Architecture For Green Living

Light of the sun on the canvas of shadow

A domain of the photographers

I took a full brush of color from the light of the sun and put it on the canvas of shadow and created a “watercolor” in the “Drik Picture library & Gallery” project, a domain of the photographers. “Light” is indispensable in photography. Light is also the key element in this project. ‘Sall balli’ has been used in the courtyard to capture the essence of soft brush stroke of watercolor in the process of shadow construction, which is also transparent in its quality. So this is something diffusing art & architecture and creating an arTchitecture.

The “Drik Picture Library & Gallery” is a low budget renovation & extension project for the renowned photographer, Dr. Shahidul Alam, to serve as housing exhibition gallery, picture library, design studio, photography studio, dark rooms with related facilities, computer & multi media, books library, cafe etc. Before renovation, it has been a one storied residence building for 35 years. Dr. Alam requested, during the design phase to construct a new but small upper floor in order to reduce the construction cost. Accordingly, the first floor (i.e. upper floor) was made as economic as possible using brick construction, plaster& paint, neat cement finished red tiled floor etc. Since the building was an old residential house made of load bearing brick walls, I had to use the same walls for the upper floor. But the walls were used in such a way that it seems non-load bearing display panels, particularly in the exhibition area.

Inside the main Gallery much flexibility has also been created by optional use of light weighed partex board to accommodate additional panel fixing. Dr. Alam’s requirement was a small Gallery in size, I took it as an opportunity and decided to keep some portion of the first level untouched and out of the construction area. In fact, this “left-out open space” was the key piece of my design where a “Courtyard” was created with the very impression of watercolor. The shifting of daylight and the shadow pattern is the aroma of this courtyard. It has also successfully created a movement inspired by the “Kritios Boy”. Here, I am tempted to recall that during the design and construction phase I used to argue with my client, Dr, Alam that this courtyard and the adjacent café would eventually be the rendezvous for intellectuals as it happened in Europe. At one stage I was so emotional that I started telling him “……look had Van Gogh spent sometime in this courtyard he would have given a second thought before killing himself”