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An Escape to Serenity

“Nirontor,” a tranquil haven located in Shariatpur, is just 85 kilometers from the bustling capital city of Dhaka. The elegantly understated residence sits in the middle of the quiet village of Naria, the client’s hometown, spanning 14,348 square meters with a total built-up area of 844 square meters. It serves as a sanctuary for the client’s family and cherished guests, offering respite from Dhaka’s urban intensity. Here, the name “Nirontor” was chosen to signify a generational connection to the ancestral roots of the client.

The site presented a unique canvas, characterized by irregular shapes, varying elevations, and diverse compositions, adorned with dense vegetation predominantly comprising small trees and greenery. The most captivating feature of the site is a large pond, which encompasses most of the three-acre property. 

The project, initiated in 2020 and completed in 2022, was designed by a team of architects led by Principal Architect Mahtab Hussain Siddiqui and Project Architect Mehedi Amin, with contributions from architects Syed Anjan and Falguni Mozumdar, all under MW3 Design+Partners.  According to their concept,

“the design was conceptualized as a Corbusian promenade through Miesian pavilions contextualized for the subtropical climate. It takes cues from the surrounding architecture—raising the plinth to avoid flooding and extending eaves to protect from the rain and the sun.”

The architectural design is well thought out as a harmonious blend of Corbusier principles—a promenade reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s vision, interwoven with Miesian pavilions adapted to the demands of a sub-tropical climate. 

The entrance to the house is artfully designed, featuring a welcoming frontcourt and a gatehouse. Visitors are then led on a gradual journey, ascending a wide ramp that allows them to immerse themselves gradually in the natural surroundings. 

Upon entering the interior, a grand formal living space unveils itself, marked by an enchanting seventeen-foot-high opening leading to a spacious terrace. Here, a low wooden railing offered functionality as both safety and seating.

A narrow glass bridge connects the living area to the dining space, providing a seamless transition. The dining area offers a spectacular panorama of the internal courtyard, partly shaded with pergolas and embellished with greenery. The family living area is strategically positioned to open up to all-encompassing views of the infinity pool, which gracefully extends towards the tranquil pond. A large deck framed the pool, gently descending to the water’s edge.

The family living space, in a brilliant architectural twist, is partly positioned above the water, affording scenic views of the courtyard and the picturesque pond. This architectural complex is creatively connected to the bedrooms, with only a two-story structure within the ensemble. While two bedrooms face the garden, the other two elegantly hover above the tranquil waters, creating a symphony of design and nature that defines this remarkable dwelling.

An integral aspect of the project involves the deliberate detachment of the complex, designed to preserve the existing vegetation. This attempt was informed by a careful site survey, providing precise data on the location and dimensions of the trees, the majority of which were thoughtfully safeguarded during the design process. To minimize the impact on the natural landscape, the service block was positioned within a ditch, thereby avoiding the need to cut down any trees. Furthermore, a portion of the family living area and the bedrooms were strategically placed over the pond, offering both breathtaking views and an environmentally sensitive approach that enhanced the overall project.

The wood formwork for the concrete was precisely supervised, leaving a fascinating imprint of its grain on the surface. This textured, earthy finish effortlessly blends in with the natural surroundings enveloping the structure. The utilization of structural steel was imperative, serving the dual purpose of expanding corner spaces and imparting the roof with a captivating floating effect.

In the interest of practicality, selected portions of wood were sensibly substituted with Aluminum and Wood-Plastic Composite (WPC) materials. The finishes selected for the project were a carefully arranged interplay of the various grays of concrete and the warm browns of wood, culminating in a harmonious and cohesive aesthetic. 

Within the serene embrace of Naria village, this architectural expression not only provides a tranquil haven for the client’s family and guests but also honors a profound generational connection to their ancestral roots. With careful attention to detail in materials and design, the house gracefully integrates with the natural environment, offering an escape from the intensity of urban life in Dhaka.

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Samira Ahsan

An architect, designer, and writer with an aim to contribute to the design community. Architecture is a dynamic field that evolves as times do. She aspires to travel, learn, evolve with time and thereby bring something to light through journaling her journeys.

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