I really admire Anna Heringer’s work, this is not the first time I introduce one of her projects on to Archivisum. She’s deeply and seriously involved in the sustainable development in architecture.
Teaming-up with like-minded people, Anna applies her architectural concept in areas of the world where a sense of basic comfort and harmony is much needed.
Architect: Anna Heringer with participants students of BRAC University Dhaka, Bangladesh and
students of Universityof Art and Industrial Design Linz, project-studio BASEhabitat, Austria
Funded by: Shanti-Partnerschaft Bangladesh E.V
Floor area: 45 m2
Location: Rudrapur and Vinshnupur, Dinajpur district, Bangladesh
Duration: September 2007 – April 2008 (The construction workers and craftsmen were are all coming from Rudrapur and Vishnupur.)
The goal of the HOMEmade project is to improve the living conditions of the local population and to strengthen national identity while maintaining the current high level of sustainability with regard to home construction. This is accomplished by building three model houses for low-income village families designed by young local architects and built by local craftsmen who have been trained in the modern mud and bamboo building techniques.
The HOMEmade project is sustainable for two main reasons: first, it is built with readily available, local, renewable resources – mud and bamboo. Second, it saves land for agriculture by building two-story buildings instead of single-story structures.
Because the budget and available materials were limited, the planners were forced to concentrate on the basic needs of the clients (the villagers) and create intelligent designs that made the most of the existing resources, in some ways pushing them to new levels – both literally with two story mud buildings and figuratively with new design concepts that are accessible to the rural population.
The resulting architecture reflects a pureness of form and material. In this way the mud buildings of Bangladesh might be a good metaphor for architecture as a whole, where the qualities of a great architect are not flash and fancy materials, but humility, sensitivity, and courage. Perhaps instead of focusing on creating “star architecture” and loud structures, we should endeavor to create buildings that harmonize with the environment and serve the needs of the people.
Although these traditional building materials are highly sustainable, villagers have an increasing desire to build homes out of bricks, concrete, and corrugated iron sheet (CI sheet). This trend could have a serious impact on the environment. Good examples and model houses are needed to change the image of the traditional building materials.
All three family houses conform to both the traditional and contemporary lifestyles of rural families. As in traditional Bangladeshi architecture, the kitchen and bathroom are still housed in separate structures. The new buildings have two stories, however, which double living area while maintaining the same building footprint.
The bamboo facade will be a support to grow creepers in order to protect the wall. Small terracotta inlays from the local potter assure that no pests are entering the houses.
Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world; approximately 1,045 people per square kilometer. Each year more and more agricultural land is lost to residential development. If Bangladeshis in the rural areas (about 110 million people) started living in two story structures, more land would be available for farming. This would help reduce some of the food shortage problems that the country is currently facing.
All three family houses conform to both the traditional and contemporary lifestyles of rural low-income families, but have incorporated design and construction features that improve comfort, safety, durability, and privacy. As in traditional vernacular Bangladeshi architecture, the kitchen and bathroom are still housed in separate structures. The new buildings have two stories, however, which double the family living area while maintaining the same building footprint. The land saved by adding the second story can be used as a small house garden. The second story provides a new experience of view and privacy while still being connected to the rest of the household.
- Handmade School/ Bangladesh (archivisum.wordpress.com)