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Enclosure of Permeability and Aperture |

Arcasia Pavilion, Gulshan

Project Type: Public Project, Temporary Exhibition Pavilion 
Project Location: Gulshan Park, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Project Area: 6700 sq. ft. 
Lead Architects: Saiqa Iqbal Meghna, Suvro Sovon Chowdhury
Team: Bhuiyan Riyadh, Sumaiya Ara, Rahat Ibna Hasan
Photography: Maruf Raihan, Noufel Sharif Sojol

Contrary to the public exhibition which is generally based on experiential images, the ARCASIA Dhaka Exhibition pavilion in Gulshan-park was conceived as a poetic response to the city dweller’s desire to gather and meet in a vibrant atmosphere that could be experienced in multiple ways. The pavilion titled ‘An Enclosure of Permeability and Aperture’ was constructed at Gulshan, Dhaka for holding ‘The Public Exhibition on Architecture of Bangladesh’, arranged on the international occasion of ‘ARCASIA Forum 20’ in November 2019. The exhibition pavilion was commissioned by the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) to represent the vibrant architecture of the country.  

The ‘theatrical set-up’ was designed as an in-between space where thin layers of undulating surfaces formed an open to sky exhibition gallery. The design idea of this translucent pavilion is deeply rooted to the desire of engaging people with ease and simplicity. Simple ruled surfaces of repetitive sine curves and straight lines form a contemporary gallery using traditional material bamboo.

The pavilion is accompanied by a ‘playscape’ to enhance the essence of the park by engaging the children to develop a sense of belongingness as well as interaction among different ages. Two circles of different radii span the area for the playscape which is strategically placed within the exhibition pavilion working as breakout zone. 
The park is set parallel on an urban thoroughfare which is predominantly commercial and surrounded by residential fabric on three sides. It is quite unique with its scale and intigrated with accessibility and permeability. 

As mentioned, an idea of installation on/in a site as such requires minimal intervention with maximum impact. The idea was to do an installation that will rest on the ground rather disturbing it with leaving scars. The visual permeability for the public was enhanced by the idea of ‘screen’ as boundary. The installation was set up on the open field where every other activities around was celebrated while the exhibition was going on.

The design idea emerged from the necessity of creating an open-air gallery space within a limited budget constraint. The inspiration was to create something easy to build yet display the strength of local craftsmanship. Local material Bamboo is chosen to pose a stark contrast in the area which is full of high budget, often extravagant commercial and residential buildings displaying the vendor-oriented aesthetic influence of imported materials. The materiality of the pavilion gains its subtle elegance through the delicate details of the rope tie with loose ends, the rawness of the metal and uncut bamboo of varying lengths. As opposed to the raw texture of the bamboo pavilion, the play-scape is painted in a bright orange tone.  The playscape is designed as continuous folded curves forming a concentric ring catering interaction between different age groups. Here, the exhibit does not take away the essence of the park, rather enhances people’s leisure time.

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