FeatureResidence Design

A Symbiotic Architecture – Tanvir Residence

Photography by: Mustafa Tarique Hadi

The Tanvir residence designed by Tanya Karim and NR Khan Associates embraces an aesthetic taking inspiration from simple realities such as climatic conditions. As the residence faces a park, it required maximum exposure towards it both because of the view and prevailing breeze; however, it needed shading that would protect the opening from rain and reduce direct solar heat. Hence, the team designed the shading device as a symbiotic growth that grew over the building, giving the structure an aesthetic of a symbiotic relationship of concrete and metal.

The members of the design team were Tanya Tanzeen Karim, Nurur Rahman Khan, Soniha Nusrat Tisha, Maliha Farhana, and Gourab Kundu.  ‘The Growth’ is like a plant growing over the building, derived from the idea of how forms can be built around elements of opposed nature yet result in an aesthetic of symbiotic relationship.

In this case, the idea is further strengthened by the fact that this growth performs the extremely important duty of shading while allowing the house to have large windows that offer wonderful panoramic views of the site.  

The Tanvir residence is a testament of the courage to embrace the unknown because the only constant is change.

The form and the ‘Growth’ was first painstakingly developed over many months with countless paper models exploring different ‘natures of growth’ and ‘different geometries of folding’. After that, the final design was further explored in computer modelling to come to a stage where the design team would be able to provide the model to the fabricator for quantification and design of the substructure and cutting diagram of the metal folds.

The house is ‘hand-built’, as the formwork is from hand-sawn wood, flamed in a particular way to highlight its grains so that it can be transferred to concrete. The concrete is hand-poured and the metal panels are handcrafted on site. This gives the building a crafted look with interesting textures. Even the main gate is made from hand-beaten copper panels (initially beaten at the office to show the craftsmen the desired texture), same as the main door handles.

“Even though the house has an exciting avant-garde expression, the real beauty is from within”,

“Even though the house has an exciting avant-garde expression, the real beauty is from within”, explains Ar Nurur Rahman Khan.  The extremely efficient plan has organized the service areas in such a way as to maximize the space from main areas so that the spaces feel much larger. Besides, the main spaces have been placed in such a way that it can celebrate the panoramic view of the location to the fullest. In the end, it is the inside of the house that is lived in.

“The house has a sense of good living with an array of facilities, finished in the highest of standards. Even the lighting and placement of all artwork has been carefully designed”, says Ar Tanya Karim. The house comprises of a home theatre and a spa in the semi-basement alongside laundry and maids’ room; a living, dining and kitchen on the ground level; master bed and a daughter’s bed on the 1st floor and two more children’s bed on the second floor. A party space and roof terrace are built on the top.

The interior of the house takes the colour scheme from the exterior and then adds wooden floors and soft toned furnishing to soften it up. The house has abundant wealth of natural light and most of it can be opened up to the natural breeze.

“The house has a sense of good living with an array of facilities, finished in the highest of standards. Even the lighting and placement of all artwork has been carefully designed”,

The Tanvir residence is a testament of the courage to embrace the unknown because the only constant is change. It strives to push the boundary of normality and explores possibilities. For the owners, it’s a known way of life in an unknown ‘aesthetic’. Instead of looking for a form, the house looks for ‘formlessness’; for an ‘evolved’ beauty rather than a known construct.

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Naila Binte Zakaria

Lifestyle/Art Journalist who revels in the joy of eating spicy ramen, painting and watching absurdist films.

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