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Striking and Refined- Northern Lights – Architect Column

Situated at a calm and serene block of North Gulshan, the residential building Northern Lights celebrates the vogue of artsy living; where art incites euphoria and inspiration. The project is a concern of Shanta Holdings Ltd which is designed by architect Nahas Ahmed Khalil and his studio team ARC Architectural Consultants.

The project is a tasteful projection of both earthy aesthetics and modernity. Built on an area approximate 30 katha, the apartment strives amid lush greenery. When designing the new building, architect Khalil sought to create a sustainable development that would contribute towards a more compact city. With this in mind, the design team reflects and sets strategies of compactness and diversification, all the while highlighting local techniques. By considering the context, the design provides a multi-program that responds sensitively using artisan materials, sustainable urban scales and dynamic ways of living. As seen in most of Khalil’s works, this project is also primarily constructed in concrete, and also showcases shades of brick and wood throughout its interiors and exteriors. The architect decides to render most of his work with brick and concrete, primarily because of the materials are also sustainable, environment-friendly and low in maintenance. And, also, that inherits local and traditional significance.

The eight-storied building delivers twenty-two apartment units. Designed from the inside out, each apartment is internally planned to make the most of the views. Straight and pure lines, simple forms, wide opening views and huge volumes with lots of natural light, minimize the distance between the indoor and outdoor. While the white painted walls and white floors finish off the interior, reflect the daylight all over the spaces and destroy the compactness while making a tranquil, spacious dwelling. Without clear boundaries, the integration of the public and private areas reveals a sequence of spaces combining expansiveness and symbiosis. The interior is clear of all unnecessary items, creating another dimension while helping to achieve a calm repose and restrictive simple furniture have become fluid, changeable and colour paintings that enrich the liveliness. The house tells a narrative about its owners and what they do. The spaces for the family and close friends are warm and interactive and the connection with nature is constant.

The residential complex also includes a selection of outdoor spaces for the building users. Access courtyard on the ground floor, communal lounges, a fitness centre, a fragmented roof garden and pool have been designed for residents to socialize effortlessly, explore their creativity and nurture wellbeing. The roof is designed as a terrace for multipurpose activities is an ideal platform to spend the dusty evening under the mutable sky providing an obstruction-free view to the eyes and mind.

Architect Khalil’s projection is simple, but simultaneously, one that makes a statement. His sensitive and restrained use of building materials tells richly complex architectural stories that elude simple classifications. “In search of an honest and careful architecture, we paid special attention to details, to the chosen materiality and the actors in the project processes. Our priority was to develop every constructive detail achieving optimal solutions that exceed the possibilities of the strictly conventional. The finished construction, as a result, is the witness and reflection of a careful process”, the firm adds.

Architect Profile

Nahas Ahmed Khalil is an eminent Bangladeshi architect, urban planner and educator. He received his bachelor of architecture degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1982.After graduating he worked as an assistant architect at CAPE under Architect Raziul Ahsan for some years and later founded his own architectural firm ARC Architectural Consultants. His major works include Osban House, Matir Bari, Akash Pradeep, Rashid Eye Hospital, Bengal Bangshibari, and South Breeze Square.

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