Project Name: Shikor – A Country House
Practice: Spatial Architects
Firm Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Completion year: 2019
Gross Built up Area: 446 M2
Project Location: Puichari, Banskhali Chittagong
Lead Architects: Mohammad Naimul Ahsan Khan & Farzana Rahman
Design Team: Nusrat Azim Mithila
Clients: Saber Ahmed Khan & Tahmina Begum
Structural Consultants: MD. Saidur Rahman
Landscape Consultants: Spatial Architects
Contractors: Local Artisans
Project Manager: ENG. Jahidul Islam
Photo Credits: Asif Salman
(Text submitted by architect)
Rooted in a Bangladeshi land, not far from Commercial capital of the region, Chattogram, SHIKOR is a country house that rediscovers in the simplicity of forms all the charm of rural architecture in a contemporary way. Bengali term “SHIKOR” used to denote “ROOTS”: The origin from which it all begins. It is the home retreat of a local family, whose history inevitably is intertwined with the past of the land on which it is built. Just as in almost all Bangladeshi families, the owners’ ancestors were farmers; It is only in time that successive generations have moved from the countryside to neighboring urban areas in the years to come. That’s why clients, both teachers, they live their retirement life in the city. Khan left his father’s rural home to work as a teacher, living mainly in the quarters of school campuses.
But his memories, or rather, his roots, have always kept him strongly connected to the village. And because the ancient dwelling, almost falling into disuse, was now losing all its original charm (and habitability), the Khans decided to build a new one. “The intention was to create a space for children and grandchildren in such a way that they would spend their time during the holidays, as well as to pass a witness on to the new generations. The result is a large farmhouse on over 440 square meters of surface that winks at the most traditional constructions: similar to a farm, Shikor showcases the handcrafted workmanship of local artisans, making the most of all the natural resources granted by the landscape.
Perforated outlying walls and skylights convert every corner of the house into a living museum of light and shadow. The experiences of the spaces vary from sunrise to sunset, from summer to winter. Volumes of the built complex support the territory and what it can offer: the volume made from bricks, for example, vanishes from south to south-east to allow breezes to circulate from all three directions. And while the ground floor is divided between the Kachari, The formal living room, located in an isolated front, and the dining Hall that, at the rear tip, is exposed into the nature through the Poschati verandah, The Projected Balcony.
The layout of the upper floor is inspired by a resort. In order to maintain a balance between privacy and conviviality, the Gudam, the bedrooms, are allocated on the First floor. The fulcrum of the project is an indoor pond which is placed into the Cavaedium, recreating the same atmosphere of a traditional Jolghat, a Screened Pond stair for female bath. Made of terracotta Bricks, the Khans’ country house also houses a series of furniture made of recycled wood, salvaged from old houses. The metal pots conventionally used for water are converted into graceful lampshades that alternate with the bamboo ones. All measures reduce costs and at the same time, keep memories alive.