Architecture firm Studio MR35 in collaboration with Bengal Braided Rugs Limited’s (BBRL)/ Beni Boonon designed a space that tells the story of the golden fiber of Bangladesh, jute. While the initial plan had been to design the BBRL factory, the plan slowly moulded, shaping itself to become a display center and office alongside the factory.
“The thought process behind the display center’s inception has been that many foreign clienteles come to visit the factory, why not have the products displayed in a manner that the space can also be used to facilitate meetings and so forth while the office section is created so that the administrative jobs and duties can be executed with ease”, says Syed Monirul Islam, Principal Architect and Partner of Studio MR35. The office space is segmented in terms of administrative works, an accounts section, a meeting room, and a small canteen. Requiring a large area suitable for photography and shoots, as well as due to the space limitations, the firm decided to make use of the terrace. Thus, the open terraces designated for photoshoots which also act as an essential part for social interaction among employees.
Rethinking the sustainability and materiality in the factory complex – once the planning and structural grid got confirmed, there was an effort to search for the aesthetic language that would be something fresh in its visual appeal in its materiality. The adopted materials (fair-façade concrete and brick) follow a neutral color palette that, in addition to the applied textures, light, and shadows, constitute the space and open the way to the creative processes. According to the design team, the client’s requirements had come with budget constraints, however, the restraints had created room for creativity and ingenuity.
The products of Beni Boonon are locally sourced and produced by expert artisans that bring back the glory of natural jute. The hand-braided jute products promise luxury, finesse, and the unique touch of a Bangladeshi artisan.
It was the beautiful hand-braided jute products that provided the design team the idea of implementing the eco-friendly, colorful jute products in the interior.
“The brand’s name itself, Bengal Braided Rug Ltd comes from their process of braiding jute to create home décor products. One aspect that stood out to me was their expansive range of color variations within each product, so keeping that as the theme, we began moving forward with the design process for the space”, shares H.M.Al Rakib, Architect and Partner of Studio MR35.
For the office partitions, a unique blend of Beni Boonon’s products has been used. The design team used jute braids and products to create low-height and full-height partitions. “We intertwined the wooden fixtures/frames with rugs and colorful braids, creating a form of renewal within the conceptuality of jute. The client and we were quite in tune with one another. We often speak of the diversified use of jute, this Golden Fiber of Bangladesh, and we think we are able to bring this into the application with a renewed viewpoint, expresses Md. Ishtiaque Alam, Associate Architect of Studio MR35.
“The effort was to highlight the eclectic character of the braided products, boldly expressing the bare RCC frame structure, and unveiling the subtle beauty and aesthetic potential of the bricks and form-finish concrete through a fresh visual composition. For the material pallet, less is more, is the motto. Brick masonry is used for its aesthetic appearance and its good insulation quality. The second important element is the use of form-finish concrete. Along with these two materials- concrete and brick- the peripheral balconies and the wide-open terraces are playing an equally important functional and aesthetical role,” continues.