Excerpt: Ayna Burir Adar, designed by Sharal Architects, maintains a connection with the climate, light, and nature to enhance visual and tactile interaction with its surroundings. The lush surroundings of the site inspired the architects to select colors and textures that would draw attention to the building without overpowering the serene environment. The color and texture of the building create a natural sense of being immersed in the comforting earth.
[Text as submitted by architect] The building is in a modest residential neighborhood in Natore district of Rajshahi Division in northern Bangladesh. The 2.7 katha property has a frontage that offers beautiful views of nature and looks out over Kanaikhali field toward the west. Its northern boundary is shared with Ansar Camp. This Kanaikhali field was a deep jungle many years ago, where people were afraid to live due to the danger posed by wild animals. An old woman named Ayna built her shelter and lit her lamp, allowing her to dwell there without fear. This served as the inspiration for the building’s name, “আয়না বুড়ির আদার” (means, Jungle of the old woman Ayna).
The family consists of a couple, their children, and their elderly mother. The client clearly wanted unrestricted access to the grounds as they were rebuilding their home to resemble the previous one that had been here before. It has 6 bedrooms with attached washrooms, balconies, living space, family living, dining space, kitchen, storeroom, study room, and terraces. A cluster of bamboo trees is situated next to the stairs that follow the three-story building, providing a chance to bring nature inside the structure.
The lush surroundings of the site inspired the architects to select a color and texture palette that would draw attention to the building without overpowering the serene environment. Building components like concrete, exposed brick, wood, glass, and ms bar are used in the construction of the building. An element that both the built environment and nature share, “Brick,” was chosen to portray this interacting link. “Concrete,” in its raw state, was then used to consolidate it. The color and texture of the building creates a natural sense of being immersed by the comforting earth.
In order to create two linear living spaces that are east-west aligned and to allow natural light and ventilation to circulate throughout the interior spaces, the building’s basic mass is reduced. This leaves an open space in the center as a central courtyard. Balconies and circulation pathways within the open space provide direct access to the courtyard, which offers a connection to the exterior. This courtyard enhances the visual connectivity of the entire building.
A significant stairway has been added near the existing clustered bamboo tree to connect the building at different levels. Additionally, stairs and all other features are placed around the courtyard to allow for natural light and ventilation to enter all interior spaces. The interior layout of the spaces was designed to represent an approach to combine habitat and nature. Terrace gardens are formed by eliminating mass from the second level, along with greater visual linkages and sunlight accessibility. 12-inch-thick walls and small windows on the west side control the temperature inside the bedroom.
Large windows also provide cross ventilation for each compartment on the opposing sides. The structure gains a new dimension by adding design features like brick-jali, pointing brick wall, spiral stairs, and a pergola. Through the thoughtful use of color, texture, voids, workmanship, the terrain, and the movement of light and shadow, this project aimed to maintain a connection with the climate, light, and nature to enhance visual and tactile interaction with its surroundings.