Renovation of a Master Work |

E-Library at Business Faculty, Dhaka University

Project Type: Interior Renovation
Project Location: Dhaka University, Bangladesh
Project Area: 12,000 sq. ft. 
Lead Architects: Saiqa Iqbal Meghna, Suvro Sovon Chowdhury
Collaboration with team of Experts: Mohammad Emran Hossain, Shahidullah Faruq
Photography: Mahfuzul Hasan Rana, Saiqa Iqbal Meghna, Farahbee Rahman

In an attempt to cope up with the ever-changing nature of acquiring knowledge, initiative has been taken to improvise the Library of Faculty of Business Studies. SthaNiK Architectural Consultants designed this new intervention with a theme to hold the very essence of ‘contemporary’, which is deeply rooted to the core idea of the building itself, an architectural masterpiece by Sthapatyacharya Muzharul Islam, regarded as the Father of Modern Architecture of Bengal.


Inside the master work of Ar. Islam and a heritage building in chronology of architectural history of Bangladesh, the task was to extend and transform the existing one into an E-Library, first of its kind in the context of Bangladesh. The core design concept was to translate the openness of pavilion structure and to accommodate the contemporary library’s evolving requirement over the time.

A transparent glass box containing a glass bridge is floated over the void of an internal stair-case previously separated by blank walls. The Interior of small compartmental spaces, thus, is transformed into a continuous fluid space having the double height sky-lit volume in the middle. Large continuous open spaces are introduced throughout the two-hundred-and-six-feet length of the floor spanning west to east.
 

The double height space with the clear-story lighting is enhanced by a bright red floating mezzanine floor. The mezzanine holds the information and issue-counter underneath and a silent reading area on the upper level turned into a stepped continuous surface offering informal reading area amidst a somewhat ‘unusual’ volume of space which initiates dialog with the twisted fluid form generated around an elliptical geometry designed as a sculptural installation to house the journal section. The ‘Trimmed Egg’ holding the journal shelves and reading tables, increases fluidity by changing the geometry of the space and opens towards the west to celebrate the dramatic west light double-filtered through densely placed white window grills and the lush green of nature.

The areas required to be closed are kept inside patterned glass boxes through which green filigree of outside trees filters inside. Dark patches in defined areas floats amidst the whiteness of the continuous open plan to maximize light inside. Entry-way made with metal sheets etched with the Faculty of Business Studies history unfolds to a bright fluid space inside. Module design of the function-specific-furniture ensures maximum openness.

The ceiling of the library is designed as light as possible using metal mesh and white boards to enhance the exposed beam-column structures. The composition of the ‘elements’ on the ceiling  follows the existing grids in most zones except the open space around the ‘trimmed egg’ and stepped reading area where diagonal lines in random direction unfolds the zones into multidirectional  openness.