The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), Aga Khan National Council, and Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) in collaboration with the Institute of Architects Bangladesh have honoured architect Saif Ul Haque – one of the winners of the 2019 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Bangladeshi project, Arcadia Education Project in South Kanarchor, was celebrated and recognised for excellence in architecture, at a ceremony held in the city on Saturday night.
Together with the Award’s steering committee members – Emre Arolat, Hanif Kara, and Maria Tabassum, Director of the AKAA Farrokh Derakhshani presented the award certificates to the architect and sponsor of the winning project.
In addition to a panel discussion on stage with the winning architect, President of the Executive Council, Institute of Architects of BangladeshJalal Ahmed, AKDN Resident Diplomatic Representative Munir M. Meraliand President, Aga Khan National Council Sulaiman Ajanee addressed the function.
The guests were entertained with performance by Sharmila Banerjee, Director Choreographer and Dancer, Nritya Nandan.
In addition to business, civic and other leaders, the event was graced with the presence of diplomats including, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany Peter Fahrenholtz and Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, Saed Mohammed Saed Hmaid Almeheiri.
After four decades of teaching in United Kingdom, Razia Alam returned to her home country of Bangladesh where she established a school for underprivileged children, using her pension funds.
When the lease on the existing premises of this school expired, its founder sought out a site on which to build.
The budget restricted her choice to areas not well suited for development. Wanting the school to be near water, she purchased a riverside plot which, it turned out, is submerged in up to 3m of monsoon water for a third of the year.
Rather than disrupting the ecosystem to create a stabilized mound for building on, or erecting a structure on stilts that would have been too high in the dry season, her chosen architect – a lifelong acquaintance – devised the solution of an amphibious structure, anchored to the site, that could sit on the ground or float on the water, depending on the seasonal conditions.