On Board the Synthesis Ship
Text by K N Deya
The workspace of Synthesis Architects is an exemplary amalgamation of an office, an open studio and curiously, a factory space. It was born of the duo architects Patrick D’Rozario and A. K. M. Tanvir Hassan Niru’s desire to construct a space that was both visually pleasant and functional for their purpose. Located in a secluded section of Banani, the office is the perfect space to focus, collaborate and create. Synthesis Architects is an award-winning creative Architectural and Development consultancy firm, founded in 1997, creating comprehensive services in architecture, interior design, and planning & project management. Ar. Patrick D’Rozario, the Managing Partner of Synthesis Architects, believes to create timeless architecture, it is important for the clients to put their trust in the country and the capacity of local architects and to not mindlessly copy ideas from abroad.
The biggest motivation behind the Synthesis Architects studio was breaking out of the stereotype that architects make beautiful designs while sitting in cramped, drab offices.
Their architectural studio would be neither small nor drab. It would be an aesthetically pleasing and inspiring workspace, ideal for architects and a ship to facilitate their journey. This is the vision that this office was built upon. The doorway to Synthesis Architects studio sports a genuine metal porthole, collected from the shipyards at Chittagong and gives the impression of entering a submarine.
Once inside, the office resembles a ship, decked out in neutral greys, whites and blacks, complemented by Neem wood floors.
Most of the walls are neat plaster and some are classy slate stone, complementing the soft light and warm wood floors. Insulation is provided employing a roof made of white painted industrial sheet, cross ventilation and metal mesh at the balcony and windows. A terrace space provides east-west connectivity, making the most of the scenic view of the Banani Lake and the lush greenery.
The most notable design component of this office is perhaps the slanted high ceiling. The constrain of walls was eliminated by introducing the loft space full of daylight. It gives the illusion of a bigger space, making the 2,500 square feet (tentatively) space look about as big as a football field. According to Ar. Tanvir Hasan Niru, the Architect Partner of Synthesis Architects, this illusory detail also succeeds to open one’s mind, broadening it enough so that creative ideas have a chance to bloom unfettered. The rectangular space is very open and conducive to sharing ideas between architects.
The furniture was also picked to keep up with the seafaring theme. Most furniture pieces are made of wood and a few are made of faux leather, to give off warmth and to provide tactile pleasure to the users. Local materials were used to create a sense of comfort and familiarity.
According to Ar. Tanvir Hasan Niru, the architects strived to ensure a quiet, isolated space for the architects working at Synthesis. With this view in mind, they found a house along a less-travelled street, which proved to be a challenge for a while. The roof of a two-storey building was used to build the office from scratch. This was by no means an easy task, but the construction went well and from mid-2017 to the start of 2018, within about 6 months the office was ready for operation. This unique space was meant to be a breeding ground for great architects of the future, and the design will make you optimistic that such a dream will surely come true.
In the past 20 years, Synthesis has achieved quite a few awards both nationally and internationally for their remarkable contributions in architecture and designing and secured the position as one of the leading architectural firms of the country. At present, they are involved with some large scale community master plans, university master plans and a lot of residential and commercial designs. In addition, Ar. Patrick D’Rozario has developed an architecture research wing to empower architects to use and engage in research to advance their profession and the industry as a whole.