Completed in 2011, the Friendship Centre, designed by Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury / URBANA and completed in 2011, is a rural training center inspired by one of the country’s oldest urban archaeological sites.
Friendship Centre Technical Information
- Architects: Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury / URBANA
- Location: Gaibandha, Bangladesh
- Typology: Cultural Architecture / Cultural Center
- Project Year: 2011
- Site area: 9,210 m2; Built area: 2,897 m2
- Client: Friendship NGO
- Source: Aga Khan Award for Architecture
- Photographs: © Eric Chenal, © Anup Basak
The naturally ventilated structures have green roofs. The Centre is located in an agricultural area susceptible to flooding and earthquakes, and whose low-bearing soil has a low bearing capacity. As a result, an embankment has been constructed with a water run-off pumping facility.
Friendship Centre in Gaibandha Photographs
Text by the Aga Khan Foundation
The Centre was created to train staff of an NGO working with people inhabiting nearby chars or riverine islands. Offices, a library, meeting rooms, and prayer and tea rooms are included in pavilion-like buildings surrounded by courts and pools. The Centre is also rented out for meetings, training, and conferences for income generation. The local hand-made brick construction has been inspired by the monastic aesthetic of the 3rd century BC ruins of Mahasthangahr, the earliest urban archaeological site found in Bangladesh. Structural elements are of reinforced concrete, and finishes also include timber and stone.
The naturally ventilated structures have green roofs. The Centre is located in an agricultural area susceptible to flooding and earthquakes and whose low-bearing soil has a low bearing capacity. As a result, an embankment has been constructed with a water run-off pumping facility. Built and finished primarily of one material – local hand-made bricks – the spaces are woven out of pavilions, courtyards, pools, greens, corridors, and shadows. The Friendship Centre is divided into two sections, the outer Ka block for the offices, library, and training classrooms and the inner Kha block for the residential section. At a time, 80 people can be trained here in four separate classrooms. Simplicity is the intent; monastic is the feel.
Friendship Center Plans
About Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury
Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury is a Bangladeshi architect who graduated in architecture from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Chowdhury has a studio-based practice whose works find root in history with a strong emphasis on climate, materials, and context – both natural and human.