The three-storied single-family residence ‘Darul Mubeen – House of Light’ locates at the Mouchak union, 15km northwest of Gazipur, Dhaka. Designed by architectural consultant ArchDoers, the project is a contemporary private realm providing space for family members and guests amidst a luscious green landscape.
The project is led by Ar. Quazi Fahima Naz and Ar. Subrata Sikder, Principal and Partner Architects of ArchDoers along with structural consultant: Engr. Sanjoy Roy Chowdhury and electrical consultant: Engr. Md. Najmul Huda. The residence is set on an inherited 26 Katha (1756 sqm) piece of land which acquires only a 1400sqm built area. The rest of the area is open, dedicated to green spaces, a children’s play area, a private pool, a gym, and other amenities. Upon entry to the house, the 12 m triple height grand entry foyer of the house gives a marvel enveloping experience. The frontal approach of the building preserves a time-honored village culture of seating in a lofty entry lobby allowing one to appreciate the garden in front through the curated landscape of bushes and bamboo weaving between stair spaces while remaining comfortably sheltered. The layout plan of the residence is arranged according to the functional preferences of the family members. The ground floor consists of a guest room, prayer room, and a grand dining hall; one meter below the plinth level, adjacent to a large, lavishing pantry and a spacious kitchen. The first floor offers a luxurious retreat for the family with a large family living area, bedrooms, and other service areas. The second floor comprises a master bedroom, one game room, and a study room opening to north-facing terraces, a kitchenette with an east-facing terrace, and a family living embedded by an extended-green buffer on the south facade.
The terraces and rooftops are an essential part of the project that acts as a catalyst for social gatherings for the family. The house embeds lush greeneries at ground level, at the upper level cantilevered terraces, and at the rooftop. These spaces are equipped with various native plants which generate a quality landscape and are ecologically virtuous, encouraging the development of biodiversity. Each terrace is landscaped with bamboo and vibrant monsoon blooms, imbuing a tropical aura that uplifts the soul. The sweet aromas of Sheuli, Togor, Hasna-Hena, aromatic Jui, Kamini, Trumpet vine, Rose, Cherry, and Plumeria fill up this abode. Bulbuli bird feeds on the nectar of orange buds, and butterflies’ flit and dance on Rongon, and Lantena while black Drongo, Dove, Starling, Parrots, and Sparrows serenade in a mesmerizing melody. Altogether these intricate happenings around the house embrace the ecosystem, elevating the living experience.
“The project is a beautiful amalgamation of solid and void. The diagonal space frames and triple-height skylight forms a beautiful play of light and shade. We tried to maximize cross-ventilation eliminating the need for artificial ventilation in this house unless specifically requested by the clients”, expresses Ar. Quazi Fahima Naz. “The clients have been very supportive throughout the design and construction phases which allowed our design team to bring out the best possible outcome.” The entire residence is built in reinforced concrete and the shuttering is done by a metal sheet as metal shutters are stronger, more durable, and have a longer life. The structure of the residence is characterized by a post-lintel system. Every inch of space is crafted to offer experiential living, and each corner embodies unique features. The front terrace on the first floor is 8.5 meters long and 4.6 meters wide cantilevered while the southeast terrace is 6.3 meters long and 4.6 meters wide cantilevered. The attention to detail is evident in the innovative placement of the AC outdoor units, discreetly hidden above the false slab of the toilets, allowing for optimal ventilation by adding an aluminum louver at the top of the toilet window; without compromising the stunning visual aesthetics. Such meticulous details and design features are quite rarefied for such a large-scale residential building.
The residence adorns some striking design features such as the northern loft wall of the main staircase features a traditional terracotta art installation that exudes warmth and delightful daylight. When ascending to the first floor, the grand half-landing is illuminated by natural light streaming from the skylight, bidding a fond farewell to the ground floor. The skylight is 9.45 m long and 3.35 m wide. This 12m height atrium substantiates social and functional character, visually connecting all the levels and expanding living spaces beyond its compact floor plans. It truly embodies the notion of family connectivity, unifying individuals under its magnetic influence. Another salient feature of the residence is the 14m long and 6m wide swimming pool on the ground level. The waterbody and the surrounding natural landscapes make the space a scenic haven.