It all started with a movement by local peasants & fisherman against structures like embankments, sluice gates, cross dams being put in place by humans destroying the very ‘beel’ area, once famous for fishes of wetlands & crops of naturally alluvial soil. Nature, till then was being replenished every year by the riverine system until ‘the cordon approach’ of river control destroyed the whole. As a result, a persistent struggle to balance nature and humanity ended up winning an ongoing restoration action plan by the government for the area.
This endeavor evoked a deep sense of urge to establish a center of knowledge for future generation to evolve as nature responsive & responsible entities.
As architect activists, we became advocates for nature based solutions against the devastating consequence of the manmade intervention on nature and riverine system. We ended up formulating an idea of a ‘school’ – a learning center, which would celebrate nature and its settings.
Two single storied side blocks were built with reference to the existing site boundary lines evoking the idea to create an interplay between boundary & inner class room space to accommodate sun light, rain water, plants as wall creepers, etc. in between. Operable drop down screens of bamboo sticks were used in between the wide openings of the rooms in order to protect students from gushing rain, yet ensuring ample natural lights & cross ventilation through perforated brick walls on the other side instead of windows, helping to combat the usual claustrophobic effects of confined class room spaces.
The 25-meter long double stacked block along its two wings of single story blocks creates the ‘Uthon’ - courtyard of mango orchard at south as central void with covered space underneath for the kids to play & study. The elevated layer holding series of class rooms envisioned not to be of confined but of space tends to blend into the very ‘Uthon’. A free form library of rammed earthen ‘mud form’ at the lower level brings back the virtue of nature based solutions creating playful but comfortable flowing space, providing natural protection against heat and warm weather. Use of handmade floor tiles to mild steel frame structure in combination of wooden roof frame cladded with finished roof tiles are placed as required to create a natural flowing space which also guarantees inclusion and universal accessibility by means of ramps and stairs all the way.
The structure is a testament of playful learning advocating synergy with nature at a time when senseless, artificial efforts are being paraded to destroy humanity beyond now and forever.
Boral Biddya Niketon
Boral Biddya Niketon
Kumargara, Chatmohar, Pabna
Ar.Md.Iqbal Habib ( Team Leader)
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