local bricks  to allow  for natural breathing and maturing of the bricks. 

Another project highlighted  is  the Mizan  residence, which  is a  six-season house on a  six-storeyed apartment building with careful approach  in combining  the context and climate of urban living with great efficiency and sustainability. 

Apart  from  that,  it  has  been  highlighted  that  design  changes  between  the  past  and  the present.  In  the past planning,  the space before  the main entrance of approximately 3  feet, forming  an  inviting  sense,  trusts  and  respect  for  the  passer-by  to  sit  down,  chit-chat  and have some drinks around the beautiful greeneries provided. Sadly, in modern planning, high boundary wall and grills is implemented, giving the opposite impact.

The Meghna and Mamun Residence  is another example of  the  tropical design approach  in housing design. Trees are planted where it acts as a screen for the overall fa├žade, reducing heat gain of the indoors. Streets are design to create a social scene between passer-by and occupants by providing benches and vegetation to develop a healthy society. 

The concept of the Bangladesh Chancery Complex in Islamabad creates common voyage to the  past.  Islamabad  is  hot  country  with  low  humidity.  The  roof  has  an  important  role  in collecting rain, producing evaporation and moisturising the whole area. Punches are made in the  canopies  to  reduces  cantilever  load  and  optimise  the  day  lighting  inside  the  building, allowing greeneries to grow. To conclude, it is seen and believed that architects and farmers use  the  same  approach  where  both  need  to  investigate  before making  a  decision  which benefits the whole context, culture and environment.
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