Situated in the outskirts of Dhaka, the 'Sabuj Pata Residence' is a nature-inspired rustic getaway where the interior and exterior merge fluidly and blissfully.
Thoughtfully visualised by Architect Asia Karim, the design is a utopia for lush lovers.
The concept of the project Sabuj Pata is as environmentally friendly as it could be.
The generous flow of free space, perfect use of earthy materials and abundant ventilation make the house one of a kind.
On October 31, Architect Asia Karim of the firm 'Indigenous', received honourable mention in the Arcasia Award 2021 for designing the Sobuj Pata Residence.
The Statesman, a project under Studio Morphogenesis Limited, designed by Architects Shahla Karim Kabir and Suvro Sovon Chowdhury, also received the same recognition.
Asia Karim is a contemporary architect who graduated from Bangladesh University of Science and Technology (Buet).
She is one of the core parts of Indigenous, which is also owned by Architect Naim Ahmed Kibria.
Established by the Architects Regional Council Asia (Arcasia), the Arcasia Award aims to commend outstanding architectural works of Asian architects.
This year, Arcasia received 225 applications from 15 Asian countries, from which the jury selected a total of 25 winning projects.
A popular theory named the 'Biophilia Hypothesis' suggests that we love nature because we evolved in it.
The desire to live surrounded by greenery is an innate and universal human trait.
As city dwellers, we have become used to living in a concrete jungle full of skyscrapers.
But once in a while, we need to surrender ourselves to the mighty nature.
When Asia first visited the project's location, she was captivated by its scenic beauty.
"One thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to make something on this land that blended in with the surrounding effortlessly, nothing too eye-catching that would disturb the pre-existing charm of the site", Asia shared with us.
Owner of the residence Md Golam Mostafa (Sabuj) is Asia's good friend and the project reflects their mutual perception and imagination.
Sabuj Pata Residence is located in Hemayetpur, Savar, which is 21km west of the city centre and 10km west of the periphery of the Dhaka metropolitan area.
The 12.08 katha land space has a ground coverage of 206.36 sqm. About one-fourth of the total land has been used to make the building.
The main constraint of the project was the client's budget.
But the design was thoughtful and the attributes brought more meaning to the space. Everything was kept simple yet outstanding.
The most unique feature of the design is the delineation of boundaries.
The way the interior's floors blend with the exterior, you will barely know if you are inside or outside.
"Distinct boundaries give a vibe of imprisonment, so I am always tempted to design structures that allow us to breathe free and give us a sense of freedom," said Asia, adding," I came up with the fuzzy boundary idea that will not make us feel constrained."
Asia has had a heartfelt relationship with nature since her childhood.
Growing up in Puran Dhaka, she was familiar with ancient architectural examples in the country.
A considerable portion of the Buriganga River could be seen from her window and she spent a lot of time sitting there, enjoying the view.
"You see, our surroundings deeply dominate our thinking process. I have been a devotee of distant vista through long openings since I was a kid, and now it reflects in my work," she told the correspondent.
"Even my own house does not have any air conditioners as I religiously seek south breeze through the windows," she added.
Sabuj Pata Residence is adorned with soothing earthy hues. The exposed bricks, unpainted concrete, barely processed wooden structures are an absolute treat for the eyes and soul.
The residence's blocks are separated into three sections. An articulated triple-height space connects the north-facing three-storey block and the south-facing two-storey block.
The connection with earth and sky is implemented in the design through smart porosity and transparency.
Constructed with steel membrane and wooden planks, the balconies let the rainwater seep through in an artsy way.
The texture of brick and raw concrete is cradled by creepers and trees while wood and glass pave the way for the soil and sky.
Wastage reinforcement bars are fixed above all openings to create shading devices with the help of creepers and foliage.
The generosity of greenery can be spotted from any angle of the house. No big trees were cut down during the time of construction.
We asked Asia Karim, what was her favourite part of the project?
She replied that all the elements of the house are carefully detailed and she resonates with every bit of them.
Being a passionate architect, Asia sees endless potential in the country's architectural field.
But it makes her concerned that many of us are unnecessarily biased towards exotic designs where there are countless inspirations in our own culture.
However, she believes the architectural practice in Bangladesh is quite good and Bangladeshi architects are increasingly being valued abroad.
"One thing I would like to convey to newcomers is to focus more on eco-friendly designs. Nature should be protected, no matter what," she concluded.
Other remarkable projects undertaken by Indigenous include Sarah Resort, Bidyabhuban, Oikos and Tanveer's Den.