Architecture For Green Living

Ashraf Kaiser Resedence Savar, Dhaka (2012-2014)

Sketch by Rafiq Azam

Reatreat Home The 3 storey single family retreat home with awning verandas is visible in the milieu of the span of abundant green which posed both a challenge and opportunity at the same time. The west façade of the residence looks upon a vast expanse of military farmland with a prominently standing Chatim (Alstonia Scholaris) tree meeting the eyes of the onlooker.

The entry has an initial plinth (dawa) area inspired from the traditional village houses of Bangladesh. There is an open tunnel walkway watching over a water body and framing the green expanse merging with the house lawn. The horizon can be seen on the west from this reception area. The ground floor has the formal living and dining. South westerly wind flows into the cross ventilated dining space where the South eastern wind also flows in from the court with a staircase with glass landing. The formal living opens onto a wooden deck on looking a sea of green.

On the first floor there are bedrooms and the family living. The master bedroom opens outward to a green courtyard which is also accessible form the library. The guest room is situated on the second floor along with a Music hall. There is a water body which leads to the guest room. The music room/ family lounge opens Omni-directions and celebrates the water body on the south, sunsets on the west and the lawn on the north. The residence is built in a combination of exposed concrete. Thus, a soothing effect is evolved to match with regional climate and resistance against earthquake.

The metal net boundary wall with porosity on the west flank visually connects the residence area with the farmland. The bulk of branching trees including the Indian Almond and Albizia Saman provide a canopy of shade and screening. The landscape seems to be alive with colors with its dramatic ever-changing hues and fragrance. It indeed is a luxury to indulge in the setup of nature from the picturesque frames of the residence.