Shanchita means a collection, in a way to treasure. The lifestyle of Dhaka is considerably changed over the last 35 years. Beautiful one unite houses with gardens have been replaced by uncaring high-rise apartments. Today’s apartments serve only to provide us with a residence and do little to become a home. The houses of the yesteryears held a rich collection of memories because families lived together, their gardens were treasure by the children to the elderly. There trees, verandas, terraces were not just elements but integral part of the life of the occupants. Both Adnan and Lubna were fortunate to grow up in the beautiful colonial buildings of Baily Road and later the one unite residence of Dhanmondi. Their lives are filled with memories of their houses and specially the gardens of their houses. When the time came for them to make their own residence we proposed to develop a house that will provide their children with the same rich collection of memories. The site had two large apartments on its east and west and a road to its south. The road is a busy road and and our first reaction to the specififc site condition was to develop a internal court which could be used and enjoyed by them and to somehow provide the court with the court with necessary privacy it needed. The major circulation spine was put on one side and on the other high wall which not only provided privacy but structurally held a hanging library that overlook into the internal court. The total scheme reaches deep into our sub-continental culture from the night gardens of the Mughals to the havelies, to the courts of Bengali Architecture, to the gardens and verandas of the bagan baries of Dhaka. ‘Form’ here has been totally defeated and replaced with feeling and memory. A rhythmic composition of parallel lines correctly orients all the spaces towards wind light courts and gardens. The house has a deliberate fragrance mapping and illumination mapping, a tribute to the magical charm of the night gardens of the Mughals. Today in our busy life where our routine consumes our day our return to our house in the evening is increasingly more important. The ground garden is a continuous flow of the front garden beginner court the different water bodies and landscape and it spirals to the different roof gardens at different levels. Shanchita is also a collection of all the senses of human, sight, feel, touch and smell. One unite luxurious houses in Dhaka have a tendency to become ostentatious. This house through its transparency, simplicity displays a richness of living as opposed to display of wealth only. The family cherish the house, the children thowroly enjoy their different play areas. And Adnan and Lubna do what they love most, entertained. Adnan’s father on his first visit to the house thus moved to name it Shanchita.


23 photos

Building Activity

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