Urban Design and Landscape


Fariha Salsabeel
Military Institute of Science and Technology
Spojené státy americké

Project idea

The target group of the proposed project is the most deprived and neglected government employees of Bangladesh, the sweepers. These people live mostly under miserable subhuman conditions in the the city's squatters or slums.
The term “Dalit” comes from Sanskrit root “dal”, meaning to “break” or “crack”. It is used as a synonym for “untouchable” and/or “outcast". Dalits are the people who have been broken and grounded down deliberately by those above them in the social hierarchy. Mahatma Gandhi coined the term ‘Horijon’ instead of untouchables, which means children of God (Hori is another name for the Hindu god Vishnu).
The current project calls for “Upgrading and Redevelopment of the colony” honoring their socio-cultural pattern of life and incorporating components of contemporary living within their affordable limit.

Project description

The site is located at Aga Sadek Road, old Dhaka on an area of 3.34 acre. There are two segments of sweeper colony consisting of Muslim population and Hindu population. From local survey and site analysis I identified the social and physical problems within the colony.

Social constraints:
- Family size is beyond manageable limits with respect to income.
- Untouchability and caste-based discrimination
- Social Exclusion .

Physical constraints:
- Poor basic service facilities; poor sewerage system, poor rainwater disposal system, insufficient provisions for drinking water, garbage disposal etc.
- Poor housing in respect of size and quality ; in slum like condition 3 generations 9-13 people live in only small room.

From the above contains I focused on designing a housing for the urban cleaners
- respecting their lifestyle with context to Old Dhaka
- creating neighborhood feelings through the community spaces
- social inclusion within the housing community

Technical information

Achieving the density in an assigned small site was a primary concern. So by creating eight-ten storied buildings in cluster has been adopted to solve that problem. In this way enough green space (27% of the site) and open ground in case of any hazard can be left out.
The masterplan has been formed in the following steps-
Since religious intolerance is sometimes creates complications, so a Hindu majority population and Muslim majority population has been assigned. There is already a mosque in the site which designates the preferable Muslim zone and the existing Temples designates the preferable Hindu zone. The space between these two zones is designed to be the community and social gathering area which includes a community center, club, primary school, bazaar and grocery shops, a clinic, a temple and a mazar.
- In the masterplan there is a N-S and a E-W spine, the central meeting space of which has the social gathering zone.
- There are 3 entrances of the colony, one on the north-east corner to the Hindu majority zone, one to the community zone and last one on the south-east corner to the Muslim majority zone.
- The corner two entrances lead to two secondary open space with in turn lead to the primary community zone.
- The clusters are designed to form a tertiary open space which is connected to the secondary open space.
Two types of clusters have been designed based on the two types of units.
- For Building Type A, two units of type A make a module. Four modules make a cluster in each floor. Every two or three floors a module on any side is taken out to create a common shared semi open space. This acts as an informal social gathering space in the form of a vertical courtyard.
- For Building Type B, two units of type B make a module. As per the regulation of BNBC (Bangladesh National Building Code), three families can share a common bathroom and kitchen. So three unit modules and two modules of a shared service area makes a cluster in each floor.
Two types of units have been designed based on local surveys and study of user groups.
- For the permanent employees, a two room unit has been designed with one bedroom, one multi-purpose room, one kitchen, one bathroom and a veranda.
- For the temporary employees, a two room unit has been designed with one bedroom and a multi-purpose room. A shared bathroom with a separate chamber for a water closet, a bath and washing area and a shared kitchen has been designed for a three family occupancy.


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